Food Trend: Poke Bowls

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Food trends come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of healthiness. The trends we really love are moving away from things like cronuts and rainbow bagels, and are moving towards food that can actually sustain us. This is good news, considering that the World Health Organization declares that at least 80% of all heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, as well as up to 40% of cancer could be prevented if people ate better, engaged in more physical activity and quit smoking. In honor of healthy living, I think we can all agree that it’s time to pick up some better eating habits.

Typically, food trends entice us to make unhealthy choices out of curiosity and intrigue. Over-the-top desserts packed with calories and sugar usually catch our attention and become the next big food craze. However, there are a few healthy food trends that are quickly becoming all the rage. Our favorite health-conscious meal of the moment? Poke bowls. (Pronounced poh-kay.) Poke bowls are a Hawaiian raw fish salad. Seafood is mixed in with choice add-ins to make a flavorful, protein rich meal.

Many establishments that serve poke bowls here in San Diego offer the customized, build-it-yourself model (like a Chipotle for raw fish). These restaurants allow you to get creative with your meal and produce any flavor you choose. The basic ingredients of the poke bowl give it nutritional value: fish is a very healthy source of protein and it’s loaded with omega-3s, veggies are full of nutrients and are low in calories.

When building your own poke bowl, keep in mind that the add-ins are key to keeping your meal healthy. Opt for brown rice instead of white, don’t use too much sauce, and load the bowl with veggies to ensure that your bowl is nutritious. Want to make your own poke bowl? We recommend Pokirrito or Poke One N Half (both establishments have multiple locations.)

If you’d rather give a chef the honor of full creative control over your poke bowl, San Diego has lots of poke restaurants to choose from. Since we live in a large city, we are quick to pick up on the latest food trends and bring them to the masses. New poke places are popping up everywhere, giving us a lot of options and opportunity to explore. Here’s a few of our recommendations:

The Poke Craft

The Poke Craft is a pop up restaurant that sets up shop at local breweries. The menu is simple and well-crafted. Their poke is always fresh and it pairs perfectly with craft beer. Check out their schedule to see where they will be next.

Poke Chop

This Pacific Beach poke spot offers both signature and customized bowls, and they also make signature sauces (we suggest the lava-lime shoyu). If you’re trying a signature bowl, we recommend the Lucky Charm: fresh albacore, salmon, and tuna with citrus ponzu and jalepeno wasabi sauce.

Venture out and try a poke bowl, whether you build your own or order a signature dish. You won’t regret jumping on this healthy, delicious food trend.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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