How to Construct the Perfect Dinner Bowl

One of my favorite formats for a weeknight dinner is grain bowls! One of the reasons that I love eating bowls is that they are an easy way to get a balanced meal without breaking the bank and while still feeling satisfied and full at the end of the meal. The foundation of a great dinner bowl is always the grain. Some of my favorite grains are quinoa, brown rice, emmer, and couscous. For a dinner bowl, I'll usually have about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cooked grains per bowl. This can vary depending on how filling you want your meal to be. On top of the grains, you'll want to add your greens. In the summer I like to have more greens than grains and make them the base of my bowl, but keeping the greens down to a supporting element can also keep the cost of the meal down lower. A great hack to add greens into a bowl during the colder seasons is to sauté winter greens like chard and kale with the grains. Doing this will help the bowl to maintain a warm and "cozy" feel rather than allowing it to turn into a salad. The third element of a great grain bowl are roasted vegetables. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, red bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, carrots, squash, and cauliflower are some great options but you can put any roasted vegetable on a bowl! My pro tip is to try to stick to seasonal vegetables and to roast them on a higher temperature like 425 for a shorter period (usually between 20 to 30 minutes). Cooking at a higher temperature will preserve more of the nutrition in the foods and keep them from getting too squishy or losing flavor. On top of the roasted veggies, you'll want to add a protein. A fried egg is a tried and true option, but I also love chickpeas black beans or even edamame. If you're a meat eater you can add a little bit of grass-fed locally raised steak or sausage. The final touch may be the most important element; the sauce. I can't stress how important it is to have a great sauce for your bowl. You can get a recipe for red pepper mojo sauce in my free downloadable e-book. It's great to make sauces like pestos and mojos in larger batches because they can be spread on sandwiches, used in scrambles and used to top bowls!

You can grab my free mini recipe book here.