If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories from time to time, you have probably seen that I make a LOT of our meals in bowls! I have loved cooking for a long time but being a newlywed has changed up the way I cook and plan meals (we didn’t live together before we got engaged). Grace loves hearty, healthy food. When I lived alone my go-to meals would often be soups, salads, and sometimes casseroles, but since cooking for two I have needed to make meals that are a little heartier. Grace also loves a lot of different textures and flavors together in one meal.
Enter: BOWLS! Let me explain. Probably at least one night a week our dinner is some kind of fill-in-the-blank “bowl.” A few examples are buffalo cauliflower bowls, homemade “poke” bowls (I use cooked tuna), garden veggie bowls, savory oatmeal bowls, and more. Basically, I take a shallow bowl and fill it with some kind of starch or carb, lots of veggies, protein like tuna, nuts, or crumbled feta cheese, and top it off with a homemade sauce or dressing, flaky sea salt, sesame seeds, green onions, or whatever I feel like. These are such easy, comforting, and healthy weeknight meals. They also make good lunches. Sometimes the bowls are planned out with a theme (like the buffalo cauliflower bowls I’ll show below), but more often than not, they’re everything-but-the-kitchen-sink bowls with just whatever we have on hand thrown in! I also love a one-dish meal because of how easy it is to make and clean up. Here are some of my fav bowls I’ve made:
Base: warm sushi rice. Topped with: tuna (from a can. Yep, so easy), Trader Joe’s spiced pecans, thinly sliced radish, avocado, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, green onion, and black and white sesame seeds sprinkled on top. After I took this picture, I added a homemade sauce that was a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ground ginger.
Base: you can’t really see it in this photo, but the base is oatmeal! Making unsweetened oatmeal and using it as a base for savory foods is sooo good and satisfying. If you’ve never tried savory oats, definitely try it! It’s a super healthy option for the carb portion of your bowl. Topped with: avocado, watermelon radish, plain greek yogurt sprinkled with dried herbs, grape tomatoes, green onion, and dried beet chips. I actually didn’t put a sauce on this one, but I added a generous dash of my favorite flaky sea salt.
This is more of a salad than a “bowl,” but it’s packed with so much good stuff I consider it in the same family. Base: butter lettuce. Topped with: feta cheese, cashews, raw chopped green beans, chopped mini sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, and peeled and chopped Persian cucumber. I dressed it with my go-to homemade dressing: a glug of olive oil, a tablespoon or two of white vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, some salt and pepper, and a big squeeze of lemon juice from our lemon tree (I don’t measure anything out but this is the basic recipe).
This one is super simple and so good. Cooked rotini pasta, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, feta cheese, raw green beans, cucumbers spears, whole endives, my go-to dressing (typed out above), and a lemon wedge from our tree.
This one is a recent favorite in our house. Base: warm rice. Topped with: baked buffalo cauliflower and chickpeas, cucumbers (I’ve also added green beans and grape tomatoes). The sauces are a semi-homemade ranch “drizzle” and buffalo sauce. I say semi-homemade because I use Follow Your Heart brand vegan ranch dressing for the sauce, but I add in some vegan mayo, white vinegar, and a ton of chopped fresh dill to thin it out and make it a little lighter (and tastier, to me). The buffalo cauliflower is made by taking fresh cauliflower florets and breading them in a mixture of almond milk, flour, and buffalo sauce, then coating in panko crumbs. I also add in some chickpeas to the buffalo sauce mix but I don’t coat them in panko. I then bake them for about 20 minutes (turning once). They are the crispiest, tasty little faux-chicken buffalo bites. The consistency is more like popcorn shrimp than chicken. An extra drizzle of buffalo sauce at the end really gives it that flavor. YUM!
This is just a simple protein and veggie bowl, with sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, tuna, butter lettuce, feta cheese, and sliced radish. And some delicious summer peaches on the side :)
As you can see, these bowls can range from more elaborate to super simple. I usually find that no matter what I’m craving, it can be made into a bowl. Recently I have been wanting to try the trend of making eggroll in a bowl but with vegan sausage, so that might be coming soon. The possibilities are endless!
I hope this gives you some inspiration for easy meals at home—I’m by no means a master chef but this has been a fun way to feed Grace and myself that we never seem to get sick of!