When it comes to trends in food and cooking, I’m an odd bird. I’m always interested in what’s “new” or “hot” in the food world, and I enjoy reading about those trends, but I’m rarely tempted to jump on the bandwagon myself. I think the trends get old pretty fast, and people go way overboard and trend the Hell out of something until I can’t even stand the mention of it anymore.
Case in point: last year’s biggest trenders–kale, quinoa and avocado toast. I couldn’t open a magazine or crack a cookbook without a bowlful of kale smacking me in the face, or being assaulted by another quinoa salad. And why does every Food Network star have a recipe for avocado freaking toast? I mean, it’s avocado and toast! Who needs a recipe? Apparently, anyone who watches the Food Network, because last week, Bobby Flay made three different kinds of avocado toast for brunch. Yeesh.
As for 2016, the year is just in its wee beginning, but I’m seeing some trends already. Pomegranates and sweet potatoes are huge, and the green juice obsession is still running strong (alas). But if I had to make my guess, I’d say that 2016 is going to be the Year of the Power Bowl.
What’s a power bowl, you ask? Good question.
While there are about a million variations and recipes out there, the components of a power bowl are pretty basic: whole grain, protein, vegetable, herb, and healthy fat. Layer all of those components in a bowl and viola! You have a vitamin packed, healthy meal.
Pick a cooked whole grain: quinoa, barley, bulgur, brown or black rice, farro, whole grain orzo or other pasta
Pick a serving of protein: beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, lean meat, seafood, hard-cooked egg
Load up on veggies: any, really and preferably a couple of serving’s worth
Sprinkle on an herb: basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, tarragon
Add a tiny smidge of a healthy fat: olive oil, soft cheese like feta/goat, a scoop of Greek yogurt or hummus, toasted nuts or seeds, chunks of avocado
Boom! Power bowl.
I’m seeing them everywhere, and if I admit it, I think it’s a pretty easy way to plan a meal. Just rotate those basic components in some form and you’re good to go.
This month’s issue of Cooking Light took the concept of a power bowl and turned it into something I hadn’t seen before (but I’m sure I’ll see more of before the year is through)–the power bowl, breakfast edition. When I think “power bowl,” I usually think of a lunch you pack from home or a quick dinner. I hadn’t considered it for breakfast, really. Most people are too rushed in the morning to consider something this complicated for breakfast, I think, but I guess if you’ve got the time, why not?
I was skimming the article when all of the sudden, a little box in the corner caught my eye. It read: Make a Breakfast Salad.
Folks, I am a vanguard and a genius!!! Because didn’t I, on this very blog, share a recipe for this Freakshow Breakfast Salad five years ago? Yes, I did. And while I shared the recipe mainly as an illustration of how completely weirdo I am about breakfast, maybe I’m not such a freakazoid after all! In fact, I’m a trendsetter, y’all. Haha!
But enough bragging.
One of the salad breakfasts featured in the Cooking Light caught my eye because a) it sounded weird and b) it had things in it I truly love–avocado, salty pig product (proscuitto) and grapefruit. I do love those things but let me tell you, I’d never considered combining them together. Since it’s no secret that I love trying the weird, I added the recipe to my meal plan for the week and headed out to the grocery store.
I cheated a little. I had this salad for lunch first. I wasn’t quite sure it was going to fly for breakfast, frankly, so I thought I’d road test it at lunch. My husband walked by as I was assembling this salad and said, “Hey, that looks like a yummy, healthy salad. Is that for me?”
“No,” I said, eyeing my salad jealously.
“Oh. Umm. Can you make one for me?”
“Okay,” I sighed. Dang, I hate sharing my salty pig product. But I love the man, so what could I do?
“You hate grapefruit, though,” I said.
“Oh yeah. There’s that. Leave out the grapefruit part, please.”
I did leave the grapefruit out of his, and I made a few little modifications to the original recipe–I thought more salty pork product was necessary and I also thought the original recipe needed a little something extra to give it oomph, like creamy/salty cheese or toasted nuts. Or both.
We both munched our salads contentedly and felt quite healthy and virtuous. I have yet to try it for breakfast–school just started again for the Minxes and mornings are just too frantic for breakfast salad, but I’ll keep you posted. This weirdo salad lover is definitely trying it for breakfast.
Grapefruit, Avocado and Prosciutto Breakfast Salad
slightly adapted from Cooking Light magazine
1 small ruby red grapefruit, preferably from Texas
3/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
dash of salt and pepper
1 cup baby arugula or microgreens
1/3 ripe peeled avocado, thinly sliced
2 thin slices prosciutto
1 tablespoon toasted nuts (I like walnuts, especially)
optional: 1 tablespoon goat, feta or bleu cheese
Peel grapefruit and cut along the membranes into thin slices (do this over a bowl so you catch all of the juices). Squeeze the membranes to extract extra juice. Set sections aside.
Add oil, salt and pepper to juice in the bowl and whisk.
Add greens to the dressing and toss. Top salad with grapefruit, avocado slices, prosciutto and nuts/cheese.