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Wakame Greens Bowl (WIAW: Changing Taste Buds)

In addition to this weeks’ WIAW, I’m sharing my latest favorite dinner bowl with you. My Wakame Greens Bowl! 

But first, isn’t it fascinating how our taste buds change over time? 

Or, now that I think about it, is it our actual taste buds or just our own mentality that changes? 

Cottage Cheese, wine, sauerkraut, tofu, sushi, dark chocolate, coffee …. these are all things I thought I despised while growing up. I say “thought” because really I had never even tried a few of them (tofu what?). Growing up in small towns meant absolutely no knowledge of things such as “sushi.” Once I discovered what it was, the thought of raw fish was enough for me to make a firm decision that, nope, I did not like it. And it would never enter my mouth. 

As I looked at my eats from Sunday for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, I realized how many things I now eat on the regular which I once never touched.  Not just eat, but LOVE (ending my full day of eats is a super funky recipe so keep reading!)


Cottage Cheese. If you read my post from yesterday you would have already read that I thought the white stuff was near revolting. Now I’m shooting out recipes for cottage cheese baked oats and collecting lists of ways to use the stuff (seriously, if you need ideas for new ways to cottage cheese – just look at the comments on my post. You people are GENIUS). 

Baked Oats Wakame Greens Bowl WIAW

Cottage Cheese Baked Oats + Peanut Butter + Banana 

And then there’s sauerkraut. I don’t think I had ever actually had it until last year, but for some reason – due to my stubborn child self and my ability to convince myself of anything – I truly believed I did not like it. 


Wakame Greens Bowl WIAW

Roasted Sweet Potato + Salmon Burger + Roasted Beets + Spinach + Honey Mustard Sauce 

Coffee, wine and dark chocolate…. now those are the real kickers. The fact that, even through high school, I sincerely despised the taste of all these things makes me shake my head. Each one of those things are now my saving grace. My favorite tastes as well as my necessary beloved comforts for the soul. 

I know a lot of it has to do with growing up. Somehow our taste buds as children are different and seem naturally adverse to many tastes.  Is this a physiological thing? Or do surroundings and life come into play?  Why is it that adults like dark chocolate, coffee and wine yet children do not? It must be a bitterness thing. I guess we gain a love for bitterness as we grow old. Both in food and in attitude….. 


Wakame Greens Bowl WIAW

Freshly baked mini banana muffin from Ambitious Kitchen 

Now. Back to that Sushi thing. 

Hated it. Refused to eat it. Until my friend in college took pity on me and knew I couldn’t go through life without maki rolls.  Now sushi and I have a shared appreciation that transcends the rationalities of this world. 


I saw a dinner bowl on a menu the other week and it sounded so intriguing I took mental note of its ingredients so I could try my own version at home.  It just so happened I already had the “weird” ingredients it called for. Random foodie buys, you know.  

Wakame Greens Bowl

I wasn’t sure what to call it, so I settled for Wakame Greens Bowl. Wakame is an edible seaweed used frequently in japanese cuisine. You can find it dried in any asian market or grocery aisle. All you do is soak it for a few minutes in water to rehydrate and then its ready to throw into salads or soups or… rice bowls. 

Not to mention, wakame is probably the easiest and cheapest seaweed to find. I know it sounds like a craazzyy thing to buy, but you really should be able to find it in any well stocked grocery store. And seaweed has SO many good things for you.  For a 1-2 Tbsp serving, this one contains roughly 3.75–7.5 kcal and provides 15–30 mg of omega-3 fatty acids! BOOYA to the omegas!  It is also super high in calcium, iodine, thiamine and niacin. The Japanese man… they’ve got it goin’ on. 

wakame greens bowl

So this Wakame Greens Bowl. I actually had NO idea what it was going to taste like as I was making it (and I will admit, was pretty darn skeptical of how it would be). 

I was FLOORED at the result. Oh man guys. The crazy combination of these ingredients magically made this bowl taste exactly like a maki sushi roll. As I was “mmm-ing” over each inhalation, I was trying to figure out how it was that these ingredients worked so well together. I decided that the sauerkraut is what gave the rice the unique vinegary taste of sushi rice. Who would have thought of that!? And then of course the wakame provides the fishy taste, the tempeh adds some ginger and the avocado and greens just round out the bowl to complete perfections. 

I was so excited. 

Wakame Greens Bowl

So to round this out and return to the beginning theme of this post, my 10, 12, 16, or even 20 year old self wouldn’t have come close to such a thing called a Wakame Greens Bowl.  But oh man. Thank you taste buds for maturing, for I would have been missing out if they hadn’t. 

