6 Powerhouse Bowls to Fuel Your Post-Holiday Routine
Settling back into a routine after a leisurely break is tough for us all, especially when it comes to eating. Our sad desk lunches taste even sadder — our reheated dinners, all the more uninspired. But why should we punish ourselves during this already difficult transitional month? Instead, let’s set the pace for 2018 with wholesome, energizing meals that will ease the return to a more-demanding schedule. One trend that’s already taken hold here at Food Network is the grain bowl — a hearty, customizable dish that consists of a grain base, a protein such as chicken, steak or fish, an array of fresh vegetables and some kind of flavorful dressing or sauce to tie it all together.
Good for both lunch and dinner, the grain bowl first caught on with the rise of fast-casual restaurant chains (we’re looking at you, Chipotle), but there are some serious benefits to getting your bowl fix at home. Not only will you have greater control over the nutritional content — you’ll also get more bang for your buck when you aren’t paying those steep restaurant markups. Here are a few homemade grain bowls that offer a successful balance of crunchiness, creaminess and bold flavor. Go forth, get creative and tailor these ideas to include your favorite vegetables, spices and more.
Matt Armendariz, Copyright 2015
We love the crispy chicken and the curried yogurt dressing in this Indian-inspired rice bowl. But the real star here is the cauliflower, which helps bulk up the dish, stretching 2 chicken breasts to feed 4 people. It’s perfect for anyone trying to cut down on food costs in 2018.
If you like to dress your grain bowls like a salad, you will love the way the creamy miso sauce coats the chewy, toothsome wheat berries in this Asian-inspired bowl. To save time, cook off a large batch of wheat berries, freeze it in re-sealable bags for up to 1 month and thaw and reheat as needed.
Build-your-own-poke-bowl spots are popping up all over the country, letting you pair your choice of raw fish with rice and as many toppings as a burrito bar. If you’re just as smitten as we are with the cooked-meets-raw dichotomy of this colorful Hawaiian dish, then try Food Network Kitchen’s version, which calls for Omega 3-packed salmon as the star. The recipe is low in calories, high in protein and super-easy to make.
In this Mexican-inspired bowl, the crunchy tortilla chips and roasted pepitas are nicely complemented by avocado cream and hearty quinoa. Make a big batch of quinoa and keep it frozen in re-sealable bags for up to 1 month; thaw and reheat as needed. Having a whole-grain arsenal in your freezer will help cut down on prep time.
We love the way the fluffy cooked rice absorbs the meat’s juices in this hearty bowl from Food Network Magazine — not to mention that affordable price tag. Wallet-friendly flank steak gives the dish some necessary chewiness. Add in shredded carrots, diced scallions and cucumber for a fresh crunch in every bite.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, millet should always be at the top of your shopping list. You can pop it like popcorn, make it into porridge or boil it until it’s fluffy, as it is in this Greek-inspired bowl recipe. To save prep time later, cook batches of millet, cool and store in freezer bags for up to 1 month. If you like, sub leftover chicken for the sausage, or keep the bowl vegetarian.