curry salt crusted kabocha squash

I think we may have found our new favorite neighborhood sushi joint. Which when you move to a new city, is a really big deal. You’ve got to have that one place in the neighborhood that you can really count on. We’ve tried a few here and there (still lots to explore) but I was introduced to one by a friend a few weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. The fish is SO good, the prices are reasonable, and it is a tiny, cozy place.

Ok fine, I went twice in one day. (Yes, ridiculous).

The restaurant is called Yatai, on the Sunset strip and it is a Japanese Sushi & Tapas restaurant. So in addition to the typical rolls, they’ve got eggplant with miso sauce, goyza, seaweed salad and an amazing tempura pumpkin with curry salt. I’m convinced it is actually kabocha squash (the rind is green, you can eat it, and kabocha squash has its roots in Japan) but regardless, it is delicious. I had to make a version at home, naturally, so instead of frying it and serving it with the salt, I roasted it with a sweet curry salt. It was one of those recipes that I just knew would turn out well.

I was right. I came close to eating the whole squash in one sitting, but decided that wasn’t the best idea. I stopped myself after a third of it.

The salty/sweet/curry flavor is amazing on the sweet squash. It is delicious right out of the oven, or as I learned, at room temperature all afternoon. I warned you!


Curry Salt Crusted Kabocha Squash

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 medium kabocha squash
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut squash into 1 inch wide strips, removing seeds.

Stir together the sugar, curry powder and salt and layout on plate.

Toss squash pieces with olive oil until evenly coated.

Press the squash pieces into the curry salt mixture, coating both sides.

Roast squash for 40 minutes, flipping over after 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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asian kale & squash salad

This time of year, there is probably something we can all use a little more of.

And it isn’t cookies.

Sorry. Always the bearer of bad nutrition news….

Our Thanksgiving celebration included a number of amazing dishes (think scallop chowder and shiitake stuffing) but also had TWO kale dishes! I came armed with creamed kale and there was a delicious kale & sweet potato salad with an asian dressing. I loved it and I’m happy to report that MORE than half of my plate was filled with veggies that night. What can I say, Nutritionists tend to be high-acheivers. ;)

Turns out it is pretty easy to make which means it can and should be on your plate soon!

You can switch up the kind of kale, depending on preference and use sweet potato, squash or whatever you have on-hand. You could also use a pre-made dressing like Annie’s Shiitake Sesame if you are short on time.


Asian Kale Salad with Squash

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 min

Keywords: side salad gluten-free high fiber vegan vegetarian kale

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 bunch kale (I used dino kale)
  • 1 cup cubed roasted squash
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed (or canola) oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (white part only)


Wash kale and slice as thinly as you can.

Prepare dressing.

Whisk together oil, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, vinegar and green onion.

Toss dressing with kale.

Top with cubed squash.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

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daily eats 11.16.11 {vegan}

Last week, I followed a paleo diet for a day, and today I’m going Vegan! I was honestly a little nervous about it considering I’ve been loosely following the paleo plan since last week. I thought I would be hungry all the time (carbs make me hungry!). But realized many of my normal meals happen to be vegan.

As always, coffee + coconut creamer to start the morning.

After working furiously for a few hours, I was hungry and ready to eat.

Breakfast: 1/3 cup oats + 2/3 cup almond milk + 1 Tbsp peanut butter. I should have made 1/2 cup oats and another Tbsp of peanut butter but it lasted me through some errands which included finding a stamp pad to send out our wedding thank-you’s (harder than you might think), the bank, and once again, at AT&T. (Don’t ask)

Back at home I decided to head out for a quick run before eating lunch. I was going to wait until after, but realized that it would decrease my chances of actually doing it, so I just went! 2.5 mile run, 1.5 mile walk (50 minutes) in the sunshine. :) 

Lunch was totally random. I had some Gardein Crispy Strips in the freezer because I still hadn’t tried them (I don’t eat fake meat that often) but I loved these!! They are definitely a vegan junk-food and have quite a few ingredients, but they were super crispy and a really fun lunch. I had them with a side of arugula + eggplant + punjab eggplant. (Oh and of course sriracha)

The unpacking project of the day was to start the desk area (thanks Taster!)… a few more things to do and my work space will be complete!

The only time today that I really didn’t want to be a vegan was during cocktail hour, mainy because we have this amazing raw gouda cheese in the fridge…

But I powered through my craving and had a little plate of crackers + carrots + olives instead of cheese. (Or salami!)

Dinner was a recipe from Rachael Ray – Veggie Curry Bowls (brown rice + spinach + beans) + some sauteed mushrooms on the side. They curry bowls were disappointing – not very flavorful. I smothered it with sriracha and ate it anyway but didn’t save the leftovers.

Now I’m snacking on some dried mango and wishing I had some popcorn…but settling on a bowl of Kashi Go Lean + almond milk.

Nutrients: 70 g protein, 69 g fat, 256 g carbohydrates, 45.4 g fiber, 73 g sugar, 1,992 calories

Thoughts on my Vegan Day: Even though the grams of protein were very close to my paleo day, protein from vegetarian sources just doesn’t satisfy me the same as eggs, meat and fish do. (I wish it did!) The fiber was impressive, but I couldn’t stop snacking after dinner! I incorporate many vegan meals without even thinking twice, but I enjoy my “higher quality” protein sources and of course, cheese. :)

daily eats {11.1.11}

Wow, I can’t believe it is already November!

I surprisingly didn’t eat too much candy on Halloween, but did drink my share of wine and eat pizza, so I was a little slow-moving this morning. Nothing a little coffee, water and work can’t fix. Sometimes its best to just throw yourself into it!

Peet’s Coffee was completely decked out for the holidays – an overnight transformation complete with red & green sprinkled almond bark, holiday blend beans and holiday music. I’m ready for the holidays, but that seemed like a bit much!


I returned home (cousins home, we move into our place Thursday!!) and promptly made some breakfast. I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine once we get settled. My type-a personality is freaking out!

Breakfast: French Meadow Sprouted Cinnamon Bagel + pat of butter + hard boiled egg + strawberries.

Both strength and cardio were on my list today so I did a quick weight routine before we headed out to run a few errands in our new neighborhood!

Lunch: Being that it was World Vegan Day (pointed out to me by Pepperoni is not a Veg – thank you!) I really wanted to eat vegan all day, but because I don’t have my own fridge, usual food options, etc. I wasn’t able to make it the whole day. (Soon I’ll do a Vegan Day!) But, we did have an excellent vegan lunch at Veggie Grill. I’d been wanting to try Veggie Grill since I saw one of them and figured today was a perfect reason to try it out. I was starving and needed more than a salad so I tried the VG Cheeseburger, which the guy in line behind us said was amazing. I ordered it with the red cabbage slaw side and I gobbled it up in no time at all. 

Then it was time for some more work. I loooove being able to work outside. In November.

A 50 minute walk with Ruby (the dog) was “cardio” for the day. Not necessarily a great workout, but because I had a dog with me I wasn’t worried about a certain length of time or getting in so many miles, I just enjoyed the walk and the afternoon. It was really, really nice.

We made dinner tonight for my cousins and the Taster decided to make a Minnesota speciality, the Blucy. (Blue cheese stuffed hamburger) No shortage of burgers (both real and not) for me today!

Dinner: An amazingly delicious blucy sans bun + salad + sweet potato fries + sriracha mayo for dipping.

Dessert: I was gifted some unwanted halloween candy. :)

Now I’m sipping tea and getting ready for bed, lots to do today!