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How To Make a Best-Ever Lunch Bowl


The concept of a lunch bowl is pretty brilliant: all your favorite things, now together, in a bowl. I posted my love for them recently in this Buddha Bowl recipe, but what surprised me is the amount of questions about the specific structure of said bowl. So, let’s discuss!

Lunch bowls, sometimes called “Buddha Bowls,” are not your average meal. These powerfully-nutritious recipes pack in pretty much everything your body craves in the form of filling protein, energizing carbohydrates, and good fats. Plus, lunch bowls are unquestionably delicious, leaving no mystery as to why so many people are so hooked on this healthy way to feast.

But when it comes to the specifics of a lunch bowl, that’s when things get a little more vague. The mantra of many lunch bowls can have a little “more is better” attitude which, as you can imagine, leaves a lot of room for no-limits interpretation. While there aren’t specific “rules,” most bowls are designed to offer a well-rounded, balanced combination of ingredients, with each ingredient or micro-recipe in its own dedicated pile in the bowl, as opposed to being mixed up together. If you’re looking to make your own lunch bowl, simply follow this basic formula and put together an epic combination of your own.

Something Starchy | At the bottom of your bowl, start with a serving of a starchy carbohydrate. This can be anything from cooked rice, to noodles, to a starchy vegetable like potatoes. This will be your filling base for the meal.

Something Protein | Add a serving of your favorite healthy cooked protein. To keep your bowl plant-based, you even use beans, legumes, tempeh, and more! Bonus points if you season your protein with something simple like your favorite spice or some soy sauce to make it extra irresistible.

Something Veggie | The biggest pile in your lunch bowl should be your vegetable pile. Stay simple with a handful of baby greens or shredded carrots, or get creative by adding special vegetable sides such as roasted broccoli, “riced” cauliflower, or sautéed bok choy. And yes, you can always add more than one favorite vegetable!

Something Superfoodie | Lunch bowls really are intended to be an ideal way to enjoy a balanced meal, so adding something that boasts some superfood action is a great way to include both delicious intrigue as well as bonus nutrition. Spoon in a pile of your favorite superfoods, like dried goji berries, fresh pomegranate seeds, or smoked jalepeno kraut …to name a few!

Something Good-fat(ie) | To ensure a true nutritional equilibrium, incorporating healthy fat in your bowl is important. Top your bowl with good plant-based sources like sliced avocado, a generous scoop of hemp seeds, or a handful of your favorite nuts.

Something Saucy | Time to dress your delicious combination! Lunch bowls are famous for their sauces, which are often drizzled over the top of the bowl. You can use salad dressings, bottled sauces, something more dip-like such as hummus or guacamole, or a combination.

Ready to rock and bowl? Here’s a recipe for my of-the-moment bowl packed with all of the season’s finest eats.

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