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Rainforest Bowls kindly provided me with their products featured in this post. All opinions are my own.
Would you believe me if I told you this salmon salad is served in a coconut shell? I had no idea something so gorgeous was underneath all that husk! Rainforest Bowls sent me several of their products to try and I am beyond impressed with everything.
Rainforest Bowls is a company that offers handmade products made from reclaimed natural materials. Some of their products include bowls made from would-be discarded coconut shells, spoons made from coconut timber, utensils made from bamboo, and bamboo straws. First and foremost however, they focus on sustainability which is hands-down my favorite thing about this company.
Over 10,000 trees have been planted thanks to Rainforest Bowls and their partnership with Trees for the Future. For every product they sell, one tree gets planted and they've set a goal to surpass one million trees planted within the next few years.
Their initiatives really do start with the products though. The idea of taking something that would normally be discarded and turning it into something both beautiful and useful is so creative! To make the bowls, Rainforest Bowls obtains the coconuts from Vietnamese farmers that use sustainable farming practices. First, the husk and liquid is removed from the coconut. It is then cut in half and sanded before being polished. Their art coconut bowls get additional details added like hand carving or even threading as seen in this fiber bowl.
One of the things that impressed me so much with the bowls was that they felt so sturdy. Before I picked one up, I expected it to feel lightweight and fragile. Ha! Clearly I have no experience with breaking open coconuts! It's really about the same weight and thickness I would expect if somebody designed a bowl from wood. I also didn't realize how different the inside of the bowl would look from the outside. Each shell has such unique patterns!
Aside from serving food, I feel like these bowls are pretty enough to just display. I played around with using my fiber bowl as a small fruit bowl. I even grabbed some decorative rocks and artificial flowers to try it out as home decor. I liked it so much that it now lives on my bookshelf in the hallway!
I also got to try the boba straw made from natural bamboo. I've never had boba tea but I quickly realized why I needed this straw - smoothies! I've been making a smoothie lately that's sweetened with dates. I keep having some large pieces that don't get blended up and I can't ever get them up the straw. The diameter of this straw easily pulls up the date pieces, large fruit chunks, and even just really thick smoothie. Aside from the size, I love that the straw is made form bamboo. I thought it would have sort of a wood-like taste to it but I didn't notice that at all. Comparing plastic, metal, paper, and bamboo straws, the bamboo has the most neutral taste.
The straw cleaning brush worked great when I was done. It's a larger brush made for the boba straws. I have some reusable straws at home that are larger than a standard straw but smaller than the boba straw. I always have trouble getting them completely clean because my straw brushes are really thin so I have to swirl them around to get the entire inside clean (I find fruit seeds and other smoothie remnants in them all the time). I'm really glad I have this larger brush because it works great on both my "medium" sized straws and these larger boba bamboo straws. Oh and the bristles are made from coconut fiber. How clever is that?!
The coconut wood spoons are not what I expected at all. The wood is absolutely beautiful! The color is so unique and I just love the natural pattern throughout. Unlike the wood/bamboo cutting boards and spoons I have in my kitchen, these coconut wood spoons are 100% natural material, meaning no coatings or adhesives. They're actually cut from a single scrap offcut of coconut timber. I would expect something like that to last longer than a product pieced together with adhesives.
My favorite product that I received (ok, this might be tied for favorite with the coconut spoon) was the jumbo sized original coconut bowl. I actually requested this product. I love the bowls in the art collection but I was so impressed with the way Rainforest Bowls could bring out the natural beauty in a simple coconut shell that I wanted to see it unobstructed so to speak. I also had a salad recipe idea I had been wanting to try and I needed a large bowl. Am I the only person who always eats their salad out of Tupperware because they don't have large enough bowls? These large bowls comfortably held the two cups of greens in this recipe but I think I could have gotten away with a regular sized coconut bowl too. I'm really surprised at how much the bowls hold because they don't look that big! I also find them easier to eat the salad from because the bowl walls don't flare out like the regular bowls in my kitchen.
This salmon salad was partially inspired by a dish I've gotten at a gluten free restaurant. I remember it was called "healthy harvest" and had a quinoa base mixed with things like chicken, sweet potatoes, cranberries, apples, a little bit of kale, and a fruit vinaigrette. It had a very autumn feel to it and I thought combining those heavier fall flavors with a light salad might be fun for a between-season meal. My sister was telling me what she would put on a salmon salad and came up with the idea of a citrus dressing and a few other toppings. Of course I didn't stick with the season when I used spring mix and salmon but the fall look and feel really does come through anyways!
Rainforest Bowls has provided my readers with a coupon code for 20% off!Just enter the code ESD20 at checkout.
An autumn inspired salmon salad featuring citrus, sweet potato, cranberries, and quinoa served in a bowl made from a reclaimed coconut shell.
- 1/2 C cooked quinoa
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 C sweet potato, diced small
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to tase
- 2 small skin-on salmon fillets
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 C spring mix salad
- 1/4 C dried cranberries
- If the quinoa is uncooked, begin cooking that according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat 2-3 tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the sweet potatoes. Stir to coat them in the olive oil, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until fork tender and lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Salt and pepper your salmon. Return the same skillet to medium heat and add more olive oil, if needed. Once the oil is hot, cook the salmon fillets skin side-down until they are almost fully cooked (I usually aim for 3/4 of the way done.) Flip the fillets to the other side to add some color to the top and finish cooking. They are fully cooked at 145ºF.
- Set the fillets aside on a plate. (If you prefer to eat the skin, you may want to lay them skin side-up or on a cooling rack so the skin stays crisp.) Drizzle the meat with a good squeeze of lemon (but reserve 1 Tbsp lemon for the salad dressing).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, white wine vinegar, orange juice, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl or salad bowl, toss together the spring mix, sweet potato, quinoa, and cranberries. You can either add some dressing now and toss to coat, or serve the dressing on the side.
- To serve, divide the salad between two bowls. Serve the salmon on top of the greens (skin side-up if you eat it, down if you don't). Eat up!
- Potential allergens contained in this recipe may vary due to brands of ingredients used, product reformulations, etc. Please verify that all your ingredients are safe for you to consume and always be mindful of allergen cross contamination while cooking.