photos by Ashleigh Amoroso
I’ve finally gotten Adam on the grain bowl train, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Used to be that my announcement that we were having a grain bowl for dinner (again) was met with an eye roll, but now I get more of an “okay, cool” response from him, so I’ve been making them a lot. Because in reality, grain bowls don’t have to be macrobiotic or overly health food-ish; I look at them as a blank canvas for creativity where I can incorporate protein, healthy fats, leafy greens, crunchy bites, and creamy drizzles, and I’ve got to say that this Spring Salmon and Veggie Grain Bowl I’ve been whipping up lately is one of the prettiest. Read on, and I’d love to hear in the comments about your favorite grain bowl combos lately!
I’ve been trying to incorporate more healthy fats in my diet lately — not only do they promote glowing skin and healthy hair, I’ve also noticed that some good fat really helps me stay full between meals so I’m not tempted to snack. These bowls have a double whammy of salmon and avocado for ultimate satiety.
I blended up this turmeric dressing for the shoot at our studio, and everyone went crazy of how different and delicious it is. The ginger and turmeric give it an exotic flavor, and that bright yellow shade is pure liquid sunshine. Make LOTS of this stuff for drizzling on grain bowls, salads, and as a dip for raw veggies.
Of course, you can totally mix up the ingredients here using my perfect grain bowl formula: just include a protein (could be a vegetarian source like tofu or beans or seeds), a healthy fat, a grain like quinoa, farro, or rice, and then a mix of cooked and raw veggies. Something pickled is always a nice addition! The crunchy topping could be crackers, nuts, or seeds, and then your drizzle could be dressing or yogurt or even be as simple as a little olive oil.
And your friends will not be mad if you invite them over for a grain bowl dinner party any night of the week. You could even make it a potluck where each person brings one component of the bowls. Let people build their own and get crazy with their topping combos!
By the way, the gorgeous colors and textures of grain bowls make them kinda perfect for posting in your feed, so don’t forget to snap a pic and get that ‘gram before you down the entire bowl. #bowllife
- 8-ounce piece salmon fillet, skin on
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 carrots
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, either homemade or picked up from the salad bar
- 1 cups arugula, baby spinach, or baby kale
- 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts
- 1 avocado
- seeded crackers, like Mary's Gone Crackers
for the turmeric-citrus vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric OR 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons grainy seeded mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Make the vinaigrette by combining everything in a high-powered blender and blending until smooth.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then place on an oiled grill or grill pan with skinless side down first. When grill marks appear on the first side after about 4 minutes, flip and grill a few more minutes. It should take about 10 minutes total, though you can remove it earlier if you like your salmon medium-rare. Remove from grill, then remove skin from salmon, and let rest.
- Use a vegetable peeler to create long ribbons from the carrots. Put into a bowl filled with ice water - this "shocks" the carrots and makes them crunchy and so pretty - while you prep the rest of the bowl.
- In two serving bowls, place a scoop of quinoa, a small handful of arugula, and the sprouts. Halve avocado, remove pit and scoop out one half of flesh onto each bowl. Drain carrots and add to bowls, then top with salmon.
- Use your hands to crush the seeded crackers into the bowl, then drizzle with turmeric vinaigrette and eat!