You may have noticed that bowls are the new plates—from smoothie bowls to quinoa bowls to Buddha bowls, even #bowl is having a food moment. But unlike red-velvet cupcakes, this is one healthy culinary trend you want to embrace.
Beyond oatmeal and soup, a simple bowl can serve as a gathering place for a perfect balance of essential food groups all at once to keep you pumped up. Start with nutrient-dense whole grains, and work your way up from there with muscle-making proteins, vegetables, and flavorful sauces and you’ll have a recipe for a meal with a unique marriage of nutrition, flavor, and texture. Plus, in a bowl everything is deliciously mixed together like in a Benetton ad, instead of getting pushed around on a plate like a shopping cart with wobbly wheels.
SEE ALSO: Healthy Grilling: BBQ Shrimp Skewers
Shelve the plates and tame your appetite with these power bowls to make gaining mass easier and tastier.
SHRIMP QUINOA BOWL WITH CURRY SAUCE
- 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
- 2 tsp grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled
- 2/3 cup light coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1/4 tsp chili or cayenne powder
- 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups cubed pineapple
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- Cover cashews with water and let soak at least 2 hours.
- Heat oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and heat, stirring often, until grains are fragrant. Add 1. cups water to pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered for 12 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside covered for 5 minutes and then fluff with fork.
- In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add shrimp and immediately remove pan from heat. Cover and let shrimp rest until pink and opaque, about 3 minutes.
- Drain cashews and blend with coconut milk, lime juice, honey, curry powder, chili powder, ginger, and garlic until smooth.
- Divide quinoa among serving bowls and top with spinach, shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, pineapple, and curry sauce. Garnish with cilantro.
Did you know?
Quinoa supplies more protein than most other whole grains, and soaked cashews are a simple hack for creating a silky sauce that plays by the nutritional rules.
Pork Egg Bowl with Kimchi Sauce
- 1¼ cup brown rice
- 4 tsp grapeseed or canola oil, divided
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup kimchi
- 2 medium-size tomatoes, chopped
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rice, return to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered for 25 minutes. Set aside covered for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
- Heat 2 tsp grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork, garlic, and ginger and heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil; add to pan with pork and heat 1 minute. Remove pork from pan and set aside covered.
- Heat remaining grapeseed oil in skillet over medium heat and cook eggs.
- Blend together kimchi and tomatoes until smooth.
- To serve, place rice in serving bowls and top with cabbage, pork, and egg. Cover with kimchi sauce.
SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Eat Eggs
Kimchi can help torch any of your stubborn fat stores by providing a dynamic duo of probiotics and capsaicin, the compound that gives this dish a fiery kick.
Millet Sweet Potato Bean Bowl with Avocado Sauce
- 3 tsp canola oil, divided
- 1 cup millet
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 6 fresh (husked) or canned tomatillos
- 1 avocado
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 scallion (green onion), chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 cups baby greens
- 1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add millet and heat, stirring often, until grains start smelling toasted. Add 2 cups water to pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until millet is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside covered for 5 minutes and then fluff with fork.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss sweet potatoes with remaining oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Place in oven and roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Blend together tomatillos, avocado, jalapeño, lime juice, scallion, and salt until smooth.
- Divide millet, sweet potatoes, greens, beans, and chickpeas among serving bowls. Top with avocado sauce and pumpkin seeds.
Did you know?
When you want to give your body a vacation from meat, beans are an inexpensive source of plant-based protein that can help you hone a fierce physique.
Rye Salmon Bowl with Beet Sauce
- 1¼ cups whole-rye kernels
- 1½ lb salmon fillets
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup pickled beets
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- 1½ tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped dill
- Cover rye with water and let soak overnight or for several hours.
- Drain rye, place in a medium-size saucepan, and cover with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered until tender but still somewhat firm to the bite, about 45 minutes. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Season salmon with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Place on a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, skin-side down, and bake until cooked through in the middle, about 12 minutes. Gently break apart flesh with a fork.
- Blend together beets, . cup of the pickling liquid, yogurt, horseradish, and lemon zest until smooth.
- Divide rye, salmon, arugula, carrots, cucumber, and scallions among serving bowls. Top with beet sauce, pistachios, and dill.
The Rye Stuff
Time to think beyond pumpernickel and introduce less-processed whole rye into your diet as a source of fat-obliterating dietary fiber.