May. 13. 2016
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A simple, no mess, no fuss kinda meal.

Bowl meals are all the rage right now for good reason. They’re a simple, no mess, no fuss kinda meal typically made in one bowl and assembled with ingredients you might already have cooked or stocked in the pantry and fridge. These “bowl meals” make up 90% of my lunches and dinners because they’re versatile and delicious, and if I prepared the weekend before I can make these in under 10 minutes! If you’re a Society member, you know the drill with these type of batch cooking methods and this won’t be new to ya, but let’s dive into creating the perfect bowl meal.

the perfect bowl meal recipe

Any proper bowl meal, in my opinion, needs to have healthy fats, protein, greens, other vegetables (besides greens), and optional carbohydrates/starches. They also utilize fresh herbs, spices, and homemade sauces to jazz them up throughout the week so you don’t get bored of the same flavors and variations. Below I’ve listed foods that will fall into these above-mentioned categories to give you a head start, followed by some of my favorite bowl combinations for you to try out. I’d love to hear what your favorite combos are in the comments section!

Raw or lightly cooked greens: spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, micro greens, sprouts, mustard greens, swiss chard, etc.

Proteins: tempeh, beans, quinoa and lentils (starchy-proteins), hemp seeds, nuts/seeds, nutritional yeast (not technically a “protein”, but loaded with plant-based protein). High-quality animal proteins like whole eggs, wild-caught fish, chicken, turkey, etc.

Healthy fats (can cook with these oils or add as a topping): avocado, olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, coconut oil

Veggies, not limited to: carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, snap peas, peas, radish, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Carbohydrates and starches: sweet potatoes, quinoa, millet, brown rice, wild rice, beans, corn and peas. Fruits: strawberries, pears, banana, papaya, mango, grapes, raspberries, apples, etc.

Toppers: fermented veggies like kimchi or sauerkraut, homemade salad dressings (try those listed below), kelp/dulse granules and flakes for added iodine and minerals, nutritional yeast, homemade hummus, apple cider vinegar (a must!), fresh lemon juice

Favorite combos you should try!

  1. Spinach, quinoa, black beans, red bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, strawberry salsa, ground cumin to taste
  2. Massaged Kale Salad, sweet potatoes, olive oil, poached eggs, cauliflower rice, Bursted Tomato Spread
  3. Raw arugula, wild caught salmon, olive oil, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, Spinach Basil Pesto
  4. Sautéed spinach, millet, nutritional yeast, fried egg in coconut oil, steamed broccoli and asparagus, Sweet Tahini Drizzle
  5. Sautéed kale, baked fish, grated carrots, raisins, pine nuts, Citrus Dill Dressing

Dressings and sauces to “dress” up these bowl meals:

Try these popular bowl meals: