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The Passionate Pursuit of Delight

Ingredient: lime juice

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Thai food lovers rejoice! If you love Green Papaya Salad (sometimes called Som Tum on Thai menus) you will be excited to learn that it is very easy make at home. Green Papaya salad is light, healthy, and so fresh tasting. It is one of my favorite Thai dishes whether I am dining at a Thai restaurant or cooking Thai food at home.

If you live near an Asian market, you can make this Thai restaurant favorite quickly and easily. If you haven’t ever ventured into an Asian market or any ethnic market for that matter, here is an article I wrote about why you should.

Green Papaya Salad overhead shot

First, go to the produce section. Asian markets have incredible produce, much of it may be new to you. Typically, there are an amazing array of greens, mushrooms, and potatoes. But, today you will want to look for a green papaya which looks like a dark green football. Green papayas are unripe papaya, so, instead of sweet orange flesh the unripe flesh is crisp. If you cannot find green papayas locally, you can substitute cucumbers which are similar in texture albeit more watery.

Another important part of this recipe is the serrated peeler. Using this peeler will result in thin strips of vegetable similar to julienne slices. Serrated peelers can be found on Amazon and at Asian markets. You will use the serrated peeler on the green papaya and carrots. If you have a mandonline slicer you can also use the julienne blade to slice the veggies.

Once the veggies are sliced, you just need to combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or Mason jar. Thai food always focuses on the balance of flavors between sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. This dressing combines all those flavors for a nicely balanced dressing.

Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to combine. Garnish with chopped peanuts and fresh herbs before serving.

Green Papaya Salad aka Som Tum

Greek Buddha Bowl

Greek Buddha Bowl

One of the things that I love about Buddha bowls is that you get a complete meal in a bowl.  Hello Fun Seekers’ reader Mila inspired this Greek Buddha Bowl. I combined the flavors that you typically associate with Greek food, like feta, olives, red onions, and a spicy yogurt sauce into a hearty and healthy meal. This Greek Buddha Bowl recipe is the second in a series of Buddha bowl recipes here at Hello Fun Seekers. The first post was a Mexican food inspired Fiesta Buddha bowl.

Are there flavor combinations that you love that would make a great Buddha Bowl? I would love to hear them in the comments below. I am thinking about Thai flavors or maybe sushi roll flavors.

Greek Buddha Bowl

Ingredients and Swaps

Along with their versatility, I adore the way a Buddha bowl incorporates a grain (in this case, farro), vegetables (zucchini, red onion, and red pepper), and beans (garbanzos) into a nutritional powerhouse of a meal. All that is needed is a delicious sauce and perhaps a few toppings and dinner is done. But, the beauty of a Buddha bowl is the way the recipe can be adapted to incorporate your favorite flavors.

There are no rules here! Swap out ingredients that you or your family are not crazy about with ingredients that are more palatable to you. If you aren’t a zucchini fan just replace it with something else that is green. How about broccoli? Or, perhaps spinach suits you better? Don’t roast the spinach but you could sauté it if you didn’t want to use it raw.  However, you can use it raw and the spinach would likely wilt a little bit when combined with the warm grain and roasted veggies and be incredibly delicious.

Greek Buddha Bowl

Have you tried farro? Farro is a wheat grain often used in Italian cuisine. Until recently, farro was sometimes difficult for me to find at the grocery store. Thankfully, I can regularly find farro at Trader Joe’s and sometimes in the bulk bins of many grocery stores. Farro has a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor when cooked. If you can’t find farro you can substitute other grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or barley in this recipe.

Greek Buddha Bowl

Greek Buddha Bowl

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