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One of the easiest, go to meals for me is a ‘balance bowl’ – the perfect combo of all our necessary macro nutrients plonked into a bowl ready to devour.
So many people ask me how to make them or complain that they ‘can’t cook’… but guess what? These bowls definitely don’t need any MasterChef skills in the kitchen – in fact, I’m sure there are enough items sitting in your fridge or pantry that we could make a bowl out of right now.
Here’s my list on how to make your bowl perfect, all the time, every time, always.
I always love to have something soft and smushy in my bowl – so my go-to is usually roasted or sautéed vegetables of some sort.
Some ideas include: oregano roasted pumpkin, rosemary sweet potato cubes, grilled zucchini with lemon, roasted tomato wedges, parsnip chips, tamari & sesame roasted mushrooms
The other option is to lightly sauté or steam your greens as your ‘cooked’ item – so think chopped broccoli, asparagus, broad beans and kale with a little olive oil, garlic and salt – cook until just tender. Perfection!
Slaws and tangy citrus salads are always a winner for the palate – plus they make your bowl taste lighter and ‘fresher’. Loaded with antioxidants and fibre, they revitalise our cells and act as excellent pre-biotics.
Some simple raw additions include:
Whether you be vegan or a carnivore, we all need a little protein to our meals – not only does it keep us full but it promotes the growth and repair of muscles and cells too.
Protein can come in all shapes and sizes so don’t always think it has to meat or nuts.
Here are some delicious ideas:
Fibre & Low GI Carbs
Some of you may choose to keep your carbs or grains out but I personally love a little bit of brown rice or quinoa in my bowl. Make sure you always stick to your whole, low GI carbs though – nothing white or processed!
Buckwheat noodles, brown rice noodles, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, whole buckwheat… the list goes on! A little tip when cooking grains is to rinse them well before cooking and to add a pinch of sea salt to the cooking water – makes them taste so delish!
We get our healthy fats both from foods as well as from oils.
I only ever really cook with olive oil or coconut oil unless I’m using sesame oil or another flavoured oil for seasoning or salad dressings.
The obvious, delicious healthy fat that comes to all of our minds the almighty avocado – smash it, cube it, slice it, dice it, puree it with basil and lemon juice – the options are endless.
Other sources of good fats include seeds, nuts, nut butters, sardines, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, avocado oil.
The beauty of fermentation… Keeping our gut bacteria happy and our little internal ecosystem thriving is essential to optimal health and wellbeing.
Luckily for us, fermented foods have made a massive comeback and if you can’t be bothered making them yourself, they are readily available in the health food section of most grocery stores.
Some of my personal favourites include – sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso, pickled carrots, or pickled radish. You can ferment most foods and keep them stored in air tight jars in your fridge ready to add to literally every and any meal.
Don’t overdo the dressings – they don’t need to be difficult or complicated and the beauty of these bowls is that each individual element tastes amazing all on its own.
Here are 3 of my go to dressings which are fast, easy and delicious (of course):
Our taste buds LOVE different textures – it makes the eating experience fun and exciting and doesn’t make you feel like you’re eating baby food.
So whenever you build a bowl think of what textures you can add to give it an extra crunch of element of ‘fun’ when you’re eating.
Toasted seeds, dehydrated veggie chips, dips and purees, stringy noodles, crunchy tempeh cubes – they all have their role to play in your bowl.
Remember we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths… Who wants to eat anything that looks bland or boring? The term ‘eat the rainbow’ takes full effect when we build our bowls people! So get creative with the colours… if your bowl starts looking too colourless, its time to add some veg.
If you're making a bowl for someone else... PLEASE garnish it - a simple wedge of lemon and few sprigs of herbs will do the trick just fine.
Finally, we want the flavour explosion right? Not through store bought processed sauces… but REAL taste from GOOD ingredients.
Shop local – find your best green grocer, fish monger, butcher to ensure your ingredients are as fresh as fresh can be.
Bring out the flavours with natural flavour enhancers – my top herbs and spices are always on hand: fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, mint and basil), smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, tamari, sesame oil, sea salt and black pepper. With these secret weapons in your pantry – you cannot go wrong.
Got any questions?! Don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail or leave a comment below.
Happy bowl making xx