Salad bowls are definitely my go to because I usually have a number of vegetables and ingredients on hand. Meals in a bowl have been around for a long time mostly commonly know as Buddha bowls. It is thought that these bowls got their name because the Buddha would carry bowl with him along his travels and people would generously fill it with food for him. These colourful bowls of food don't conform to one set recipe and ingredients can be added and interchanged to your liking. The key is using wholesome nutritious ingredients that will give you bursts of flavours.
The following are just guidelines to creating delicious bowls and don't be afraid to use whatever is in your fridge or cupboards. Making your own delicious sauce or dressing will take minutes and be so much more satisfying than store bought ones. The Nurish Bowl I usually make is plant based based but a meat/fish protein of your choice or eggs can be added. Follow these steps and I guarantee that you will have a unique and delicious meal each and every time you make a bowl.
TIP: Create a theme inspired bowl, Mexican, Asian, Thai, or Mediterranean and use ingredients and dressings that co ordinate.
Choose a base (2-3cups or 1/3 of the bowl)
The most common base used are cooked warm or cold whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, farro, bulgur or barley. Other options are whole grain pastas, noodles and even potatoes. For a lighter option use a mix of heartier greens like kale, collards, chard, romaine and arugula.
Top with Veggies (at least 2 cups)
The amount of vegetables and the variety you use are entirely up to you. Use an and assortment of colours, consistencies and flavours and add them in clumps together on top of the base. Bite size pieces will make it easier to mix together in eat but leaving some larger pieces will work as well. Grilled, Roasted, Fresh, or steamed the possibilities are endless.
Add Legumes (1/2 -1 cup)
Add your cooked plant-based protein ingredients, such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, edamame, and other legumes. If you prefer to add an animal/ fish protein that is fine but I always suggest that you choose ones that are well sourced.
Add Some Crunch and Burst of Flavour (1-2 Tablespoons)
Sprinkle the bowl with some seeds, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, finely chopped onion or chives, and herbs. A little bit will go a long way to add some fun textures and flavour to the dish.
Drizzle with Dressing or Sauce
Bring the flavours together with a dressing or sauce that will compliment your ingredients. You don't want to add too much, but just enough to coat all the ingredients. Dressings are where you can find hidden sugars and calories so be aware. Make your own Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette, Miso dressing, Tahini lemon dressing, Pesto or Peanut Sauce to avoid the hidden ingredients and preservatives. Perhaps all you will need is a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon and sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Some Extra Ingredients
Always try to make the bowls exciting by adding a secret ingredient or element to the bowl. Try some toasted nuts, chia seeds or hemp hearts, nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavour), olive tapenade, hot sauce, capers, fig preserve.
Share your bowls on Instagram and don't forget to #nurishwell and tag us @nurish_well