Vegan Poke Bowl

Poke bowl shops are becoming as easy to find as a Starbucks in Seattle. There’s one on every corner!

This Hawaiian native dish has made its way over to the mainland creating a massive buzz with decorative drool worthy bowls flooding our Instagram and Pinterest.

A quick and easy, refreshing, but filling- salad that is one of the healthier options for takeout,  has become the new faddish of health conscious individuals and their friends.

If you’re new to the Poke bowl craze, it’s a combination of a hangry millennial girl’s intentions for lunch versus what she actually ate. Aiming to keep it light like a salad, but always ends up eating her boyfriends Japanese takeout.

Mainly a grain base consisting of either rice, quinoa, or soba noodles, topped with raw veggies like carrot, cucumber, radish and sprouts with a side of sashimi and dressing.

Now, being plant-based, I never really took hold of the craze but I always loved the convenience of having a hearty salad easily available for days when you’re on the go. It wasn’t until my most recent trip to LA while having lunch at Flower Child that gave me the brilliant idea of what to substitute for the sashimi.

 

Beets!

 

When cooked just right and marinated in the right sauces, it makes a damn decent substitute for sashimi. And no lives lost! (Sorry, carnivores, I had to).

So, let’s talk about beets!

 

 

Beet juice has been in the media the past few years for its ability to improve endurance among athletes. The nitric oxide in beets has been proven to increase blood flow by feeding the working muscles more oxygen, which means test subjects were able to work out longer, harder and faster with enhanced recovery!

It has also been shown to decrease blood pressure, has anti-cancer properties, high in antioxidants, liver cleansing is anti-inflammatory, Not convinced yet?! Beets contain both soluble and insoluble fiber promoting good digestion, regular bowel movements, and weight loss. They also have high amounts of magnesium which supports recovery and relaxing those hard-working muscles so you can feel confident about booking tomorrow’s spin class.

 

Back to the bowl

 

There are many ways and ingredients you can add to mix up your bowls and keep it interesting but there are a few items I always like to include due to their high ranking nutrient dense profile.

 

Kale

Although most traditional poke bowls have a grain as a base (we’re using beets instead of fish. We passed traditional along time ago), I’ve used massaged kale to keep it on the lighter side. Kale- also known as one of the world’s most nutrient dense food. Need I say more?

However, if choosing to enjoy this bowl on a workout day, I would definitely recommend adding a scoop of quinoa, rice or your favorite gluten-free grain in there to support replenishing your muscles. Adding a little extra  carbs here on an active day will also help you feel satiated and not going back for more (although this dish is so good, it’s hard not to).

 

Sprouts

Supports good digestion, high in protein, improves vision, boosts skin health and immune system, packed with nutrients and supports weight loss….uh, yeah, this won’t be the only dish we add sprouts to.

 

Sesame Seeds

A great source of calcium! Who would have thunk in just ¼ cup these tiny seeds could offer more calcium than a cup of cow’s milk? And it doesn’t stop there, sesame seeds could be the beauty food you didn’t know about! High in zinc, magnesium, fiber and protein, sesame seeds supporting glowing skin, stronger hair and nails, and optimal digestion.

Sesame seeds can be found in 4 different colors, white, black, yellow and red. I choose to mostly use black as they tend to be the most nutrient dense.

 

Here a few other favorite ways to mix up your Beet Poke Bowl

Base:

Black forbidden rice

Quinoa

Sauteed cabbage

Seaweed Salad

Kelp Noodles

Soba Noodles

Sides:

Edamame

Cucumber

Carrot

Bell Pepper

Radish

Lettuce

Avocado

Tofu

Tempeh

Toppings:

Hemp seeds

Mango

Green Onion

Kimchi

Pickled ginger

Pumpkin seeds

Chili Flakes

Lime

I also love Little Creek’s Asian Apricot dressing on this bowl! 

 

Beet Poke Bowl

Serves 2

Beet Poke:

Make evening before if time allows. The longer they marinade the better.

Ingredients:

3 small/medium beets chopped into 1’ cubes

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 tsp grated ginger

2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Amino

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Juice from 1 lime

½ bunch of green onions chopped

½- 1 tsp of chili paste if you like it spicy!

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (toast your sesame seeds by frying in a pan dry for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Instructions:

Chop beets into 1’ cubes

Boil beets until soft (about 15 minutes)

Drain and rinse.

Place beets in the marinade and allow to sit while preparing other bowl ingredients.

Bowl Ingredients:

3 ½ cups of kale massaged

1 carrot grated

¼ cucumber sliced

½ cup sprouts

½ cup of toasted chickpeas toasted (to toast, baked in lightly toss in olive oil and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown)

1 avocado sliced

Instructions:

Assemble the bowl by placing massaged kale in first. Divide remaining ingredients between the 2 bowls.  Once assembled, add in poke along with the marinade. Top with additional lime juice and or sesame seeds. Enjoy!