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SpiceTopia Bowl Formula

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Remember as a kid how everything on your plate had to be seperate? Or are you a parent living through this now with your kids? Nothing can touch without a little outcry happening? Bowls are the opposite of that--everything gathers together and flavors mingle causing each bite to be a little bit of a surprise! And we are in love with this phenomena!

With our grain bowl formula, you can create a bowl that goes beyond basic!

First things first: the grain

Of course, any grain will work, but it's fun to think outside the box and try something new. Brown rice seems to be a standard grain bowl offering and it's certainly healthy and delicious. Our current favorites are farro and couscous, but we also love polenta and the leftover white rice from our last takeout meal! If you are preparing grain specifically for your grain bowl, you may want to boast the flavor by flavoring the water you cook your grain in. We love our Vegetable Stock Powder to up the umami flavor in our grains.

Next comes the Veggies

We like to add raw greens to our grain bowls--but not too many--as this isn't a salad! We usually choose hearty greens that won't wilt too much when mixed into the warm grain or we add sauteed greens like spinach or cabbage. Roasted veggies of any kind are also a delicious addition. Pickled veggies add crunch and a nice bright acid bite.

Keep in mind leftovers work well in grain bowls. Have a few extra roasted pieces of broccoli from last night's supper? Did your fried chicken lunch come with coleslaw that you didn't eat? Did no one eat those awesome green beans you slaved over for Sunday Dinner? Throw them in your bowl!

And fruit can work in a grain bowl just as well as veggies! Chopped apples, a spoonful of cranberry sauce, or roasted pears can all be an unexpected but delicious choices for your grain bowl!

Don't Forget the Protein

Just like every component of your grain bowl, the sky's the limit with your protein choice. A nice seared steak makes this dish not only healthy but luxurious as well. If you are avoiding red meat, try a lovely piece of fish. Or if you are avoiding meat of any kind, how about a lush mound of ricotta to stir into your warm grain? And if vegan is your philosophy, ladle in some spicy beans or roasted tofu. If nothing else feels right, a warm runny egg might just be the perfect option.

Time to Sauce it up

Think about your favorite condiments and you have a sauce for your bowl. A balsamic vinaigrette works just as well as a squeeze of Sriracha! Think about the flavors already in your bowl and what you want your bowl to taste like. Tart, creamy, sweet, and spicy flavors can all be achieved with your sauce.

And the Garnishes

Garnishes can turn a basic bowl into complex blow-your-socks-off meal! The possibilities for garnishes are endless-- feta cheese, cashews, parsley, crumbled up tortilla chips, croutons, quick pickled cucumbers, slice of avocado, pumpkin seeds, dill, dried fruit, toasted seaweed, fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, ground flax seeds--should we keep going?-- olives, crunchy chickpeas, goat cheese, microgreens, fried shallots or onions, fresh green onions, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, Shichimi Togarashi, freshly ground pepper, lemon pepper, drizzle of honey, splash of balsamic vinegar, plop of chutney, freshly grated parm, a tarka..... We love to personalize our bowls with garnishes. Everyone at the table can have the same bowl, but jazz it up how they like with individual garnishes!

To get you going on your bowl journey, we have one of Anna-Marie's favorite bowl recipes. Using our Montreal Seasoning, she spices up a strip steak to add to the bowl featuring lots of summer flavors.


  • Farro : Farro is a type of wheat which when cooked retains a firm chewy texture. It's nutty flavor adds an extra dimension to this recipe. Farro can be processed in several different ways, so follow the directions on the package to cook yours correctly.

  • Vegetable Stock Powder: Our Vegetable Stock Powder adds an extra bit of flavor to the farro, making it an even more yummy base for this bowl.

  • Strip Steak: The strip steak, also called a New York Strip Steak is a tender cut. They are quick and easy to cook in a cast iron pan right on your stovetop. Our recipe calls for one strip steak which can weigh between 10-16 ounces which is enough for 2-3 servings--perfect for this recipe which creates 2 bowls.

  • Montreal Seasoning: Our Montreal Seasoning is an ode to Montreal's rich history of curing meats! We've taken the pickling spices that are used to create meats such as pastrami and created our very own rub! Adding it to the strip steak is an easy way to add a bit of smokiness to the steak in this recipe.

  • Cherry Tomatoes: Nothing says summer more than cherry tomatoes--preferably fresh picked from the back yard!

  • Hearty Mixed Greens: We used shredded cabbage and carrot in this recipe with a handful of arugula thrown in!

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Since the olive oil used for the salad dressing needs to stand up to the bold flavors of the Montreal Seasoning, we suggest using our Arbequina Oil which has a fresh taste with a medium body and a balance of pepper in the finish.

  • Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar has tangy flavor which tends to be mellowed out with just a touch of sweetness. Much less sweet than balsamic vinegar, it tends to keep the notes of red wine which was its base. If you don't have red wine vinegar, the fruity notes of apple cider vinegar will work as well.

  • Lemon Juice: Combining the lemon juice with the wine vinegar lightens up the sauce and adds an additional note of citrus. If you don't have a lemon, no problem, substitute red wine vinegar for the lemon juice.

  • Dill Weed: Dill weed is the leaves of the dill plant. Unlike dill seed, it has a pleasant brightness that adds a fresh flavor to this bowl. Dill pairs well with the lemon and mustard flavors used to flavor the dressing.

  • Hot Mustard Powder: Sometimes called Chinese Mustard, our Hot Mustard Powder adds a subtle kick to this recipe.

  • Minced Garlic: Our Minced Garlic has a robust pungent flavor and is a convenient substitute for fresh garlic. If substituting fresh garlic, use one clove garlic.

  • Shallot: Shallots taste like a mild onion and are a great addition to dishes where you don't want an overpowering raw onion flavor.

  • Fresh Mint: Mint has a sweet taste and a lingering cooling effect. We feel it's a wonderful garnish to this bowl. If you do not have fresh mint, you can use just a pinch of dried mint in the dressing to add the mint flavor.

  • Feta Cheese: Feta has a tangy, rich and slightly salty flavor with a creamy texture and garnishes this bowl perfectly.


  • Cook Grain: Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt or a few tablespoons of Vegetable Stock Powder. After water comes to a boil, add 1/2 cup of farro. Cook until tender (anywhere from 15-40 minutes, refer to package guidelines).

  • Prepare Steak: Pat 1-2 tablespoons of Montreal Seasoning onto one 10-16 ounce strip steak. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, and once hot add the steak. Cook until preferred doneness, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

  • Prepare Vegetables: Cut 1 cup of cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle with just a pinch of salt. This will bring out their juices. Do be careful not to add too much salt as the feta cheese is salty as well. Grate 1 cup of cabbage and 1 carrot. Make sure 1-2 cups of arugula is cleaned and ready for your bowls.

  • Prepare Garnishes: Tear 5-10 mint leaves in bite-size pieces and crumble 2-3 ounces of feta cheese.

  • Create Dressing: Combine remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder, 2 teaspoon dill weed, 1/2 teaspoon minced dried garlic, 1 chopped shallot and juice of one half lemon to create a dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Assemble: Divide the warm grain between 2 bowls. Top with greens and tomatoes. Slice steak and arrange over the top of your veggies. Make sure to pour any juices from your meat over the bowl. Pour over dressing. Garnish with mint and feta! Enjoy!

What ingredients do you use to turn your grain bowl into something special? Share with us in the comments below!


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