Fresh out of inspiration in the kitchen? No worries. A healthy meal doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, a lot of times--the simpler the better. That's where meal bowls come in.
For these delicious bowls, you don't even need a recipe. All you need is simple healthy ingredients and your own taste buds. You'll find this becomes a lifesaver when your schedule is crazy!
STEP 1: Start With Your Base
Think grains and greens. This ingredient will be the foundation of your meal bowl.
Grains: quinoa, brown rice, soba noodles, wheatberry, barley, or oats if you are preparing for breakfast
Greens: kale, arugula, chard, spinach, or any other hearty leafy veggie
STEP 2: Add The Veggies
It's time to add some color! If you chose grains as your base, layer on some leafy greens to start. If you already have greens in your bowl, add other nutrient-rich veggies such as:
Carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, edamame, peppers, asparagus, cucumber, sprouts, or any of your favorite veggies. Depending on your preference, you can leave them raw or choose to steam them prior.
STEP 3: Pump Up The Protein
Adding lean protein to your meals can keep you fuller longer, give you more energy, and help build muscle mass. The protein is what puts the "meal" in "meal bowl." Here are some delicious options:
Vegetarian: Tempeh, tofu, beans, hummus, avocado, chickpeas, extra quinoa and edamame (great plant protein sources!)
Non-Vegetarian: Chicken, turkey, steak, salmon, ahi tuna, poached egg, and hardboiled egg
STEP 4: Pile On The Extras
This is where the fun begins. As long as it's healthy, the choice is up to you. There are some ingredients that bring out the flavor, though. Some examples:
Nuts, seeds, salsa, seaweed, fresh herbs, and light dressings.
TIP: Many calories we consume in our daily lives are hidden. Just because you order a salad doesn't mean the dressing is automatically healthy or low-calorie. That's why I tend to stick to light vinaigrettes or make a batch of my own homemade dressings. If you make from scratch, it's an easier way to ensure you're getting the best option.
If you're looking for a guilt-free homemade dressing, this detoxifying herb recipe from holistic nutritionist, Elissa Goodman is one of my favorites. It seriously tastes like it should be hundreds of calories more than it actually is--which is always the goal! Get the recipe below:
Elissa Goodman's Herbed Dressing:
photo credit: Jenni Kayne | Rip And Tan
- 1 handful basil, chopped
- 1 handful parsley, chopped
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 2-3 T. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt/pepper, to taste
Add ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth
Not down to DIY your own meal bowl? Check out these pre-made recipes:
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.