I usually find myself coming home from practice to stare at a bunch of random ingredients in my fridge and little creativity as to how to put those ingredients together into a recipe at 6pm when I’m hungry and ready to eat ASAP! I came up with this “power bowl” idea in college and have been using (and changing) it ever since. The beauty of this recipe is that its really just a guideline and can be tweaked in so many ways to cater to your cravings or what you happen to have on hand. There is no time to run to the grocery store before cooking when you're hungry! If you don’t have quinoa, use rice, or barley, or any other grain you like! Same goes for protein- some of my favorites are grilled chicken or grilled steak, but feel free to use tuna, salmon, chorizo, tofu, whatever! And as for vegetables, the more the merrier! I love to put everything in a big bowl and drizzle the dressing on top, but you can also mix the dressing in before serving to coat everything.
I’ve created this recipe, but there are so many other guidelines for this type of thing online. One of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis, Crazy Bowls and Wraps, makes a great bowl like this!
Think of your bowl in layers. Each layer is a different category. Pick a green, then a grain, a protein, and as many vegetables as you want, then top if off with your sauce!
Keep in mind these are just suggestions- get creative!
1. Greens: I like to chop or shred my greens (especially ones with larger leaves), use about 1c per serving
-kale(red or green), arugula, spinach (baby or big)
2. Grains: Follow the directions for each grain, but typically I cook my grains by placing 1c grain and 2c water in a pot, boiling, then reducing to simmer until light and fluffy. Throw in about 1/3 c cooked per serving
-quinoa (any color), rice (preferably brown), faro, barley
3. Legumes: I usually buy canned beans out of laziness, but of course you could soak and cook dried beans if you have the time. Use about 1/4c per serving here.
-black beans, garbanzo, kidney beans, lentils
4. Proteins: Whatever protein you choose, grill/boil/sear/bake (grilled is my favorite) to your liking, then chop into bite-sized pieces. I use about 1/3c per serving.
-chicken, steak, salmon, tofu, tempeh
5. Vegetables (and fruits): Go crazy here, folks! If you hate the earthy taste of beets (I LOVE), skips those and add something that makes your heart sing. You shouldn’t have to choke down vegetables, so find ones you love, you have so many options. Some must be cooked (potatoes) while others you can add raw (shredded carrot). I often grill the veggies (like onions and peppers), but sometimes roast a batch (Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and sweet potato). Add at least a cup of chopped veggies!
-Brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, onions, beets, asparagus, sweet potato, green/red/yellow pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, berries, edamame
6. Dressing: This can be drizzled (or glopped) on top or mixed into the dish before serving. I usually try to make my own dressings homemade, but you can always have some store-bought ones on hand for when you’re in a pinch. Shalane Flanagan’s cookbook, Run Fast Eat Slow, has a recipe for my favorite dressing of all time: Lemon Ginger Miso- give it a try!
-pesto (make it creamy by mixing in some plain yogurt), hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon miso, apple cider vinaigrette, soy sauce
7. Other toppings: Here’s where you can really make it unique! Add some crunch or some extra spice!
-toasted almond slivers, candied pecans, crumbled/shredded cheese (goat, feta, and parmesan are my favorites), toasted pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds, Sriracha