Hello there, Burst fam! ??
Today I’m talking about bowls. What are bowls you ask? Well, bowls are really anything you want them to be. No rules involved. However, there is such thing as a better bowl, and I’m going to teach you how to make one.
I’m pretty religious about bringing my lunch to work (healthier ✔, cheaper ✔) and lately, I’ve been on a bowl kick. Aside from tasting good, bowls are really easy to prepare. You can prep an entire week’s worth of lunches at one time, which I love. Let’s get to the how-to.
How to make a balanced bowl:
1. Start with your dominant carbohydrate. I say dominant because vegetables are coming up next and technically vegetables are more carbohydrate than protein or fat.
- Quinoa (one of my personal favorites, it’s not only a carbohydrate, but contains protein too!)
- Sweet potatoes (another personal favorite ?)
- Veggie noodles- has anyone tried these? I made butternut squash noodles last week. They weren’t my favorite, but I liked the variety.
- Rice- brown, white….you choose
All of these carbohydrate options can be cooked in advance for the entire week. For example, this past week, I made 1 cup of quinoa (it expands to 2-3 cups when cooked) and one package of butternut squash noodles (see picture below) and that easily covered my lunch bowls for the whole week. When I use sweet potatoes for my carbohydrate, I batch cook 3 large potatoes at one time and that gets me through a week’s worth of lunches as well.
2. Add yo veggies! Anything is fair game here. Again, I like to prep a bunch of vegetables at one time to use throughout the week. I’ve listed some of my favorites below.
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels sprouts
I use different cooking methods when I make vegetables to add variety as well. For example, one week I’ll steam broccoli, another week, I’ll grill it (….or my husband will. Summer 2017 is the summer I learn to turn on the grill ?). I either toss my vegetables in olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter or ghee. I season them with soy sauce or coconut aminos (which is similar to soy sauce but doesn’t contain soy), a spice blend, or sea salt. If you don’t feel like prepping veggies ahead of time, you can use leftovers from dinner the night before. Like I said, there really are no rules when it comes to bowls.
3. Pump up the protein. Protein is the macronutrient that fills you up so it is a key ingredient to a balanced bowl. This is another area where anything goes. Some of my favorites include:
- Grilled chicken- you can use rotisserie chicken to make prep time even quicker
- Chicken sausage
- Ground turkey or beef- This week I used leftovers from taco night
- Pork chops
- Beans- I prefer animal protein, but I know some people don’t, so black beans would be a great addition
4. Don’t forget the (healthy) fat! In order to make a balanced bowl, it needs to include carbohydrate, protein and fat. By including all three macronutrients you are making a complete, satisfying meal. Here are some ways to incorporate fat:
- Avocado- probably my favorite ?
- Using fat in the cooking process. As I mentioned before, I cook my vegetables in oil or butter
- Add olive oil to quinoa post cooking, it adds good flavor too
- Nuts or seeds- not my favorite, but it’s more of a texture thing
- Hummus- not a big source of fat, but it does contain some
Voilà!?????? Now you have the keys to making a balanced bowl, which doubles as an awesome lunch! Because the bowl includes all three macronutrients, it will better stabilize your blood sugar level post meal, which will help decrease cravings ???. Win-Win!
Check out some of my bowls from this past week: **Disclaimer- I’m not a food photographer; all photos were taken quickly with little patience because when it’s time to eat, I eat ?.
Butternut squash noodles sautéed in olive oil, broccoli steamed with butter, grilled chicken and avocado
Quinoa, broccoli steamed with butter, left over taco seasoned ground beef, sprinkle of cheese
Quinoa seasoned with olive oil, broccoli steamed with butter, red bell peppers, grilled chicken, sprinkle of walnuts
Leftovers bowl: Made this week. Sweet potato roasted in coconut oil, asparagus and zucchini grilled in olive oil, grilled pork chop. I’ll slice an avocado when it’s time to eat!
Questions? Comments? Bowl recipes?? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to hear from you!