Just one more little fascinating part of life, and a reminder to just keep going with the flow of ongoing change. 

Wakame Greens Bowl
Serves 1
A crazy, weird and DELICIOUS bowl oozing with the flavors of sushi. No need to order take out. If you are a fan of maki rolls, you will fall head over heels for this one.
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  1. 1/2 cup brown basmati rice
  2. 1 cup steamed vegetables (bok choy, kale, spinach, broccoli)
  3. 2 Tbsp rehydrated wakame seaweed
  4. 2 Tbsp sauerkraut
  5. 1/3 an avocado
  6. Marinated tempeh, cut into steaks
Sesame Ginger Tempeh Marinade (for 1/2 block)
  1. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  2. 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  3. 1 tsp sesame oil
  4. 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  5. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  6. a few shakes of salt
  1. 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  2. 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  3. 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  4. 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  5. 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  6. a few shakes of salt
  1. Cook rice according to directions.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients and marinate tempeh for 30 minutes to overnight.
  3. Cover wakame in cool water, just until covered. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, until water is absorbed and wakame is rehydrated.
  4. Take tempeh our of marinade and pan fry slightly in a non stick frying pan over low heat for roughly 3 minutes each side. Pour in the excess marinade and let it absorb into the tempeh.
  5. Combine ingredients for dressing.
  6. Grab your bowl. Start with your rice.
  7. Pile on your steamed veggies, wakame, sauerkraut and tempeh. These items should be warm. Finish off with avocado and a drizzling of the dressing.
  1. These measurements are estimates based on my own personal bowl. This is really one of those "recipes" that are really just about the ingredients. Its up to you to decide how much you'd like to make.
  2. All the prep may be done the night, or even days, ahead of time. So when you want to eat you can simply grab all the pre made ingredients and throw them into a bowl for a super quick meal.
  3. Find dried wakame in any asian grocery store or japanese section of a well stocked grocery store. Wakame is high in sodium so you do not need to add salt.
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And of course, back to that dark chocolate. Every night friends. Every night. 
Wakame Greens Bowl WIAW

Dark chocolate, straight from the freezer

Wakame Greens Bowl! A sushi lovers dream recipe! plus WIAW: How our taste buds change. Click To Tweet

So tell me,

What is one thing you used to hate that now you love?

Do you like sushi?


  1. Emily Swanson | 24th Feb 16

    All your eats look so fresh and yummy! Cottage cheese baked oatmeal sounds perfect, because you get the protein and the carbs. And I LOVE that our tastebuds change, because I can enjoy so much more of God’s awesome food than I ever did before when I was younger.

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      Yes! Adding cottage cheese to oats not only makes it extra chewy but adds a really good dose of protein. And I agree – I’m so happy to be able to enjoy allllll sorts of different flavors now.

  2. chasetheredgrape | 24th Feb 16

    Love this as its so true how much our tastebuds change. You know what really grinds me though? Is when people say ‘I don’t like X’, then I ask when the last time they tried it was and they say ‘oh when I was 12’…. I find this happens the most with fish and vegetables!
    For me, I used to hate tomatoes, shellfish and lamb – now I adore them all!
    I still say I’m not a big fan of ‘lemon’ flavoured things but David always gives me into trouble for saying this as everything lemon I try nowadays I end up really liking!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      I really hate it when people say they hate something but they have NEVER tried it. Which, I realize was me when I was very young. But when you are older.. at least give it a shot before you make an opinion!
      Haha so maybe you do like lemon after all?

  3. bucketlisttummy | 24th Feb 16

    Being the bowl lover that I am, this may be making an appearance soon. And I love love tempeh. The marinade sounds delicious! Taste buds are so intriguing – I think bitterness is definitely a flavor that children don’t gravitate towards, but what sparks the change into adulthood? I don’t know. My guess is just being exposed to it more – you have to taste a food x number of times!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      You need to make the bowl. I know you love your tempeh and KRAUT.
      You need to be exposed to something a certain number of times? – that’s really interesting! And would make total sense then.

  4. snackiebird | 24th Feb 16

    When I was a child, I did not eat grains at all. Now oatmeal is the love of my life. And if we talk about the sushi, when I first heard about them, the idea of eating raw fish seemed disgusting … Now I cook them at home without any problems 😉

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      You and me both lady!

  5. Kate Bennett | 24th Feb 16

    I thought peas were plain gross, but now I love them. I blame it on mushy school lunch peas. I wasn’t a very picky child and according mom pretty much ate anything. I think I started sipping coffee in 2nd grade and eating dark chocolate in 4th grade. However, I doubt my younger self would have loved the 85% stuff I adore now.
    I love bowls with a bunch of delicious ingredients! One of my favorites are bibimbap bowls!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      Diddo with peas. I just had a resurgence with them last year. At least if they aren’t mushy and that weird off brown colour, that is. You sipped coffee and ate dark chocolate that young! Wow! Mature child you were!

