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HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SALAD BOWL FOR SUMMER ADVENTURES

Are you dreaming about your summer adventures? I wanna hear all about em! I’m so excited for the gifts of the Pacific Northwest this summer: days at the river, hikes in Mt Hood’s wilderness, endless berry picking, road trips east into Oregon’s high desert, road trips north to friends in Washington, and hopefully an excursion on Vancouver island!

Those of you who’ve read The Year in Food for a while know that cooking and eating healthy food while I travel is my jam. It feels good to take care of yourself while away from home, and I find it anchoring to nourish myself while traveling. I love flexible all-in-one meals that I can prep before I go, or prep on the road. That’s what this bowl is all about.

Tips for the Perfect Salad Bowl:

Protein: Pulses (the protein-packed group made up of beans, lentils, chickpeas and dry peas) are awesome because you can travel with them in their dry form, tuck them in a jar with water in the cooler to soak, or cook in advance and freeze. I love to pair beans with another protein, like tofu, tempeh, or salmon. Together you get more flavor and more protein!

Veggies: Choose sturdy veggies that can withstand some jostling, like fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, cubed zucchini, green beans, or bell peppers.

Greens: like the veggies, a sturdy green will serve you well here. Kale is my favorite; collard greens are also great. You could also go in a different direction with something like broccoli! I don’t recommend delicate leaf lettuces.

Grains: While I didn’t put any grains in this bowl, quinoa, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, or any number of other sturdy grains are a great addition.

Extras: Toasted nuts are the perfect finish! A hard cheese is great! Crunchy legume sprouts, like chickpeas, are another great touch.

Dressing: Make a simple vinaigrette: 1 minced garlic clove, generous pinch salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 5 tablespoons olive oil, black pepper, taste and adjust if needed. Store in a mason jar so you can shake it again before dressing. Your bowl will do best if the dressing is kept separate until you’re ready to feast!

PERFECT SUMMER SALAD BOWL
Serves 4

For the beans:

1 cup pinto beans
1 onion, halved
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf

For the tempeh:

8 ounces tempeh, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
14 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the bowl:

1 small clove garlic
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds (optional, but delicious)
5 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 ears corn
1 bunch kale, stems removed, and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, diced
Toasted sunflower seeds
Fresh cilantro, optional, for serving

Make ahead: Rinse and soak the beans in cold water overnight.

Drain the beans, rinse them again, and add to a large pot. Cover with water by about 2-3 inches. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and any other aromatics you might enjoy, such as thyme or parsley, carrot, celery. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until the beans are plump and cooked through, about 1 hour. Cool the beans in their cooking liquid. Salt to taste. Strain from the liquid and set aside.

While the beans cook, make the tempeh. In a small bowl, mix together two tablespoons olive oil with the paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, and sea salt. Toss with the tempeh to coat thoroughly.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tempeh and cook without stirring for about 3 minutes, so they can begin to brown nicely. Toss, and continue to cook until they’re browned on a couple sides, about 5-7 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Break each ear of corn in half. Stand lengthwise on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the ear. Set aside.

In a small mason jar, add the garlic, the lime juice and zest, the honey, and the coriander seeds (if using) and whisk with a fork. Add the olive oil in a stream, continuing to whisk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store covered, and shake vigorously before serving.

Divide the kale equally into each bowl. Add 1/4 of the corn to each, followed by 1/4 of the cherry tomatoes, 1/4 of the tempeh, 1/4 of the green onions, and 1/2 cup of the cooked pinto beans. Finish with 1 tablespoon of toasted sunflower seeds.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beansAll thoughts and content are my own. Partnerships like these sustain me as a small business! 

  • Diala - I can’t wait to try this bowl! What a great recipe!ReplyCancel

    • Kimberley - Diala, thank you! It’s awesome for travel.ReplyCancel

  • Christiann Koepke - This looks sooooo good!!!! Ps we must plan a picnic. emailing you! – CKReplyCancel

    • Kimberley - OMG YESSSSSS! I love this idea.ReplyCancel

  • Jo - This is perfect! We’re going on a road trip next month.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Kimberly, this is so gorgeous! Do you think it would be good for flying?ReplyCancel

    • Kimberley - Sara, great question. I think it would work great for flights, perhaps omitting the green onions and maybe the garlic in the dressing. :) Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • michelle @ hummingbird high - i love the tips you provide! and this bowl looks so healthy and fresh. xoReplyCancel

  • Walt - Your photos make this dish appear to leap off the page … and into my mouth! This meal looks delicious and since I’m the “chef” I’ll make this for my wife & I.ReplyCancel

  • Haley | Brewing Happiness - I’m sort of obsessed with this salad situation. I know what I’m making for my next adventure! xoReplyCancel

  • Elise Ho - Your extra touches look amazing. I look forward to preparing this.ReplyCancel

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