The Collaroy is famous for its healthy bowls – from the Green Bowl that’s loaded with zucchini noodles and avocado, to the Ocean Trout Bowl with shaved Brussels sprouts and pickled purple cabbage. Which is why we asked The Collaroy head chef Simon Zalloua to tell us a bit more about what goes into making the perfect green bowl.
“Part of the brief for The Collaroy Kiosk was to mix up the usual café fare and base our menu around bowls instead,” Simon explains. “This ties in really well with our beachside location, where people can grab a coffee and a bowl after a swim.” For those times you can’t make it out to The Collaroy for the real deal, though, we asked Simon to share his top tips for building your own Green Bowl at home.
“When people eat our bowls, we want them to feel like they are doing something good for their body – but it also has to taste good,” Simon says. “Each of our bowls has eight or nine different elements for flavour, but I would recommend working with about five core categories.” Here’s how:
1. Start with a central ingredient you love
The key to eating well (and keeping it up) is incorporating ingredients that you actually love to eat. “I would start with a central ingredient that you enjoy eating and then build out from there,” Simon says. “That’s really how our Green Bowl evolved – we started with the zucchini noodles and then began building flavour and texture from there.
2. Incorporate a delicious starch
The starch component is usually the most filling party of any good nourishing bowl, so Simon recommends choosing something tasty like brown rice, quinoa or noodles. “This will help you avoid blandness and it will also keep you full for longer,” he says. When in doubt, just return to your central ingredient and work backwards to find the perfect support act.
3. Load up on healthy fats
We are all about kick starting the year with healthy(ish) intentions, so load up on the healthy fats to boost flavour and round out your green bowl. “At The Collaroy, we love avocado and seeds like pepitas,” says Simon. “Don’t be afraid to mix up your textures and use your intuition to build a bold flavour profile.”
4. Try adding your protein of choice
“A lot of our bowls are veggie based, but we also have an Ocean Trout Bowl and a Stir-Fried Pork Bowl on the menu. So experiment with adding your protein of choice to round things out – and, when in doubt, you can always just add a fried egg on top.”
5. Top things off with a drizzle of dressing
A drizzle of dressing is key to tying your Green Bowl together. This could be something on the creamier side, or an oil-based dressing with a little zest. Keep the dressing simple and where possible boost the flavour through ingredients, such as kimchi, fried eschallots or a fiery chilli paste. “We use a tamari dressing on our Green Bowl at The Collaroy, which is gluten free. Then the Falafel Bowl has a green tahini dressing and our Quinoa Bowl is topped with zesty lemon and olive oil.”