Vegetables, protein, and a good sauce. Toss them in a bowl, give it a jumble, and you'll find that just about any combination makes a nourishing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. What if you want to add in a bit of body with some grains or legumes, or mix in some greens and top it with goat cheese, do that! Bowl foods are flexible and this is why I love them.
Today, I'm sharing Sara Forte's tips, author of Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon, to eating a delicious & nutritious meal, Bowl-Style : )
- Pick your grain
- Add vegetables: keep it at 50% vegetables
- Pick a protein (or two!)
- Add a dressing or sauce: here's the part where you can decide the "personality" of your grain bowl. Is it going to be Asian and tangy, classic with a touch of vinaigrette, or spicy and dredged in a thick sauce? I suggest you seek inspiration from the forgotten condiments in your refrigerator door. Pesto, harissa, Sriracha, and peanut sauce can be used with a heavy hand.
- Add some garnishes
In order of how you should pile them in your bowl, these are Sara's favourite ingredients:
- Grains: quinoa, brown rice
- Well-seasoned protein: wild salmon (when it's in season), crispy tofu, grilled chicken breasts (pounded thin)
- Legumes: lentils, black beans, chickpeas
- Greens: finely chopped lacinato kale, sautéed baby spinach
- Vegetables: shaved carrots, charred broccoli, roasted butternut squash, roasted bursseld sprouts, grilled zucchinis
- Toppings: a perfectly ripe avocado, goat's cheese, sheep's milk feta, toasted nuts/seeds
- Sauce: Citrus tahini sauce, hummus, muhammara
A bowl food isn't a perfect thing, Sara states. And it doesn't always need to have all seven components. Overthinking it, Sara explains, is the complete opposite of why she got into the whole "bowl thing" in the first place. Listen to your tummy, and see what you crave, then savour the goodness in your bowl.
- Make big batches of ingredients so you have food stocked that will keep for the days when cooking isn't in the cards. Make more than you think you'll need, and save it for later.
- Remember, the secret weapon to a bowl is the sauce -- this is what pulls a bowl together no matter how haphazard the combination is.
- Variety in texture is key to the best bowl.