So far this year I have stuck to my goal (that’s goal, not resolution) of eating healthier food. Yay for me! But it hasn’t always been easy. The first two weeks of my new fancy meal plan saw me subconsciously reach for sugary treats, whether it was a late night chocolate craving or even just a teaspoon of sugar to go in my cup of tea…the struggle was real. But I managed to resist thanks to some well-planned snacking options and a steel resolve.
Now into my sixth week, the plan is well and truly becoming routine and made me acutely conscious of the types and amount of food I eat day to day. That’s not to say that there isn’t still a fancy dinner out with friends or an ice cream on a hot balmy night. The key is balance – and I suppose it always has been, but sometimes it takes a considerable shift to actually change the way you behave (or eat, in my case). Now maintaining it is key and I am fortunate enough to have a boyfriend who is happy to go along for the ride – he eats what I am eating now. It’s not just that it’s easier to make one meal, but it’s a positive change for him too.
While my weeks are meal plan scheduled, weekends are up to me. So last weekend was sushi inspired Buddha bowls. The internet supplied meaning for the term is a bowl packed so full that it has a rounded “belly” appearance on the top, much like the belly of a Buddha. The combinations are pretty much endless, you can omit rice and opt for roast vegetables or stick with the rice and add some grilled chicken and salads – it’s really up to you, there’s certainly no right or wrong.
But I did love this bowl. I even used a trick my friend Sarah (aka my fancy Dietitian friend) taught me, mixing miso paste into brown rice once cooked to create a flavour packed option with additional health benefits. Bonus, right?!
Perfect for an at home dinner date – go on, you deserve it. Serves 2.
1 cup brown rice
1 – 2 Tbsp red or white miso paste
1 radish, finely sliced
2 spring onions, sliced finely on the diagonal
1 cup edamame beans, beans removed from pods
1/2 – 1 cup wakame salad, buy a small pot form your local Japanese restaurant or your fishmonger may also stock it
1/4 continental cucumber, cut length ways, de-seeded and finely sliced
1/2 avocado, finely sliced
10 slices of sashimi grade salmon (or substitute for fresh tuna if you prefer)
1 tsp black and white sesame seeds
Soy sauce, to serve
Cucumber pickling liquid
3 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
Pinch of salt
- Into a small pot place brown rice and 2 cups of cold water, bring to boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid and turn the heat to low, cook for roughly 20 minutes or until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed, then turn off the heat and leave to rest for 8 minutes – keeping the LID ON so that the rice steams. Then stir through 1 – 2 tablespoons of miso paste – the more miso, the stronger the flavour so mix to your liking
- While rice is cooking quickly pickle your cucumbers in the pickling mix and leave to do their thing. When ready to serve, drain your cucumbers from pickling liquid
- To assemble, halve rice between two bowls, then portion radish, edamame beans, pickled cucumber slices, wakame salad, avocado (sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds), pickled ginger (to you liking) and salmon slices, then sprinkle over spring onion
- Serve with a small bowl of soy sauce to dip salmon into