January 6, 2016 | Posted by Sally Jackson
Make no mistake, the bowl is definitely having a moment. Açai bowls, grain bowls, savory porridge bowls…all the cool kids are eating them (at least that’s how it appears on Instagram). Is it trendy? Yes. But is it also an awesome, endlessly customizable, easy method for delicious clean eating? YES. I’m definitely on the bowl bandwagon.
Here’s how I get my bowl on all week long: I devote a little bit of time on Sunday to meal prep to get me through the work week. I cook a grain (quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, etc.), wash and prep a sturdy green (kale, chard), cut and roast veggies (like sweet potatoes or squash), have a clean protein source or two at the ready (try roasted chicken or baked tofu cubes), and prep fruit and veggies for easy snacking or mid-week steaming, like trimming green beans, cutting broccoli into florets, and making carrot and cucumber sticks for the lunchbox. If I’m really feeling ambitious, I’ll even blend a vinaigrette or two, and truly set myself up for a winning, bowl-filed week.
This helps me not only with the kids’ dinners -- sides and finger foods are ready to go! -- but it means that when their door is finally shut for the night and I make my way to the kitchen at 8:15, I have options that don’t end in a call to Giovanni’s for a quick and dirty pizza. I pull out a couple of big bowls (right now I’m loving this one), add a scoop of my grain, a handful of my greens, some protein, like that roasted tofu or a poached egg, and whatever else strikes my fancy from Sunday’s prep session. Add a drizzle of vinaigrette, a scoop of yogurt or some avocado slices for some satiating fat, and maybe some nuts or seeds to up the crunch factor and oh yeah, dinner is done. And all before the delivery guy would even be buzzing my door.
Check out the recipes here for the components to one of my favorite grain bowls, Quinoa with Kale, Baked-Chile Tofu, Sweet Potatoes and a Lemony Miso-Tahini Vinaigrette. You can easily make the vinaigrette into a thicker dipping sauce as noted in the recipe, and I have to say this: DO IT! It’s bright and lemony, rich and savory and makes every last vegetable in your kitchen taste that much better.