Super bowls are THE best. They’re an easy, versatile and nutritious way to think about breakfast, lunch or dinner. All you really need to do to build a bowl without a recipe is to follow the basic formula: 1/3 cooked grain (about ½ cup), ½ cooked vegetables (about 1 ½ – 2 cups), 4 ounces of protein, a couple of tablespoons of garnish, and up to 1/4 cup of sauce per serving. Follow these tips and I promise super bowls will become a go-to weeknight staple.
1. Start with your grain.
Try whole grains like brown rice, wheat berries, spelt berries, barley or oats. All whole grains are packed with complex carbs, tons of fibre, B vitamins, chromium and other minerals! Seeds such as millet and quinoa also work well, and are good choices for grain-free meals. You can also substitute in starchy root vegetables such roasted, steamed or mashed sweet potatoes and parsnips. This is a great way to use leftover and reheated grains, but if you’re making a fresh batch, consider cooking your grain in chicken or vegetable broth to give it some extra flavor! I usually just boil them until tender.
2. Add your vegetables.
Add a handful of raw leafy greens such as spinach, kale or chard – but be careful not to add too many leaves here, or you will end up with a salad! Try adding other vegetables in various forms: raw, shredded, steamed or stir-fried. Anything goes.
Here, you can use hardboiled eggs, beans, canned tuna, chicken, beef, pork, or fish. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and any leftovers that you have in your fridge are welcome! If you’re keeping it vegan, try baked, stir-fried or roasted tofu, tempeh or seitan. Beans and pulses also work, either whole or whirled into a hummus or dip. Or, you could top your meal bowl with a poached or fried egg – because everything is better when you put an egg on it ☺
4. Dress it up! Here’s the part where you can decide the personality of your grain bowl. A good dressing can really make your bowl sing. There are so many choices, from hummus and tahini, to salsa and hot sauce, to a salty soy-based sauce. You can also opt for a simple oil and vinegar dressing, if you like.
5. Add some garnishes. Garnishes are the most overlooked area of grain bowls, but they can be just the thing you need to turn your weeknight meal into a masterpiece. Consider adding pickled radishes, seaweed, or avocado slices, or sprinkle your bowl with nuts and seeds for some crunch. Or, try crumbling fresh herbs over the top of your bowl for something a little different.
Whatever you have on hand in your fridge or pantry, chances are you can make it into a simple and healthy meal for any time of the day.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Barley + roasted cauliflower and broccoli + poached egg + hot sauce
- Farro + spinach + salmon + radishes + sesame oil + sesame seeds
- Brown rice + roasted eggplant, spinach, carrot + grilled shrimp + your favorite chutney.
- Quinoa or cooked lentils + steamed spinach-tossed with lemon juice and fresh garlic + sautéed caramelized onions + cooked chicken + cracked black pepper and lots of lemon juice.
What ingredients do you want to try to use to make your next Super Bowl? Share with us in the comments below!
About the Author
Barb practices a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that she looks at how all of the areas of her client’s lives – activity level, eating habits, stress, relationships, and work – are interconnected. She then helps them work towards the results they desire, such as such as achieving an optimal weight, reducing cravings, incorporating more healthy foods into family meals, and minimizing fatigue, in realistic and enjoyable steps! Barb doesn’t believe in magic pills or fad diets, and has seen firsthand how dramatic results can be achieved through simple nutritional and lifestyle improvements!