Roasted Golden Beet Poke Bowl with Coconut Quinoa

While it may seem like a new trend, this simple Hawaiian dish has been around for centuries! I have given this traditional bowl a bit of a vegetarian make over. Even though it may be a far cry from Hawaii’s classics, roasted golden and red beets marinated in an asian vinaigrette are the perfect stand in for raw tuna or salmon. It boasts all of the amazing flavours of a perfect sushi bite, sweet coconut quinoa topped with pickled ginger, avocado, quick pickled onions, radish slices, toasted nori strips, drizzled in a sesame soy dressing and then topped with black sesame gomashio.  Gomashio is a Japanese condiment made from toasted ground sesame seeds and sea salt.

This may seem like a long list of steps however; you can make the gomashio and pickle the onions in advance (at least 2 hours). The gomashio is great to have on hand to sprinkle on salads, cooked grains or even popcorn! Left over pickled onions are also great in salads or on avocado toast.



The Pickled Onions:

  • 11/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pink himalayan salt
  • 1 medium sized red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients in a 2 cup mason jar. Press the onions down to submerge them in the pickling liquid. Allow to marinate for 2 hours or more.



Ingredients for the bowl:

serves 4

  • one recipe of  quick pickled onions
  • 2 avocados (ripe but firm enough to cut into cubes)
  • pickled ginger (found in the asian section of your supermarket)
  • black sesame gomashio (recipe follows)
  • 1 sheet of nori (The kind of sea week used to roll sushi)
  • a mixture of red and golden beets, peeled and cubed into 1/2 in. pieces to make a total of 3 cups
  • 3 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • one recipe of soy sesame dressing (recipe follows)
  • 1 recipe of coconut quinoa (recipe follows)

To prepare the beets:

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Peel and cube beets into 1/2 in. pieces. Toss with the 3 tbsp. of avocado oil and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Roast for about 30 min. or until the beets are tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Set aside while you prepare the sesame soy dressing.




The Sesame Soy Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup of mirin (Japanese rice wine vinegar, available in the asian section of your grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • a pinch of red chili flakes

Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss 1/2 cup of the dressing with the roasted beets and allow to marinate while the quinoa cooks. Reserve the rest of the dressing to drizzle more on top of the finished dish.



The Coconut Quinoa:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 11/2 cups of water
  • 1 Tbsp. of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. himalayan pink salt

Combine all of the ingredients in medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 min. or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. I find that with the addition of coconut milk the quinoa takes a little longer to cook. Turn off the heat and allow to rest with the lid on for about 15 min. before fluffing with a fork. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Black Sesame Gomashio:

  • 2 cups of black or brown sesame seeds (hulls on)
  • 3 Tbsp. himalayan pink salt

In a dry skillet, roast the sesame seeds until they pop. Traditionally gomashio is made in a Japanese style pestle and mortar called a suribachi bowl but you can use a food processor or a pestle and mortar to crush the seeds along with the salt. Grind or process the  toasted seeds and salt until 95% crushed. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.





The Nori Strips:

Remove one sheet of nori from the package. Set one of your small burners on the stove on high. Using tongs, warm the nori over the burner until it begins to lighten in color. It will become crisper in texture as well. Cut into thin strips. Set aside to garnish.





The Final Assembly:

Divide the cooked coconut quinoa evenly amongst 4 bowls. Place 1 cup of arugula slightly off to the side of the quinoa in all four bowls. Top the quinoa with the marninated beets making sure to scoop a generous amount of the marinade into the bowls as well. Artfully arrange pickled ginger slices, pickled onions, avocado cubes, toasted nori strips, radish slices, chopped fresh cilantro and gomashio on top. Before eating toss the ingredients together with a fork so that you get a little bit of all of these amazing flavours in each bite!  Extra Sesame Soy dressing can be served on the side!




Tuscan Bean and Kale Soup with Crispy Quinoa and Kaniwa

One of my son’s referred to this soup as “A hug in a bowl”!  It must have something to do with the copious amount of really great Italian olive oil and the love that goes into making a soup stock from scratch! This is my version of a hearty soup that I had on a recent trip to Tuscany. Feel free to mix up the beans. In Italy they use a lot of pinto beans however I have made it with navy beans and chickpeas with equally delicious results.  Kaniwa is a cousin to quinoa and is more nutrient-dense. It has a grittier texture than quinoa and I find it more palatable to combine the two.  I have steamed the two together to create a crunchy topping that replaces croutons in the traditional version of this soup.



The Stock: (You can substitute the home made stock for 8 cups of store bought vegetarian broth)


  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • a hand full of parsley stalks
  • 2 bay leaves

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot. Simmer for about an hour. Set aside.


The Soup:

makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups of potatoes, cubed (no need to peel if you are using organic potatoes)
  • 2 heads of tuscan kale (this is the one that has a scaly appearance) Remove ribs and chop.
  • 1 398 ml. can of pinto beans, chickpeas or navy beans
  • 2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. pink himalayan salt
  • lots of fresh cracked pepper

In a large pot heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the minced garlic, chopped carrot,  and the full sprigs of rosemary.



