Nourishing bowl, abundance bowl, everything-good-for-you-all-in-one-bowl. Whatever, you call these bowls of goodness, they make the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner requiring nothing more than a bowl and a fork.
After years of perfecting the perfect combo I’ve found these seven components equal nourishing bowl perfection:
1. Substantial base
My favourite combo is brown rice and brown lentils. Make a big batch and keep half in the fridge to scoop into bowls during the week and half in the freezer for when you haven’t made the time to watch rice and lentils boil. I soak and cook my rice and lentils (separately), but if you’re seriously short of time use pre-cooked brown rice and organic and BPA free canned lentils. Quinoa, millet and freekeh also make great bases to nourishing bowls.
2. Roast vegetables
My favourites are sweet potato, pumpkin and cauliflower but you can use any roasted vegetable you like. It all about the caramelised sweetness of the veg that make them a necessary component. I like to roast a big batch of veg on a Sunday night and keep them in a container in the fridge to throw into bowls throughout the week.
Well it IS a nourishing bowl after all. Don’t have time to steam greens? Throw in some fresh baby spinach or rocket. But there really is no excuse, because (and I know you won’t be surprised by this), I steam greens and keep them in the fridge to throw in bowls throughout the week (noticing a trend?).
Of course it’s all about the nourishing quality of the food (the more colours you can include the more vitamins your guaranteed), but don’t be fooled that visual nourishment doesn’t have a huge impact on the experience.
The secret to an all-in-one-bowl meal (and this goes for salads too) is an array of textures. Fluffy rice, crisp leaves or cabbage, tender steamed greens, soft roast veg, crunch of seeds and nuts and some silky avocado, hummus or tahini.
Because all of the different textures and food combos in your nourishing bowl the sauerkraut will help make digestion nice and easy.
7. Balanced Nutrition
And last but not least you should always aim to balance each meal with an adequate amount of protein, carbs and good fats. We’ve already covered the latter two, so let’s have a chat about your protein options. If you’re keen to keep the bowl vegan then opt for lentils or quinoa in the substantial base (see #1). If you’re vegetarian then you can’t go past a soft-boiled or poached egg, some soft cheese like ricotta or goat’s curd, or a good sprinkle of nuts and seeds. If you’re in the mood for some meat I love hot smoked salmon, poached chicken or if you’re super pressed for time a can of tuna in olive oil.
If you feel inspired to whip up a nourishing bowl, make sure you take a pic, post it on social media and tag me @theinspiredtable and #inspiredeating so I can check it out.