One of the hottest food trends this year has to be meals in bowls; smoothie bowls, lunch bowls, ethnic food bowls and of course salad bowls. As we move into this spring season, people are discovering that there is definitely more to salad than meets the eye. Salads are always a wonderful option for the Paleo forager as they provide a canvas on which to create many combinations and permutations of Paleo friendly meals that will be enjoyed by all. Try these new variations to see why salad bowls are at the top of the food trends.
Pickles & Fermented Foods
Pickled ingredients are topping the charts of trendy food tidbits. There is definitely no need to be limited by the simple cucumber or beetroot. Pickled vegetables and fruits of all sorts are high on the agenda. Try making your own or sourcing some delicious, creative options at your local farmer’s market.
As the health benefits of fermented ingredients are becoming increasingly apparent, more people are turning to the traditional methods of preparation for inspiration. Kimchi is a Korean salad made from fermented cabbage and is delicious served with everything. Fermentation experts are also experimenting with a variety of vegetables and combinations to add a shot of probiotic rich bacteria and a huge helping of flavour to your meal.
The traditional favourites that we all know and love are getting updated and modernised so that the current generation can learn to love and appreciate them as our forefathers did. Re-invent a garden salad by adding a variety of leaves such as arugula, kale or radicchio; try a roasted root vegetable salad with watercress or herbed mayonnaise; or make over a classic Caesar salad by adding grilled prawns and asparagus and crisping up some delicious bacon instead of the croutons.
Cooking Techniques (yes, even for salads)
Lettuce, the base of the ‘boring’ weeknight salad is slowly moving from side act to star performer. Chargrilling the leaves on the barbecue adds a new complexity of flavour to this humble leafy green.
Smoking adds such fantastic flavour to so many dishes that many new ingredients, such as smoked honey and smoked salt, are cropping up in delis and gourmet food stores. If you are fortunate enough to have a smoker, experiment with meats, vegetables and fruits at home to add layers of complexity to your bowl.
A Favorite Recipe
As far as salad bowls go, the choices are endless. By far one of my favorites and one of this year’s trendiest is the Poke Bowl. Traditionally, poké (pronounced POKE-AY, not POKE-EE) is chunks of tuna or salmon marinated in soy and sesame but poké is such a ubiquitous term that it can mean anything chunked, because, in the Hawaiian language the word poké comes from the verb for ‘to section, slice, or cut’. Unlike with sashimi, where the fish is sliced thin and long, or tartare, where the fish is diced and held together by a sauce, poké is cut into thick cubes and mixed as a free-form salad.
It is simple, easy to prepare and one of the most delicious, fresh tasting salad bowls you can create.
Wild Salmon Poke Bowl
- 1 lb wild sockeye salmon, skinless and boneless
- 4 Tbsp. coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp. cold pressed sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp Paleo friendly Sriracha sauce (if you want to make your own try this easy recipe)
- 2 tsp coconut vinegar
- Himalayan pink salt
- 3 spring onions (finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. sesame sides (white, black or a combination)
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. coconut vinegar
- 2 avocados, peeled
- 2 sheets nori seaweed cut into triangles
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- Himalayan pink salt
Other optional topping options:
- Spiralized daikon radish
- Cucumber slices
- Shredded cabbage
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Pickled ginger
- Fermented vegetables of choice
1. Marinate the salmon.
- Mix coconut aminos, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt.
- Cut the salmon into ½-1 inch pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
- Add the marinade, chopped green onions and sesame seeds (or you can add the seeds just before serving if you prefer them crispy).
- Add sriracha and mix until well combined.
- Place in the fridge.
2. Prepare the cauliflower rice
- For best results, use a grating blade on your food processor to create rice-like shapes.
- Place the riced cauliflower in a pan with the coconut oil.
- Cook over a medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes and stir to prevent burning.
- In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and salt
- When done, take off the heat, place in a bowl and combine with the vinegar mix.
- Set aside.
3. Crisp up the nori.
- Cut each of the sheets in quarters and then cut each of the quarters in half.
- Place in a hot pan greased coconut oil and crisp up over a medium heat for just 30-60 seconds.
- Season the seaweed crisps with salt.
4. Halve and slice or cube the avocado.
- Divide the cauliflower rice equally into 4 bowls.
- Add the marinated salmon, crisped up nori and sliced avocado or mix these all together before placing on the rice.
- Top with toppings of choice.
Here are even more ways to simply and easily add flair and pizazz to your salad bowls. Get creative and try something new and different, experiment with tastes and flavors. You will be surprised at the masterpieces you are able to create.