Rainbowl Salmon Grain Bowl
We’re on a bit of a happy, healthy high after spending this past weekend cruising through ExpoWest, aka the biggest trade show for natural food and drink on the West Coast (maybe the U.S. but we’re a little wiped out to research that claim right now). And while “natural” at Expo West can have different meanings, the general vibe is that all the products there, from herbal supplements to gluten-free frozen pizza, support our health in some way.

We are definitely down with healthy lifestyles, and one of the easiest ways to maintain that without having to think about it too much is from your own kitchen: just eat all the colors of rainbow every day. We’re not talking about skittles and starburst here (though we will maintain that sometimes, a pink starburst or two is necessary for mental health). We’re talking about fruits, vegetables, and “colorful” sources of protein and other vital nutrients to nourish your body.

Grain bowls are perfect for filling up on the rainbow because they’re based on whole grains (or even greens if you’re avoiding grains) and are filled with any and all types of vegetables, whether fresh, pickled, fermented, stir fried, or roasted. Our RainBowls (get it?! grain bowl – grainbowl – rainbowl) are grain bowls that have every color of the Roy G Biv rainbow, including green in the rice in the form of anti-oxidant rich kale and parsley Green Goddess pesto, and orange and yellow in the form of pan-roasted salmon and eggs, both rich in omega-3s (good fat) and proteins. This is the kind of recipe you either make at the beginning of the week and eat yourself all week (hello meal planning and prep!) or make for one meal to share with friends.

Speaking of sharing with friends… Use #ShareTheExceptional to tag your TasteSpotting submissions, instagrams, twitter pics, and facebook photos so we can peep your exceptional culinary moments and broadcast our favorites! Check out this post for more details about the cool, new #ShareTheExceptional program by Thermador.

Full, detailed recipe for our RainBowls™ below. Ingredient brands, shopping resources, and TasteSpotting Test Kitchen notes after.

Need a little inspiration to get you started on some of your own rainbow filled grain bowl? Scroll down and peep the round-up of some of our favorite recipes from the community!


makes 4 bowls


Ingredients for Simple Pan-Roasted Salmon:
4 4- to 6-ounce salmon fillets
kosher salt and pepper
grapeseed or other neutral oil for cooking
juice from half a lemon

Ingredients for RainBowls:
2 cups steamed brown rice or cauliflower rice (recipe link below}
½ cup Green Goddess Pesto for rice {recipe link below}
vinegar pickled carrot ribbons and sliced radish {recipe link below}
4 soft boiled eggs, sliced in half length-wise {how-to link below}
1 large avocado, sliced
1 Persian or small seedless cucumber, sliced into half-moons
8 stalks roasted broccolini
1 cup roasted purple sweet potatoes, large dice
½ cup hot sauce
chopped fresh herbs like parsley and dill
salt and pepper
serve with: lemon vinaigrette and additional hot sauce


Pan-Roast the Salmon: Season salmon with salt and pepper, using a very generous hand with the salt on the skin side.

Heat about 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot (flick a few drops of water into the pan from a distance so you don’t burn yourself; if the water sizzles energetically, the pan is ready). Place salmon fillets skin side down in the pan. Cook 3 minutes, flip the salmon (the skin might stick to the pan, that’s ok) and cook for 3 more minutes on the other side. Remove salmon from pan to a plate. Squeeze lemon juice over the fillets, and allow the salmon to cool.

Assemble RainBowls: While the salmon is pan-roasting, gently stir pesto into cooked rice, starting with ¼ cup of the pesto, and adding more to taste. The rice should taste a little saltier and more seasoned than you are comfortable with, since there isn’t a lot of other sauce for the bowl.

In each bowl, spoon ½ cup of pesto rice. Place a cooked salmon fillet next to or on top of rice. Arrange the pickled carrot ribbons, radish slices, 2 soft boiled egg halves, slices from a quarter of the avocado, a quarter of the sliced cucumber, 2 staclks roasted broccolini, and ¼ cup of roasted sweet purple sweet potatoes. Add a dollop of hot sauce to a small corner of the salmon, garnish the entire bowl with fresh chopped herbs.

Serve with additional Green Goddess Pesto and lemon vinaigrette alongside.


  1. Salmon wild, previously frozen, from Santa Monica Seafood. $17.99 per pound
  2. On salmon serving sizes: I generally allot 8 oz (half a pound) of salmon as a single serving of fish per person. Eight ounces is actually quite a large serving for one person, and most people will not eat that much because of all the other delicious little things in the bowl. However, leftover cooked salmon will keep for about three days in the refrigerator, or frozen for a few weeks, and is great for adding to your lunch and dinner grain bowls, and also makes for great omega-3 fortified fish tacos.
  3. Cooking oil: I use this grapeseed oil for cooking because grapeseed oil has a high smoke point and is relatively neutral (as opposed to, e.g. olive oil, which is very fragrant).
  4. Rice: For our rice-based grain bowls, we use organic Kokuho Rose brown rice from Koda Farms in California, soaking the rice in clean filtered water with a splash of apple cider vinegar for 24+ hours, then steaming in a regular Japanese rice cooker. If you are easing up on grains, try cauliflower rice, which is cauliflower chopped into rice-sized pieces. Don’t let anyone tell you it tastes just like rice; it doesn’t even come close. But at least you get the idea. If you’re unsure about making cauliflower rice at home, you can buy minced cauliflower in bags in some grocery stores. Trader Joe’s has it.
  5. Green Goddess Pesto recipe here
  6. Vinegar Pickled Carrots: this Vietnamese-based recipe makes a slightly sweeter pickled carrot. This recipe from the Sqirl restaurant cookbook makes the carrots sharp and spicy.
  7. Eggs are omega 3-fortified cage free eggs from Whole Foods. How to boil soft-boiled eggs here.
  8. Avocados from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch in southern California, available at Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Hollywood Farmers’ Market on Sundays.
  9. All other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can’t find it at the farmers’ market.
  10. Hot Sauce: Use any hot sauce you like. In our kitchen, we usually like Sriracha or a thinned out version on Korean hot pepper sauce, gohchujang. Stir 2 parts gohchujang with 1 part each maple syrup and rice vinegar. Taste and adjust sweet (maple syrup) and sour (rice vinegar).
  11. Speaking of wine, this rosé and this rosé are currently our fav fav fav, both made in California! This rosé is good, too, but I feel cheap and basic mentioning it because even though it is French, you can buy it at Costco. Then again, you can buy it at Costco, so hell yeah, go crazy. Also, whom am I kidding with this whole paragraph anyway? Every rosé tastes deeericious.


by Sarah J. Gim on March 14, 2017 · 0 comments

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