The new “Havana Summer Grain Bowl” checks off many boxes (protein, vitamins, minerals, leafy greens, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats), and it does so beautifully and with boldness of flavor. Our salad specialists layer romaine, quinoa, farro, black rice, fresh red bell pepper strips, black bean salad, avocado, grape tomatoes, plantain chips, and a creamy cilantro lime dressing to create this delicious dish.
A look into the thought and design behind this particular salad provides some insight as to why it fits right into the grain bowl trend that has recently swept across the country. Grain bowls often incorporate many layers of ingredients, carefully selected to blend together into a stunning symphony of both nutrition and great taste. They also provide the option and convenience to make a healthy choice, even if you are in a hurry. As their name suggests, grain bowls build upon the ingredients of the traditional salad by incorporating grain blends, which are rich in fiber and vitamins.
Local chef Sara Gibbs sat down with us to teach us a few fascinating facts about what makes grain bowls, and specifically this grain bowl, the right choice for you and your family. She has worked closely alongside local chef Ouita Michels, who owns several restaurants throughout Kentucky such as Honeywood, Wallace Station, and Holly Hill Inn. Gibbs has also earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science, something that has taught her to be meticulous, thoughtful, strategic, and innovative when creating new recipes. Gibbs discusses the process it takes to create something new and different– it involves a great deal of research, trial and error, creativity, and even strategy. In her formal training in culinary school, she learned that a good salad requires color, height, appearance, flavor, and texture; however, she adds that the grain bowl definitely needs an acid and a crunch! The lime juice and mustard in the creamy cilantro lime dressing provide a kick, and the plantain chips help bring in the crunchy element. These key ingredients and ideas that can turn a grain bowl from good into incredible.
Like so many of Vinaigrette’s other featured items, the Havana Summer Grain Bowl is plant-based, with an emphasis on beans and grains. The black bean salad, grain blend, and avocado serve as sources of healthy fat and protein. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to sustain their body with wholesome food created with local ingredients. The blend of nutrients not only provides you with energy but it works to really nourish your body. A common misconception is that salads, or variations like the grain bowl, can’t fill you up; it only takes eating one Havana Summer Grain Bowl to know that this is simply not true. It is designed to satisfy and sustain! This grain bowl has been designed carefully and thoughtfully with you, our customers, in mind. If you are looking to branch out from your usual salad and discover a meal that can keep you full and surprise your taste buds, the Havana Summer Grain Bowl is definitely worth a try. We know you’ll love it!