Sweet and smoky blackened salmon pairs beautifully with protein-charged quinoa and earthy kale. Topped with zippy avocado sauce, these nutrient-packed bowls deserve a regular spot in your weekday meal rotation. Healthy fats, plant-powered protein, fiber, and a slew of vitamins and minerals; I think we’ve reached the ultimate state of bowl bliss.
And you can’t beat the fact that this meal comes together in just 25 minutes. Could meal prep be any easier?! Now we really have no excuses to settle for sad desk lunches (like the ones I resorted to at the end of last week). Half a bag of Purely Elizabeth granola with a side of carrots is not a well-rounded meal, folks. Now let’s talk about this heavenly blackened salmon. The dry rub caramelizes into a tasty browned crust while the smoked paprika emphasizes the grilled flavor of the fish. Put together a big batch of the spice mixture and keep it in an airtight container; use it to flavor meat, fish, or tofu throughout the week. #weeknighthero
I’ve basically been dreaming about salmon season starting and we are getting SO close. Most varieties are harvested in early spring (mid-May) and run until late fall. Sockeye and King Salmon are usually the first to start popping up, so keep an eye out at your local grocery store or fish monger. Oh and the zippy avocado sauce? That should probably be made in bulk as well. Just 5 simple ingredients and WORLDS of flavor. Not to the mention the luxuriously creamy texture that can bring just about any salad or grain bowl to life. I quite literally want to slather my life in it. It’s also completely plant-based and made of all the green things (my heart).
Add the sauce in advance or right before eating. The components of the bowl are sturdy enough that they won’t go soggy or get weighed down if you’re prepping lunch a day in advance. Oh the beauty of kale.An explosion of flavors with ingredients that will do the body good. Treat your taste buds to the glories of these nutritious, delicious bowls this week!
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. coconut sugar (sub for brown sugar)
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 lb. wild-caught salmon, sliced into 3 filets
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
- Optional topping: sliced avocado, basil
- **Avocado Sauce**
- ½ ripe avocado
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup each basil and cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions in vegetable broth or water.
- Place kale in a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa to kale and toss to combine. Kale will soften from heat of quinoa. Set aside.
- Combine coconut sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and lime zest in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Rub spice mixture evenly on salmon.
- Heat oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add salmon, skin side-down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip salmon over and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Place avocado sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding extra water in 1 tbsp. increments if needed, until desired consistency is achieved.
- Divide kale and quinoa mixture among 3 plates or shallow bowls. Top evenly with tomatoes and sunflower seeds. Add 1 salmon filet to each bowl. Drizzle avocado sauce evenly overtop.