Poke bowls, grain bowls, smoothie bowls...we are reaching peak bowl, my friends. Plates, who? Platters, what? Bowls: they’re not just for cereal anymore! Ready to get bowling, but unsure of what components you need to score a strike? We hacked the ratio you’ll need to follow to win that Super Bowl! If you think I’m done making bowl jokes, then you know me not at all.
*(This post is not sponsored by Big Bowl...but also if the Bowl Lobby is hiring copywriters, I am avail)
Since it’s summer and we’re trying to load up on greens, we wanted these bowls to pack a protein punch without the addition of meat. Concerned you may miss that steak or chicken? The key to making a vegetarian meal feel hearty is to have lots of different textures and use ingredients that are naturally high in protein. Chicken or fish may be your protein go-to, but did you know that cooked veggies like broccoli and asparagus have between 4 to 5 grams of protein per cup? A cup of lentils will add 18 grams of protein to your bowl, and a topping of nutritional yeast has14 grams per ounce, not to mention the added benefits of fiber and flavor.
The best bowl is all about ratios; our formula allows you to customize, while still making sure there's enough nutritional value to keep you satisfied.
2 cups roasted veggies (this is after they're roasted, they'll shrink after they cook)
1 cup base (either a carb or a neutral vegetable like cauliflower)
1/8 to 1/4 cup sauce or dressing
1/2 to 1 cup garnish
1/2 cup to 1 cup protein topper
Each of our bowls starts with roasted veggies, a base like noodles or grains for added texture, a sauce, a protein topper, and garnish to pull the flavors together. Using this formula we made an Asian-inspired bowl, but with different ingredients and spices you could easily go Mexican or Italian with the flavor profile.
Bowls are also a great way to meal prep, or plan lunches for the work week. Time to rock n’ bowl, people...
The Asian-Inspired Bowl:
1 cup kabocha squash
1cup bok choy
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 cup soba noodles
1 TBSP green onions (green part only)
1/8 cup shredded napa cabbage
1 /8 cup shredded carrots
Sprinkling of sesame seeds
1 TBSP Soy sauce
1 TSP Sriracha (optional)
2 TSP Sesame oil
1 TSP Mirin
1 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 TSP Grated Ginger
1/2 TSP Grated Garlic
Roast your veggies: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut the kabocha squash, bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms into large even pieces and spread out in1 even layer on a sheet pan. The goal is to roast, not steam, so avoid overcrowding your veggies so they don’t get mushy. Coat with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
Prep your base: Cook your soba noodles as directed on the package.
Protein topper: Fry an egg in a little dash of olive oil, put aside.
Make your dressing: You can go for a store bought dressing like Soyaki from Trader Joe’s, but you can get the exact flavors you want by making your own. Grate or mince the garlic and ginger, and add sriracha, sesame oil and mirin, and mix thoroughly. Then add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar (combining the oil with the heavier components will make it easier to emulsify with the acidic ingredients).
Mix: Thoroughly coat your roasted veggies with your dressing.
Top with your garnish: Slice the green onions, carrots and napa cabbage into thin strips, if you don't trust your knife skills you can use a cheese grater for the carrots! This will add a crisp crunch to your bowl. Top with your fried egg and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Enjoy immediately, or pack up for a lunch that will make you coworkers jealous as they sadly shuffle out to Chipotle.
Want to take this bowl south of the border? Swap out the above for these ingredients:
Roasted veggies: onions, bell peppers, kale, corn
Base: brown rice and black beans
Vegetarian Protein Topper: Cooked soyrizo
Sauce: salsa or guacamole (or both!)
Garnish: cilantro, radishes, fresh/pickled jalapeños, vegan cheese, avocado, lettuce
Roasted Veggies: cauliflower, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, and tomatoes
Base: farro and cannellini beans
Vegetarian Protein Topper: lentils
Garnish: parsley and oregano, nutritional yeast
Sauce: marinara sauce
Roasted Veggies: cauliflower, kale, bell peppers, asparagus
Vegetarian Protein Topper: canned chickpeas
Dressing: tahini and a squeeze of lemon Juice
Garnish: parsley or cilantro, cucumbers, pickled/fresh onions, banana peppers, green or kalamata olives
YOLO Bowl-o! Make Your Own
Roasted Veggies: Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, zucchini, kale, bell peppers, beets, snap peas, mushrooms, asparagus, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, corn
Base: brown rice, quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, pasta, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, beans
Vegetarian Protein Topper: tempeh, tofu, seitan, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, veggie sausages like soyrizo
Dressing: hummus, guacamole, sour cream, we also love pretty much anything from Primal Kitchen's line of dressings.
Garnish: herbs like basil, parsley or cilantro, nutritional yeast, nuts, radishes, fresh/pickled jalapeños, cheese, avocado, spinach, lettuce