  6. SuzLyfe | 24th Feb 16

    Things I used to dislike: Red wine, beer, zucchini, avocado
    Things I used to like: pasta, cookies and cake (as in, taking them by the handful), white bread, cheese
    What I like now: cookies (in pieces), red wine, beer zucchini avocado
    I still don’t like: flan, almond extract, lychee
    yes to wakame bowls!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      Haha. Flan? I actually don’t think I’ve ever had flan. But I also don’t like almond extract!! Hate the taste!

  7. Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood | 24th Feb 16

    That bowl looks AMAZING. I don’t get people who don’t like sauerkraut – I grew up eating it and it’s seriously a favorite of mine!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      I did not grow up eating it so back then I didn’t understand how people DID like it. But obviously I’ve gained more smarts now.

  8. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables | 24th Feb 16

    I’ve definitely been on team cottage-cheese-hating for awhile but I’m TRYING to come around haha. I just put some in a smoothie the other day and it was actually quite good. I think I just have to stop trying to eat it straight up.

    I love that idea for tempeh! I have some in my fridge right now but I couldn’t think of anything to do with it. I think my husband would love this recipe, too!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      In a smoothie! Never thought of that – but I can see it being delicious. Like a drinkable cheesecake. Straight up, yeah, not so much.

  9. katalysthealth | 24th Feb 16

    Cottage cheese is definietly a food I dont like unless its blended into something! I make my protein froyo with it, and it makes the stuff SO DANG FLUFFY. I love it. Plus its got great protein!
    This bowl sounds amazing! Ive never tried tempeh but yours sounds delicious!

    • Cora | 25th Feb 16

      Blended up = ALL THE FLUFF. It’s amazing. Oh you need to try tempeh! I way prefer it over tofu. So much “meatier” and a much heartier texture.

  10. cookiesnchem | 25th Feb 16

    I am always just so envious of your food! 🙂 I wish you could be my roommate or something and we just cook all kinds of things together. You can come to Waterloo to visit and we’d bake things together… and go grocery shopping.

  11. Ellie | 25th Feb 16

    I remember for about 6 months I thought sushi was great! I looked forward to “sushi Fridays” where I would treat myself (lol when I had money). Then I didn’t have it for a while when I was in college…and got it again and was less than impressed. Maybe I wanted it to be OMG AMAZING, and it was lack luster. Oh well, I’ll eat it if it’s there, but too pricy for my normal consumption.
    One food I used to hate but now love is sweet potatoes. I didn’t like them as much growing up, but now I appreciate them in whatever form they come.
    Recipe looks GREAT! Thanks for the silken tofu tip!

  12. kyrabocha | 25th Feb 16

    I remember a time many, many eons ago when I was creeped out by chickpeas (!?). Of course, I was like seven years old. Ah, how times have changed..

    Do I like sushi? Love it! 😀

    Have you ever tried seaweed salad? They usually sell it where they sell sushi. I think it’s cooked kelp noodles in temari and sesame oil with a little rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame seeds! so yum.

    And if you’ve ever been to an asian grocer, it’s a gold mine for all kinds of seaweed! Nori, wakame, kombu, etc. you name it they have it! It’s really such a fascinating food. Too bad they don’t feature it all that often in western cuisine.

  13. Lyss | 25th Feb 16

    This all looks so good!! One food now that I used to not like but love is probably feta cheese! Also- that cottage cheese breakfast combo looks delicious. All of this food looks amazing Cora- I need you to cook for me hehe. Have a great day girly!

    • Cora | 26th Feb 16

      Thanks Lyss! I’m probably the same with feta. I love it now but don’t suppose I did even a few years ago. Love it on pizzaaaaaaa

  14. faithvandermolen | 26th Feb 16

    It’s so amazing how we change! I’m glad we do though, cause there are so many delicious foods I would be missing out on if I hadn’t branched out. Everything you ate looks amazing, especially your lunch!

    • Cora | 27th Feb 16

      I’m so glad we change too! I’d be a sad girl without my current favorites.

  15. gracefulcoffee | 27th Feb 16

    I used to hate carrots, now I love them 🙂

    Edye // Gracefulcoffee

  16. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 28th Feb 16

    I still don’t do fish and very little meat, but that’s mainly a texture thing for me. I will say my taste buds have definitely grown considering I ate like three things as a child and my food wasn’t allowed to touch. I despised tomatoes too and now I adore the precious orbs of goodness.

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