Stir to coat the vegetables with the olive oil. Add the potatoes.



Add 8 cups of your prepared broth to the pot along with the additional 2 tbsp. of olive oil.  Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender. Add 2 tsp. of salt or more to taste. Keep in mind that if you are using a store bought stock that it might be salted. You may need to reduce the amount of salt added.  Add the chopped kale and the beans. Simmer until the kale is tender.






Season with lots of fresh cracked pepper. Remove from the heat while you prepare the Quinoa Kaniwa crumble.


The Quinoa Kaniwa Crisp:

  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of kaniwa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 heaping tbsp. of nutritional yeast ( a cheesy tasting flaked yeast that contains loads of protein and b vitamins)



In a medium sized pot combine quinoa and kaniwa with 1 3/4 cups of water and 1 tsp. of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 min. or until all of the water has been absorbed. Allow it to sit covered for an additional 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.




Scoop the cooked quinoa and kaniwa onto a large cookie sheet. Toss with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and the 3 heaping tbsp. of nutritional yeast. With your hands mix well to combine. Place in the 350 degree oven for about 30 min. stirring several times throughout to make sure that it is evenly crisped.

To Serve:

Fill bowls with soup and top with a few tbsp. of Quinoa Kaniwa Crisp. Left over crisp can be stored in an air tight container. It is also delicious sprinkled on salads for texture and added nutrition.


Quinoa Pomegranate Salad with Roasted Pecans

This protein rich salad jewelled with pomegranate seeds is perfect with a bowl of soup or as an accompaniment to a holiday meal.  This salad only takes half an hour to prepare once you learn the trick of whacking a cut open pomegranate with a wooden spoon to remove the arils!





serves 4-6

  • 11/2 cups of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp. of pink himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • arils from one or two pomegranates
  • 3/4 cup of roasted pecans, chopped coarsly *
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • lots of fresh cracked pepper


* To roast the pecans bake at 350 for 6-8 min. on a cookie sheet.

Combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and the 2 tsp. of salt in a small saucepan. Cooking the quinoa with the salt ensures that it is distributed evenly. Cover, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 min. Allow to sit for 10 min. before fluffing with a fork. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

The dressing:

Whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl. Toss the dressing with the warm quinoa in a medium sized bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To prep the pomegranate:

Score the outer skin of the pomegranate in 1/2 with a knife.



Pry it apart with your fingers and then gently pry each half apart slightly to loosen the arils.




Holding the pomegranate half over a bowl, whack the outside of it with wooden spoon. The arils will all pop out into the bowl!




Remove any little bits of the yellow membrane that may have fallen into the bowl as well.




Add the arils, roasted pecans, green onion, and parsley to the dressed, cooled quinoa.




Mix well and top with plenty of fresh cracked pepper!



OMB (Oh My Buddah) bowl!


This is my favourite way to use up whatever veggies I have on hand.  A combo of cooked and raw vegetables and greens, spicy Korean tofu, sauerkraut, rice or quinoa, topped with a sweet chilli almond butter sauce! I topped brown rice with sautéed onions and  a whole head of chard, chopped raw carrots, raw red cabbage, avocado, and cilantro; however you can use any combination of veggies. Roasted yams, steamed broccoli or cauliflower would be delicious as well.  Rice noodles are a nice change from rice. I make up a big batch of the chilli sauce for the tofu so that is readily available. It is pretty much delicious on everything!

serves 4

  • 2 cups of cooked brown organic rice or quinoa
  • 1 recipe of korean tofu (follows)
  • 1 recipe of sweet chilli almond sauce (follows)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced, sautéed with 1 head of chopped red chard and a pinch of salt.
  • 3 medium sized carrots, chopped or grated
  • 1 ripe but firm avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of raw sauerkraut
  • cilantro, chopped to garnish


Begin by cooking the rice or quinoa while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

The Korean Tofu:

You can buy this paste in any Asian grocery store but if you can’t find it, use Sriracha.


  • 3 Tbsp. of tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin (japanese rice wine similar to Sake but lower in alcohol)
  • 2 Tbsp. of gochujang paste or sriracha
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 block of organic extra-firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in a covered container in the fridge. Cut the tofu into one cm. cubes. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a fry pan. Add the tofu and one recipe of the korean hot sauce. Saute until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the tofu is lightly browned.

Set aside while you prepare the almond butter sauce.






Sweet Chilli Almond Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup of almond butter
  • 11/2 cups of water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup of tamari
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup


Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until fully combined. Simmer stirring often for an another 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add more water if necessary if it thickens too much. It should be thick but pourable!  Remove from the heat. Re-heat just before serving.



To assemble:

Divide cooked rice or quinoa amongst 4 bowls. Top with sautéed onion and chard, raw carrots, sliced red cabbage, prepared tofu, sauerkraut, and avocado.

Top with a generous serving of sweet chilli almond sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.



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