Power bowl. Buddha bowl. Bowl of goodness. Glory bowl. Hippie bowl.
Call it what you want to call it; it goes by different names. But they all serve the same purpose: to fill you up on delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients, easily and quickly.
The power bowl is one of the best kept not-so-secret secrets in the health and wellness world. Not-so-secret because those “in the know” are making and posting photos of them every single day (just search #buddhabowl on Instagram and you’ll get tons of ideas). But still a secret because well, everyone’s still not making them yet.
Want to learn to eat at home more and cook healthier but still simply? Just do a bit of meal prep on the weekends (read: roast a big pan of veggies), and then throw it all together in a big bowl, å la the power bowl.
There’s really no right or wrong way to make a power bowl, but we know folks like a bit of guidance. So, we’ve gathered our top tips for prepping ahead of time to make sure you’ve got the ingredients on hand to throw together a power bowl at-home or on-the-go at anytime.
And we bet this simple dish is going to be your new go-to healthy meal…
1. START WITH LEAFY GREENS.
We live by the motto, “Add leafy greens to anything and everything!” Start your first power bowl layer with at least one but preferably two fistfuls of your favorite leafy greens. We like romaine, baby spinach, mixed baby lettuces, mache, baby kale, arugula and microgreens, but there’s no right or wrong here.
2. ADD OTHER VEGGIES.
This is when it comes in handy to have prepped some veggies ahead of time. Try to choose a combination of raw and cooked veggies, and if you’ve got access to reheating your cooked veggies, it’s nice to have that difference in temperature in your bowl (or maybe you prefer it all cold…and that’s cool, too).
Roast a big pan of your favorite veggies on the weekends (but don’t be afraid to try new ones, too). We love to roast veggies like brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and zucchini. We love to sauté veggies like mushrooms, green or purple cabbage, shredded carrots, zucchini or sweet potato noodles and shaved brussels sprouts. The more color you have, the better.
Add some of these leftover roasted or sautéed veggies to your power bowl on top of your leafy greens, and add a few raw veggies as well to add water and more live enzymes, which will make your digestion happy and your skin glow. Some of our favorite raw veggies to use are cucumbers. alfalfa or other sprouts, jicama, tomatoes, green onions and sauerkraut.
3. ADD WHOLE GRAINS (IF USING).
Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cooked grains, if you’d like to include them. We like brown rice, quinoa, millet or leftover whole grain pasta. You can also do a whole grain tortilla or piece of sprouted grain toast on the side; just omit the grains if doing that (so your bowl doesn’t get too grain heavy).
4. ADD SOME HEALTHY FAT.
Try 1/2 of a small avocado, a tablespoon or two of raw nuts or seeds, a few olives (if you’ve never tried castelvetrano olives, run to your local health food store now and grab some from the olive bar!), a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil, almond milk cream cheese (we love Kite Hill’s cream cheese spreads) or a scoop of tahini. Use the amount of fat that works best for your body; just because your friend or neighbor is thriving on a high-fat diet, doesn’t necessarily mean you will. For some folks, too much fat leads to weight gain. It’s important to understand your own body.
5. ADD PROTEIN OF CHOICE.
Your choice, plant-based or animal protein. We stick with more plant-based proteins, but again, you do you, babe. Our favorites are nuts and seeds, avocados, whole grains, beans, hummus, organic tempeh or a crumbled up veggie burger (try GoodSeed Burgers or Hilary’s).
6. ADD A SAUCE.
Our favorite homemade dressing is a mix of tamari, grainy mustard and a splash of toasted sesame oil, but you can use any sauce you like. If you’ve used avocado and black beans in your power bowl, a bit of fresh salsa might just do the trick. If you’ve built your bowl with turmeric roasted veggies and brown rice, try a scoop of chutney on top of your bowl. Tahini, hummus, a healthy peanut sauce or a splash of tamari won’t ever steer you wrong.
7. AND FINISH OFF WITH A KICK OF FLAVOR.
We love lemon or lime juice, a sprinkle of curry powder, sea salt, black pepper, or fresh herbs like chopped cilantro or parsley.
Bottom line? Just play and find out what you don’t like in order to better know what you do like. Pretty soon we think you’ll agree that meals are just better in a bowl.