A divinely delicious & healthy recreation of West Coast salmon rice bowls in North London…

One of my lasting memories of San Francisco – apart from the glorious weather, friendly people & stunning locale – is the amazing food. Whatever you look for, I guarantee you will find and it won’t surprise anyone who’s been there to hear you praise to the high heavens the generous breakfasts, fresh produce or the Michelin hotspots; as cities for foodies go, San Francisco is up there with the best.

Rice bowls have been around on the culinary scene and growing in popularity for some time now but it wasn’t until our Pacific Catch experience that we got to experience them for the first time. Steeped for the most part in and around Asian cuisine, they’re the perfect dinner for so many reasons – they’re simple to prepare & require no hard-to-say-and-even-harder-to-find ingredients that cost the earth; they can be made just as easily for one person as for 4, 6 or 10; there are no hard and fast rules about what goes in them so even the pickiest of eaters among your clan can be appeased including vegetarians, vegans or meat lovers…see? Nothing not to like, love and adore and if you’re fed up of dull, uninspiring salads that leave you hungry again before the last forkful is forced down and you’re after a healthy option that will leave you full and happy, let’s get on with introducing the rice bowl to your cooking repertoire…

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Pacific Catch; the perfect place to get your local stripes in San Francisco…

Right chaps, today’s post starts with me getting something off my chest, out in the open and laid bare for you all to see.

I simply can’t hold it back anymore…I have an admission to make.

I love San Francisco.

I do. I really really do. I heart it in all it’s blue-skied, green-grassed, natural-and-man-made glory.

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When we put it on the roadtrip list, I thought I’d like it. I thought ‘hey yeah, San Fran looks pretty cool and sunshiney and pretty…woo hoo!’

Psssh, what did I know? Those words are pale and insipid compared to the compliments this city should be getting.

It’s gorgeous. It’s clean. It’s friendly. It’s full of happy, healthy, glowing, outdoorsy people but it also has libraries, museums & galleries for those who prefer to work up a sweat by the turning of pages or the viewing of world class exhibits.

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You can eat pretty much anything you crave from a global menu of deliciousness; you can blend in with the locals at any number of coffee houses & cafes; you can string your camera round your neck and proudly proclaim your tourist proclivities at the wharf, the parks and the piers. You can get your photo taken with Yoda for heaven’s sake. Oh SF, you slay me.

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Full on feasting at the altar of Chipotle…

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What do the Culinary Institute of American and the fast Mexican food chain Chipotle have in common? The first produced the man who produced the second.

Steve Ells started Chipotle in 1993 after attending the renowned US cooking school and completing a subsequent stint as a line cook in San Francisco, an area infamous for burritos especially in the Mission district and you know what? The more I learn about both Steve and his ethos, the more I like. For instance, did you know that they only have 5 items on the menu because Ells believes that ‘it’s important to keep the menu focused, because if you do just a few things, you can ensure that you do them better than anybody else.’

I. Love. That.

Seriously, in a world where growth often come at a cost, be it financial or ethical, isn’t this kind of a great thing to believe? That it’s better to be known for being the best at one or two, or in Steve’s case five things, rather than being just ok at thirty?

Or how about this for a fact with which to dazzle your peers – did you know that there are no freezers, microwaves or tin openers in any Chipotle kitchen? So wait, if you can’t freeze it, reheat it or get it from a can, where does it come from? It’s fresh! Woo hoo!

Now I’m not going to go all out and suggest that a burrito a day is the way forward (although my inner fatty is just taking a moment now to imagine how freaking fabulous that would be) because burritos are large. I mean seriously big. Often the size of your arm, sometimes the size of a 6 month old baby, with the potential to deliver 1000+ calories per portion it’s not like they’re pushing spinach or blueberries off their superfood podia BUT let’s remember that just as there are bad calories, there are also good and anything that has beans, onions, peppers, avocado, lean meat and brown rice in it can’t be all bad.

Plus, and don’t even get me started on personal accountability although it looks like it might be too late for that, aren’t we all big enough and ugly enough to take on board the facts and make a decision for ourselves? Yes, if you eat a burrito a day you will end up being very large, very uncomfortable and not someone to stand upwind of but that would be your choice. YOUR CHOICE. Y’know how Chris Rock said that guns don’t kill people, bullets do? That’s kind of how I feel about food. Everything in moderation people. Coca Cola and Krispy Kreme won’t kill you but ingesting excessive amounts of their most calorific, fate and sugar laden products might. What you put into your body is your choice and yes, it might be bad for you but it didn’t force its way in like Watson’s nightmare cake scene from the ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’ now did it? Read More