The basics are this: Start with a healthy “base” ingredient in a large bowl and pile on toppings in a beautiful and eye-catching manner. I think this trend is fun because it encourages mindfulness and appreciation towards food: When such effort is put into making a dish look so visually attractive, you can’t help but be more thoughtful as you consume it.
We were recently featured in The Daily Local News in the article, “Dig Into Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Bowls” by Emily Ryan. We were in good company with other local Pennsylvania restaurants and cafes who think this trend is a fun and healthy one, from West Chester (us!) to Wayne, to Bryn Mawr, to Philadelphia.
As I mention in the article, I particularly like how you can mix up a basic recipe a ton of different ways to suit everyone - this is such a versatile trend that can accommodate a myriad of diets. (We serve a wide variety of diets for our Organic Meal Delivery clients, so we're no strangers to this concept!)
Here are two Food Bowl recipes that I created with my clients' needs in mind:
(For vegetarians/vegans, feel free to alter these recipes by adding your favorite vegan protein such as marinated tofu or tempeh. The burrito bowl is filling and hearty with or without the chicken, so leave it out if you wish!)
Thai Shrimp Noodle Bowls
¼ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
12 ounces thin rice noodles (usually found in the Asian foods aisle)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
12 ounces cooked shrimp (tail on or off), chilled
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, halved, seeds removed and thinly sliced
½ cup sliced scallion
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Lime wedges, to serve
Whisk lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and toss with oil to prevent sticking.
Layer lettuce leaves on the bottom of four serving bowls. Top with noodles, then arrange the shrimp, bean sprouts, bell pepper, cucumber and scallions artfully around the outside of the bowl. Top with fresh cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if using. Drizzle the dressing over the noodle bowls just before serving. Serve with lime wedges.
Chicken Burrito Bowl
1 cup brown rice, any type
2 cups chicken broth
4 chicken breasts
Vegetable oil, for greasing
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or navy, kidney, or pinto beans)
1 (15-ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey jack or cheddar both work well)
1 cup prepared fresh salsa
1 ripe avocado, diced
½ cup sour cream
Lime wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the rice: Cook rice following package directions, using the chicken broth in place of water. (You may use slightly less than 2 cups of broth depending on the type of rice you are using.) Cover and keep warm.
For the chicken: Grease a baking dish with oil, then place chicken in the dish. Drizzle the chicken with oil, if desired, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the chicken with a (greased) piece of parchment paper, tucking the paper over the chicken so that it is completely covered. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove chicken from the oven and once cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
To assemble: Divide the rice evenly between four bowls. Top with shredded chicken. Around the outside of the bowl, arrange the black beans, corn, shredded cheese, salsa, and diced avocado. Top with a dollop of sour cream and serve with lime wedges.
What food bowl recipes do you love? Share your tips in the comments section!