Sunday, September 11, 2016

Quinoa Bowl with Roast Pork Belly, Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash

For quite a while, poké bowls are the rage over here. If you may ask, so just what is a poké bowl and why is it so popular over here? Apparently, poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. It is also a Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut". A poké bowl is where you add cubed raw fish that is seasoned and added with lots of colourful greens and grains to make a wholesome meal. It is something like this just that this is unagi instead of sashimi but still very yums :) You get the idea.

I'm trying to recreate a poké bowl but my style or rather, Curtis Stone's style. When I saw his recipe, that idea hit me and I thought why not?
This recipe is such that you can add a base dish which in this case would be quinoa and a few toppings according to your personal preferences so the sky is the limit. Do it your way I would say :)
Let's begin! My modifications or amendments are in blue.
1 tsp oil
2/3 cup rinsed red quinoa I used 1/2 cup quinoa
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup water
  1. Wash your quinoa to rinse/clean the natural coating of quinoa. Rinsing with water is fine. Drain your quinoa and let it drip dry while you get ready to cook it.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup water and salt and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  • It is 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water which means 1/2 cup to 1 cup or 1 cup to 2 cups.
  • For fluffier quinoa, I usually add even more water when the liquid is absorbed and I will let it slowly absorb the additional water till I think it is well fluffed for me. You can omit it if you are ok with the texture.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 packet brussel sprouts
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Separate Brussels sprouts into leaves (you'll have about 2 cups). I was lazy so I just halved it.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss them with olive oil and kosher salt.
  4. Scatter on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until crisped, about 10 minutes.
Roasted Butternut Squash

1 small butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 180°c. 
  2. In a medium bowl, toss butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" cubes, with olive oil, agave nectar and salt. 
  3. Divide squash between 2 large rimmed  greased baking sheets. 
  4. Roast, turning squash a few times to brown evenly, until tender and caramelized, about 45 minutes.
Spiced-rubbed Pork Tenderloin

1.5 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garlic powder or chopped garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180°c. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix spices together. 
  3. On a baking sheet, coat pork tenderloins with ½tbsp olive oil each and the spice mixture. 
  4. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. 
  5. Cook pork, turning periodically, until browned but still rare, about 6 minutes. 
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until medium-rare, about 10 minutes. 
  7. Set aside to rest 5 minutes. Slice pork against grain into ¼"-thick slices.

Tips: This is a good time to use leftover meat. I used my frozen leftover pork belly made the other day. I just panfried it to make the skin crispy.

Now is the best part. Of course, there must be sauce to make everything blend well together.

Apple cider vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar
3 tbsp finely chopped shallots (You can use big red onions, just chop it finely)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, shallots, salt and black pepper.
To Serve:

In a large bowl, toss cooked quinoa, 2 ounces (about 4 cups) arugula and ½ cup apple cider vinaigrette.


Divide among the bowls and top with roasted squash and Brussels sprouts. 

Crumble 4 ounces queso fresco over bowls and sprinkle with 3 Tbsp. raw shelled toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) as desired. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately with spice-rubbed pork tenderloin roast pork belly.

There you have it. It was such a big bowl so both of us shared it. We really liked it. It was a tad sinful with the pork belly so you can add any healthy protein that you like. Do try it. It is not too difficult but definitely worth the time to prep.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs - Finishing Touches.

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