Butternut Squash Poke Bowl
I’m starting my New Year health kick somewhat later than the norm, seeing as its now late February. But I’ve decided scarfing down pizza and wine for every meal and wearing only drawstring trousers must stop, so I’m ushering vegetables and controlled carbs back into my life – hurrah!
It’s been a while since I attempted to eat healthily, in fact since before my wedding 18 months ago (there’s nothing like appearing in hundreds of photos wearing an extremely expensive dress to make going on a diet seem like a good option).
Cooking school and working in food hasn’t exactly helped either, and the mantra of just-add-more-butter has definitely infiltrated my everyday cooking. Combined with wanting to be a little more guns of steel and a little less muffiny of top, I’m also trying to eat less meat in my day to day life, in my own personal crusade against climate change and the world imploding.
So you can have any or all of those reasons for making this, or just because it’s a delicious mix of crunchy vegetables, sweet roasted squash and sharp, punchy dressing, perfect for office lunches (you can MEAL PREP it) or sunny days when you want to pack in lots of good flavours, that are good for you too.
Feel free to mix up the salad veg too, you could also use radishes, green cabbage, finely shredded cos or whatever you fancy. You just want lots of crunch and different flavours.
Cooking time: 30 minutes. Hands on time: 30 minutes
· 500g butternut squash
· Drizzle rapeseed oil
· 120g brown rice
· 2 spring onions
· 1 baby or ½ normal cucumber
· 1 medium carrot
· 1/4 small red cabbage or wedge of a larger cabbage, core removed
· 1 ripe avocado
· Black sesame seeds to garnish
· 2cm square piece of ginger, peeled and grated
· 1 small clove garlic, grated
· 1.5 tbsp white wine/rice vinegar
· 1.5 tbsp mirin
· 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
· Juice of 1 lime or lemon
· Chilli flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220C, and put some salted water on to boil
Peel the squash, scoop out seeds and cut into roughly equal bite size pieces. Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast in oven for 30 mins or until tender
Cook the brown rice in the boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Once its tender, drain the rice and run it under cold water before returning to the pan or a bowl with a few drops of sesame oil
Slice the spring onions finely and set aside
Peel the carrot, then slice the carrot and the cucumber into ribbons using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler
Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, finely shred the red cabbage
Cut the avocado into cubes or slices
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. Add a pinch sugar to taste if you like
Add all the prepared poke bowl ingredients to the bowl and drizzle with the dressing, spring onions and sesame seeds, then stir to combine – you can mix it all together before serving of course, but I think it looks nice with the ingredients in separate blocks