I’m learning a whole new foodie language with a surge of popularity in easy-to-create, colourful, food bowls.
Buddha bowls, nourish bowls, rainbow bowls, macro bowls, power bowls...these healthy, colourful concoctions have many names and are now taking up space in the freezer section of your local grocery store.
I was introduced to them a few years back at a friend’s Epicure party. The consultant showed us how to take a protein source, multiple vegetable sources and a Nourish dressing (I bought Apple & Beet Nourish Dressing) to create these astonishingly easy and healthy lunch bowls. I also bought the Nutritional Yeast. She was so convincing!
Back home, I boiled some farm-raised chicken eggs and shredded chicken from one of those grocery roasted chickens. Protein! Then it was a matter of cutting up tomatoes, opening a can of chickpeas, slicing up avocado and creating fun patterns on top a bed of spinach leaves. You can add hummus, tahini, salsa or guacamole for that dab of rich goodness in the centre.
So easy. So pretty. So healthy!
With no desire to be a vegan, but loving vegetables as much as meats, this was the perfect opportunity to combine all sorts of foods without making a chaotic mess of the kitchen or having to pay attention to a cooking casserole for an hour.
Food bowls are ideal for the working woman who wishes, but was not given, the joy of making meals from scratch. We got by, the kids and I, with healthy basics but these bowls add a whole new repertoire to busy-mom cooking.
Reading online, there are all sorts of ideas on how to simplify and offer ingredients for kids to choose their own macro bowl design.
The “Yummy Mummy”, Maria Delio, sets out bowls of ingredients to let everyone choose their own ingredient ratios. She cooks quinoa, lentils and veggies over the weekend. Yummy Mummy says her go-to is a bowl of quinoa with roasted kale, avocado and a poached egg. So simple.
In the Pot household, the girls and I have discovered the delight of roasting kale or broccoli with olive oil and salt and pepper. Honestly, it’s almost as good as Lay’s Salt and Vinegar chips and a zillion times more healthy.
The list of what you can tuck in a macro bowl is endless and they are a great way to experiment with super foods like quinoa or ethnic grains like tempeh or couscous. Also, for Creationists who believe we should be eating more seeds, nuts and berries, it’s super simple to toss in sesame seeds, cashews or pomegranate seeds, to name a few.
The combinations are virtually endless. It may take a while to add brussels sprouts, olives or kimchi (salted and fermented vegetables) but the adventure of trying new foods knows no bounds when it come to food bowls.
Frozen food manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon as well. Check out Healthy Choice Power Bowls. Too much salt, for sure, but they come in a plant-based fibre bowl.
As Christmas approaches the season of over-eating begins, power bowls have three more advantages:
1) A great way to use up leftover turkey
2) They can be colour-coordinated to the season. Try beets, radishes, potatoes, greens, chickpeas and pomegranate seeds.
3) Done right, the belly is full but not bloated with the combo of proteins and vegetables easily digestible for holiday-stretched abdomens.
For producers of the ingredients that fill power bowls, using this food trend is another marketing opportunity and revenue stream for vegetable growers, market-gardeners, egg suppliers and meat producers.
Eat well. Be Merry. And blessings to all who celebrate agriculture and rural life along with The Rural Voice magazine. ◊