Alternate title 1: A bowl full of my favourite things.
Alternate title 2: What I’d like to eat for my last meal. For the salad course, anyway.
Alternate title 3: The salad that your summer just won’t be complete without.
We’re coming up on August, and this weekend I found myself reminiscing with a friend about memories of summer in the past. August has always been a month of the year I look forward to most for several reasons. It’s my birth month, and while I don’t love the idea of getting older, I do love the way celebrations like this have a way of bringing friends together – especially those I haven’t seen in far too long. Another reason is the Lululemon Seawheeze, the half marathon I’ve been running every year since its inception in 2012. Often falling on the same weekend as my birthday, I have vivid memories from the race each and every year.
Some of you might have heard me tell this story before, but for others, flying out to Vancouver from Waterloo, ON for Seawheeze every summer was the spark that ignited my love for the west coast. It started with the littlest things, like walking off the plane and noticing that there was something different about the air – a freshness and crispness that we just didn’t experience at home.
The first year I came here, my flight arrived around 11pm and a taxi driver took me straight to my hotel. It was dark, so I had no concept of direction or what the streets looked like. After a night’s sleep, I woke up in the hotel bed, walked over to the window, and threw back the curtains to see the sun rising and mountains in the not-so-far distance. It was amazing and breathtaking, and all the experiences that came after those initial 12 hours continued to make me fall even more in love with the city.
As the years went on and I miraculously kept getting into the race (which sells out in just a few minutes now), I got to explore more. There was my first hike up the Grouse Grind, yoga at Kits Beach with hundreds of other runners, the post-race Sunset Festival concerts, strolls along the sea wall and shopping downtown. Back then I never thought I’d actually work at lululemon, but they certainly did a good job at selling me on the city with the experiences they created. Little did I know, the universe was up to something even greater.
Of course, no conversation about the west coast’s greatness can be had without mention of food – especially a conversation with a foodie on her food blog. We easily associated with specific occasions and events – perhaps because our human brains like categorization as it helps us understand the world better. For example, there’s cake and birthdays, chocolate and Valentine’s Day (or PMS, depending on your gender!), and turkey and Christmas (unless you’re 100% plant-based.) We do the same with foods that fall into cuisines from around the world.
Many of us are probably familiar with the map above, and there’s no denying Canadians have their stereotypes. When it comes to the Pacific northwest and the province of BC, a few things that immediately come to mind for me are:
- Salmon – wild, smoked, sockeye, nuggets, jerky – all the kinds!
- More seafood – scallops, spot prawns, crab, oysters, ahi tuna tacos, chowder
- Plenty of sushi – thank you to the large Asian population who have brought that goodness over here!
- Blueberries, peaches and cherries, all grown in the Okanagan
- Nanaimo bars – a no-bake dessert hailing from the city of Nanaimo, these are layers of coconutty biscuit, custard cream and chocolate
As those who know my seafood-loving heart well, it’ll come as no surprise that every Seawheezing summer was also spent devouring my fill of fresh west coast seafood. One of the favourites I’d order during almost every visit was the Seafood Chop Chop Salad from The Boathouse. It’s located in what is probably one of the BEST locations for a restaurant, Kitsilano beach. I spend a ton of time at this beach now that I live here, and if you’re ever in town, it’s one of those spots that makes Vancouver, well, Vancouver.
Rather than relying on special occasions to go to The Boathouse, I decided to take matters into my own kitchen and re-create my own version of this favourite dish, a West Coast Chopped Seafood Salad. It might not conjure up all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings and put a smile on your face that you just can’t wipe off (as it does for me), but I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s unbelievably tasty!Print
High in protein and omega-3 essential fats, this meal-sized salad will keep you feeling full for hours!
For the scallops:
- 2 tsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil
- 125g small/medium raw scallops, defrosted if frozen
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- sea salt + black pepper
For the rest:
- 4 big fistfuls mixed spring greens, washed and patted dry
- 2 cups French green beans, trimmed
- 1/2 English cucumber, spiralized into ribbons or thinly sliced
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 120g thinly sliced smoked salmon
- 12 large shrimp, cooked + defrosted if frozen
- 2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 small avocado, thinly sliced
- lemon wedges, to garnish
Lemon Vinaigrette (you will have some leftover):
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp raw honey
- sea salt + black pepper, to taste
- Make the dressing: Shake all ingredients in a jar. Set aside.
- Cook the green beans: Lightly boil or steam until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain off the water.
- Meanwhile, cook the scallops: Heat the oil in a frying pan for 1 minute on high, swirling it around. Add the scallops, followed by lemon juice. Stir fry them until cooked and completely opaque – about 2-2.5 mins. (They cook fast!) Remove them from the heat, season with sea salt + pepper, and set aside.
- Assembly: Toss the greens in some of the dressing and divide them between two bowls. Arrange (in this order) the green beans, cucumber ribbons, shrimp, scallops, avocado and smoked salmon slices. Finally, add the quartered egg, cherry tomatoes and lemon wedges. Serve with additional dressing on the side.
- Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe, no dressing
- Calories: 381
- Sugar: 10g
- Sodium: 735mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 23g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 40g
- Cholesterol: 227mg
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I’d love to know… have you ever fallen in love with a city? What about your experience there made it feel so special?