Bowls are certainly in right now, and it’s a great trend! Heaps of nutritious ingredients in a vessel that makes it easy to eat and able to hold your favourite dressing. There are nourish bowls, buddha bowls and poke bowls, just to name a few. Today I’m going to show you how to make an easy and tasty nourish bowl, that is balanced and will leave you feeling satisfied until your next meal.
The key to making a meal that is healthy but will also leave you satisfied for the next few hours, is to include a mix of protein, fats, carbohydrates along with heaps of fibre.
Step 1 – Start with veggies – basically the more the merrier. A mix of cooked and raw can be nice, or all cooked in colder months might be more satisfying. You can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge or freezer. I like thinly sliced red cabbage for crunch or you could use any type of lettuce, sautéed green veg – kale, spinach, Chinese greens, broccoli or broccolini, zucchini, and any other veg i’ve got – red capsicum, carrots, roast pumpkin. Seriously any veggies can work well.
Step 2 – Choose your protein – A source of protein is an essential ingredient for any nourish bowl. Protein will ensure that your meal satiates you, as well as providing essential amino acids which are vital in the diet. Protein helps to maintain muscle mass and is used for a range of crucial body functions including the building and repair of tissues. Your protein could be tinned salmon or tuna, lentils, chickpeas, tofu or some cooked chicken or meat.
Step 3 – Add a smart carbohydrate – These carbs provide a good source of energy and a medium to high fibre content, to make sure you remain full for longer after eating. An added bonus of some of these carbs (some cooked and cooled starches such as rice and potatoes, as well as legumes and other whole grains), is that they contain a carbohydrate called ‘resistant starch’, which acts as a prebiotic, or as food for the good bacteria in our gut, which increases gut health and overall immunity. Let your hunger and activity levels dictate the quantity of carbohydrates you include in your salad, we all have different requirements depending on activity levels. Cooked quinoa, rice, freekeh, roast potato or sweet potato all work well.
Step 4 – finish with some healthy fats – A source of fat is also an important component to any balanced salad or nourish bowl. Adding fat to your vegetables is a really important way to make them more delicious and also help us absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are in the vegetables. Not to mention dietary fat provides our body with essential fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids, found in olive oil, avocado and nuts, and a great addition to your veggies, as they have been found to be most effective at absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and they are associated with improved health outcomes. I love adding a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and a dash of reduced salt soy sauce, or avocado and toasted seeds to my nourish bowls.
Lastly, organise your food in different sections to help make it super Instagram-able. But in all seriousness meals don’t have to be instagram-worthy to be delicious and nutritious.
What are your favourite ingredients to fill your nourish bowls? Below are a few of mine!
Vegetarian nourish bowl, with legumes for protein.
Tasty tuna nourish bowl with cous cous and sauteed kale.
Mexican inspired nourish bowl – so good!
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