You’ve seen these veggie-packed, effortless looking bowls on your social feed, and perhaps you’ve thought, how do I make my basic chicken and rice dinner into that gorgeous bowl?
It’s actually pretty straightforward with a little know how (and our cheat sheet below). But before we get into the how-tos, let’s look at what exactly makes a regular recipe into a bowl?
The Anatomy of a Bowl
Every recipe is different and there is no one style, but there are a few general guidelines. Most bowls have a grain base – think brown rice, quinoa, noodles or even a grain-free base such as cauliflower rice. Add a protein, mixed veg and some flavorful, crunchy toppers and finish with a sauce and you have a meal with a variety of flavors and textures.
When creating your own bowl, choose a flavor theme — Mexican, Japanese or Mediterranean for instance — as a place to start. Try balancing both crunchy and creamy ingredients to add textural interest. Remember to drizzle the sauce on sparingly, as you can always add more as you’re eating.
Build Your Own Bowl
To create your own bowl, simply pick an ingredient, or multiple ingredients, from each category.
|Base||Whole grain (brown rice, sorghum, millet, quinoa), noodles, veggie rice (cauliflower or sweet potato rice), zoodles|
|Protein||Rotisserie chicken, steak slices, tuna, tofu or beans|
|Mixed Veg/Fruit||Raw slices, spiralized or chopped vegetables or fruit such as cucumber, radishes, kale, tomatoes, beets, carrots, citrus segments or pineapple chunks|
|Flavor Toppers||Toasted nuts or seeds, crumbled nori sheets, kimchi, tortilla strips, pickled ginger, wasabi peas|
|Sauce||Pesto, salsa, tzatziki, curry, gochujang dressing, Romesco sauce|
Bowls with a Mediterranean Twist
Every bowl should have a theme, and we are bringing you three of them with a Levantine twist. We reached out to Chef Himi Hunaidi, founder of Toronto-based restaurant Madame Levant, to create three meal-in-a-bowl recipes inspired by flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean.
She uses the principles of layering ingredients, adding key Mediterranean flavors such as halloumi, turmeric and sumac to build these tasty bowls. Check out her recipes at the links below.