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Clean Eating

Your Cheat Sheet to Building Better Bowls

A bowl is a perfect anytime meal—sweet or savory, they can be made for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We’re showing you how to build your own bowl, and sharing three vibrant Mediterranean recipes to try.

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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
Mixe 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.

 

From Clean Eating