Back in 2011 I found myself ready to trade in my first car, a black 2-door Honda Civic, for a newer, less university student-esque model. I did my research, had many conversations with a dude at work who was super into cars, and eventually narrowed down the choices. The final pick was a Toyota Rav-4 – my current ride – and as soon as I got the keys, it immediately seemed like everyone on the road was driving the same car.
Spending many weekends driving up and down Ontario’s 401 highway between Waterloo and Toronto (not the most interesting of routes by any means), I spotted more Rav-4s than ever before – or at least it appeared that way. The white ones often had me re-evaluating the decision to get a deal on a black version rather than waiting 3 months for the white (my original preference) to arrive at the dealership, but I’ve since managed to convince myself that black was the right choice.
If you’ve purchased a new car, perhaps you’ve found yourself in the same situation. Recently I’ve found myself in a similar one, only it’s not a car – it’s Hawaii! As I said in my goals for 2017, this is going to be the year I finally travel to Hawaii, a destination that has been at the top of my bucket list for a very, very long time. Right now I’m in the saving (not so fun) and planning (super fun!) stages, and have the trip written into my calendar for October. The problem? it’s like errrrrrybody I know is either in Hawaii right now, just got back, or is going in the next month and October feels soooooooo far away!
To help reduce my FOMO and suppress the impatient voice in my head that’s demanding instant gratification, I’ve adopted 3 strategies:
- Demanding all the recommendations and itinerary must-do’s from my friends when they return from their trips
- Creating the most ridiculously awesome itinerary
- Making tuna poke. Lots of it.
The first time I featured ahi tuna poke on the blog was in July, and since it’s (kinda?) starting to feel warmer weather-wise here, I’ve been finding myself getting back into salads and raw, rainbow-coloured veggies. The mixture of flavours and contrasting textures has triggered my creative juices, and I don’t know about you, but as much as I love roasted winter root veg, I’m ready for a transition!
Today’s Ginger Lime Tuna Poke Bowls are a remix of my original recipe, this time with super easy-to-make pickled cucumbers, crunchy watermelon radish (you can never have too much pink), seaweed (hooray for thyroid health), and avocado as a source of creamy, delicious healthy fat. The lime juice, ginger and chili flakes bring the bowl to life and give it a bit of a spicy bite at the same time.
A couple of recipe notes here: I served my poke on cauliflower rice because my leftover cauliflower was looking sad and in need of attention ASAP. You can totally swap in what you like as the base here – quinoa and brown rice are both great gluten-free choices.
As for the tuna, I recommend buying sushi-grade (just ask the guys at your local fish market or grocery store and they’ll point out the best kind for the job). In this recipe, I’ve chopped mine up and left it in a little bath of ginger and lime juice for an hour. This flavours the fish, but also cooks it a little bit – sort of like ceviche – so don’t be alarmed if the outsides start to look less-pink.
Ginger Lime Tuna Poke Bowls
Prep Time: 20 mins (+ 1 hr inactive)
Cook Time: 5 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
For the tuna:
- 140g sashimi-grade tuna, cubed
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- juice of 1 lime
For the cauliflower rice:
- 1 cup cauliflower rice, made by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor
- 1/2 tsp each rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds
For the pickled cucumber and onion:
- 2/3 cup sliced English cucumber
- 2 tbsp very thinly sliced red onion
- 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar or other granulated natural sweetener
- 1/4 cup each low sodium tamari and rice vinegar
- a pinch of dried chili flakes, optional
For the rest:
- 1/2 cup watermelon radish, chopped into matchsticks
- 1/4 avocado, diced or sliced
- 1-2 tbsp soaked arame or hijiki seaweed
- garnishes: sliced green onion, pickled ginger, sesame seeds and lime wedges
Prepare the tuna: Chop the fish into small cubes and place them in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice on top and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Make the pickled cucumber (this can be done in advance, and the brine can be used again for other vegetables): In a small saucepan, combine the coconut palm sugar, low sodium tamari and rice vinegar. Bring it to a simmer and stir occasionally for 5 minutes, ensuring the sugar is completely dissolved. Put the cucumber and onion in a jar. After the brine has cooled slightly, pour it over the vegetables and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Season the cauliflower rice by stirring it in a bowl with sesame seeds and rice vinegar. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
When ready to assemble, arrange the radish, pickled cucumber and onions, avocado, tuna and seaweed, in that order on top of the cauliflower rice. Add remaining garnishes and drizzle with hot sauce if desired before serving.
Maui here I come… even if it’s just in my mind for now. 🙂
Now tell me… are you going on any big vacations this year? Are you the type that plans them for months or just goes and decides on your itinerary on the fly?