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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dinner 1 2 3 - Smoked Salmon Avocado Rice Bowl In Minutes

Is there such a thing as a case of the Tuesdays? 'Cause if so, I got one. I don't know about you but today was kinda blah. Mercury's in retrograde (yes, I just love Astrology) and everyone seems to be coming down with the old change-of-seasons cold. I'm not complaining (or am I?), but there just seems to be a collective sense of fatigue in the air. After work, as I plopped onto my couch, cooking dinner was dead last on my list. Thankfully, it didn't take me long to remember that today's meal plan involved a recipe that's as easy and fast as it gets
Smoked Salmon Avocado & Scallion Brown Rice Bowl, Photo: NK
Better yet, our Smoked Salmon Avocado and Scallion Brown Rice Bowl is packed with Super Foods and healthy nutrients - all in one low-cal package. Anything less and I'd have been on that phone for takeout in a jiffy. 

Our quick dinner is adapted from a wonderful recipe I spotted on Food & Wine's Blog as part of a series called The Food & Wine Diet. Like, hello! Sounds like my kinda dieting! Anyways, this clever spot showcases healthy recipes that are "all created to pair with wine (a 5-ounce glass has anywhere from 110-150 calories) - all for 600 calories or fewer." Should you choose to add the suggested wine pairing to this dish, author Kristin Donnelly recommends Riesling

We're skipping the wine tonight, but you certainly don't have to! Without a glass of the good stuff, this recipe probably comes in somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 calories and 17 grams of fat per serving. It also happens to be very delicious. 

Our changes to the original recipe were made both to suit our tastes and use some of the ingredients in our fridge. I subbed out cucumbers for zippier scallions and shallots. Alliums, or vegetables in the garlic and onion family, not only offer major health properties, but they definitely add the interest in this Asian-inspired rice bowl. When used raw, they are at their most potent. By the way, I love cucumbers so I am sure they would be a very welcome addition that you could definitely add back in. Now for the protein - smoked salmon is easy to buy in advance and have on hand in the fridge. A three-ounce package is the perfect amount for this dinner for two. Finally, because I always aim for a bit of extra flavor, we added a very modest splash of low-sodium soy sauce along with a few dots of sriracha for spice. We skipped the nori because it's not in our every day pantry. Cool Avocados round out the flavors of this surprisingly satisfying dish. 

To make this recipe in under 10 minutes, you'll either have to have your preferred grain or brown rice ready-cooked, or just take our recommendation and use our favorite, Uncle Ben's Ready Rice. It cooks in 90 seconds in the microwave and comes in two-serving portions. The stuff is a lifesaver. I hope you enjoy this tasty and fast recipe, as well as all the extra time it will give you to relax and recharge.

Smoked Salmon Avocado and Scallion Brown Rice Bowl
Adapted from Food & Wine/Kristen Donnelly
Wine Pairing: A dry Riesling
Serves 2 

Ingredients: 
1 Cup (8 Oz.) Cooked Brown Rice or other healthy grain, warm (Uncle Ben's Ready Rice)
Salt 
1/4 teaspoon sugar
4 Scallions, mostly green parts and a little white, thinly sliced
1/2 a small Shallot, sliced very thinly
1 Hass Avocado, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1/2 a small Cucumber, sliced(optional)
Juice of half a Lemon
One 3-ounce package of Smoked Salmon (we used Verlasso brand), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
Black Sesame Seeds, for serving
Sriracha, optional

Method:
1. Pre-cook your rice or grains, or place your Ready Rice in the microwave (follow package directions). You can heat your Ready Rice up just after you've finished chopping all the other ingredients.

2. In a small bowl, combine Scallions and Shallots (and Cucumber if using) with the Sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of Salt. Toss. 

3. In another small bowl, mix the Avocado with the Lemon Juice and stir gently.

4. Scoop the Rice into two serving bowls. Drizzle each with a 1/2 teaspoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce and mix.

5. Top each rice bowl with Avocado, the the Scallion and Shallot mixture, and finally with the Smoked Salmon Strips. Give it a gentle stir and dot with optional Sriracha and sprinkle with Black Sesame Seeds. Serve and enjoy! 

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