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Put Some Summer on Your Table with a Poke Bowl

This article was written in collaboration with Karine Mousseau, a dietitian and nutritionist.

In the wake of the popularity around the Buddha bowl and the power bowl comes their now-famous update: the poke bowl. This delicious burst of nutritious flavour comes to us all the way from Hawaii. With its plethora of flavours and colours, it’s a perfect summertime meal of lightly warmed rice, crunchy vegetables and raw fish or vegetable protein—all the right ingredients to make this the staple of the season.

If your days seem to race by and you're looking for a complete, healthy meal to get you through your workouts—or if you've simply run out of inspiration for lunch—the poke bowl just may be for you.

Drooling already? Read on!

One Bowl Means One Complete Meal

The basic components of a poke bowl are simple: on a bed of rice that is warm, not hot, load up vegetables of different colours (baby spinach and grated carrots, for instance), then add your choice of protein (sushi-grade raw fish or slices of grilled tofu), and top it off with a few drops of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. That’s it? Yep, it’s that simple!

This gives you the foundation of a complete meal that’s sure to keep you feeling full throughout the afternoon without being too heavy—and all in just a few minutes. It's the ideal lunch for on-the-go or at the office.

Even if you’re in a lunch rush, take the zen time to arrange and present the bright colours and quality ingredients just right. Fresh produce and artful plating will make all the difference for your appetite—and your digestion later on.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

For a little kitchen creativity and healthy fun, the poke bowl is the ideal canvas on which to let your imagination run rampant. 

For example, you may want to replace the rice with another grain (quinoa, wild rice, bulgar, millet), or add herbs and spices to the water as it boils. If sweet and salty is more your thing, combine fruits and vegetables in the same plate. Try lettuce with slices of avocado or a supremed orange, some pomegranate seeds and even mint for a refreshing, exotic taste.

In terms of protein, give that marinade you've been dying to try a whirl, or add tempeh, a soy bean-based vegetable protein.

Seduce Your Taste Buds with Seasoning

Seasoning makes all the difference when it comes to the taste and originality of your dish. From a classic vinaigrette to sweet and sour sauce, Buddha dressing to tamari, this is the time to find sauces that make your taste buds sing. Are you a citrus lover? Try an orange juice dressing. Feel like something a little fresher? Go for a raita or tzatziki-style cucumber yogurt.

To finish off in style, play with texture by adding grilled nuts or seeds (sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin). Whatever you do, don’t hold back: hunt through the cupboards for appropriate accompaniments!

Eating well isn’t all that complicated. A tasty poke bowl means picking the right ingredients to make you feel healthy and happy, keeping in mind that you should use at least two different vegetable portions and one portion of grains and protein respectively. Then enjoy a complete meal that will keep your body and your mind fueled up for all your summer adventures.

Karine Mousseau

After studying naturopathy, Karine completed a Bachelor's degree in nutrition at the University of Ottawa. Check out more of her work at karinemousseau.com, or by booking a private consultation in Bromont or Longueuil.