It can be hard to muster the energy to prepare lunches everyday, especially when the summer heat hits. There is nothing less appealing than cooking on a hot day. But, if you want to continue to eat healthy and homemade lunches, then preparation is key.
That’s what’s so great about the grain bowl (sometimes called a Buddha Bowl). You can prepare them on the weekend and alternate flavours and ingredients throughout the week for unique meals each time.
The best part about these bowls is that it doesn’t require a recipe — just an understanding of the mechanics.
The base of the bowl is, obviously, usually a grain like rice or quinoa. Next, choose your protein source. One of my favourite gain bowls uses cooked chickpeas, but you can use grilled chicken,pork, tofu, or even something like goat cheese.
Then you add vegetables. The key is to pick ingredients that are colourful and compliment each other. Some suggestions include: beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, peppers, or zucchini. Cook some of the harder vegetables to make them easier to chew in combination with the rest of the bowl ingredients. It’s okay to have some cooked and some raw.
Afterwards, add something like hummus or tabbouleh so that the grains aren’t so dry. If you want something a bit more saucey, try a greek salad dressing or an olive oil based mixture with dry herbs.
Top with sprouts, olives, or pickled vegetables to taste. Add a little fresh coriander, basil, or mint.
The best part about this meal is that you can cook the grains and cut all of the vegetables on the weekend. Each night, just cook the vegetables you want cooked and that’s it — you have a healthy meal fit for kings!
Variations include breakfast bowls with sweet potato, a poached egg, and sausage.
What is your favourite combination? Let us know in the comments below!