The Winter Bowl
Happy 2016 everyone! I believe that it’s going to be an epic one – what do you think?
So, a new year, and a new set of new food trends and “it” meals are upon us. The good news, VK readers, is 2016 is looking like a great year for vegetables, eating local, and getting back to the roots of eating what’s real. Buh-bye processed ick, hello consumer awareness and vibrant, delicious foods! Farm to table menus across the nation are popping up and eating local is more apparent than ever, as seasonal eating becomes trendy once again – or as your grandparents once considered it: eating. Seaweed and sea vegetables are replacing kale as the cool new green in town and fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha) are hitting it big time as poor gut health is becoming more and more linked to certain types of disease. Fast food choices are getting slightly healthier and vegetables are starting to take center stage as plant-based eating becomes more popular and the consumption of highly-processed meats are declining. The mineral, magnesium, is the hottest supplement, (and found in TONS of whole foods like leafy greens) as nearly 80% of our population is deficient in this essential mineral needed for hundreds of chemical reactions in the bod, muscle and bone strength, keeping the immune system running strong, and regulating blood pressure. Matcha tea is the cool-girl (and guy!) beverage of choice, and adaptogens that help fight stress (maca, ashwagandha, ginseng) are going to become a superherb to reckon with. You’ll see them here on VK in no time at all.
On top of all those foodie-trends is the most popular one yet: eating every single meal out of a bowl. You guys, I have been on board with this trend for months now – and I can safely say, that I’m happy bowl-based meals are taking 2016 by storm. Smoothie bowls, oatmeal power bowls, breakfast bowls with sauteed greens and eggs, macro bowls, grain based lunch and dinner bowls – yes, a bowl meal 3 times per day is now an acceptable and completely healthy way to eat.
The Year of the Bowl Meal.
The good news about bowl meals is that they’re actually a cinch to create, versatile in regards to leftovers and individual preference, and sometimes may require zero cooking to throw together. This last bit is where batch cooking comes into play – cooking all your grains, roasted veg, and protein on the weekend and throwing them together on a weekday in no time at all. So how can you make your own grain bowl at home? It’s incredibly easy:
1. Chose Your Grain Base.
This can be a gluten free option, (quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, oats, amaranth, brown rice) another grain option, (freekah, farro, couscous, kamut) or even a base of vegetables such as cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Layer this on the bottom of your bowl and top with the other components.
2. Veg Out.
Here is where seasonal eating comes into play. Whatever the heck is growing in your area, add to your bowl. Raw, roasted, steamed, baked – your veggie options are endless. I love having raw, massaged kale or steamed sturdy greens to add in heaps of Vitamin K and green superfood powers. Other delicious veggies to health-out on include brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, fennel, parsnips, beets, celeraic, radishes, turnips, onion, garlic, mushrooms, winter squash, sunchokes, and sweet potato.
3. Protein, Baby.
Add a little amino-acid oomph to your bowl meals with the addition of a protein. Whether your vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or label-less (like me!) the addition of protein to your meal will help to balance blood sugar levels while also supplying your body with the amino acids it needs to properly function for a whole host of very important jobs. How much protein do you need exactly? The number is different for every single individual but depends on age, activity level, hormones, lifestyle choices, and whether you are pregnant or nursing (these ladies need lots!) Protein options for your bowl meals are also quite endless and include seeds, nuts, beans, lentils, hummus, wild fish, organic pasture-raised chicken, grass fed meat, organic cheese, and organic eggs (a poached egg is bowl perfection).
4. Extra Goodness.
Other delicious add-ins to your bowl meal include avocado, fermented foods, herbs, guacamole, salsa, olive oil and vinegar, lemon tahini dressing, apple cider vinegar, or any other dressing.
What food trends are you excited for this year? I hope that you’ll be jumping on the bowl trend and start incorporating more delicious grain and veggie bowls into your daily meals!
Grains + veg + protein + goodness = your perfect bowl formula. Happy year of the bowl meal!
The Winter Bowl
2 cups thinly sliced lacinato kale
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, or any other root vegetable, cubed
½ cup grain base (quinoa, brown rice, farro, etc.)
½ avocado, diced
½ cup shredded brussels sprouts
1 cup red cabbage, diced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons tahini, to drizzle
Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Add sweet potato cubes (or other root vegetables) and drizzle with avocado oil to coat and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until cubes are tender and lightly browned.
While sweet potato is roasting, prep and massage the kale. Add kale to a large bowl along with minced garlic and drizzle with olive oil and ACV. Use your hands to lightly massage kale until leaves are wilted and softened.
To a large bowl add in massaged kale, roasted sweet potato, grain of choice, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, and avocado. Artfully lay everything out, or just toss everything together! Season with sea salt and pepper and liberally drizzle with tahini. Enjoy!