How To Build A Meal In A Bowl: Fridge-To-Face In 7 Steps

There are days for Ottolenghi tarts and gluten-free baking experiments and then there are the other 364 in which we’re building bowls and smoothies based on just one equation: what’s in the fridge. Elise Museles of Kale & Chocolate is on the exact same page, and is dishing out perfect tips on building a meal in a bowl quicker and easier than ever for our friends at Our Body Book

Creating simple and beautiful meals is my passion.

I’m certainly not a gourmet chef. I don’t wield a knife like the culinary greats. I don’t care about the difference between bâtonneting & chiffonading. I’ve never spent years sweating it out as a sous chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

The truth is… most of the time… I don’t even cook with a recipe. Collecting new ingredients and precisely following instructions is a complete drag. And, for most of us… not happening.

Instead of feeling stressed & strained with my overloaded schedule, I decided to hop on life’s roller coaster and find a way to create nourishing meals that fit seamlessly into the day-to-day madness. The secret? A “no recipe” approach to assembling beautiful meals.

All you need is to set aside some time to shop and then prep your food in advance. (I proclaim Sunday “kitchen fun day” – good music, good conversation, and lots of chopping, steaming, stirring, grilling and roasting.) When you arrive home exhausted, hungry and ready to eat throughout the week, all your food is waiting for you to be thrown together into a bowl. You’ll never have to wonder, “what’s for dinner” again.

Here’s my simple guide to building balanced, nourishing and delicious meals in a bowl that will be your saving grace:

Bowls are like the “little black dress” of meal planning. Your bowl is filled with staples like whole grains, protein, healthy fats and tons of veggies. Then you add a few key “accessories” to spice it up.

To make sure that the bowls are balanced in flavor, texture and nutrition, choose at least one ingredient from each category. (Bonus points for going heavy on the veggies.)

How To Build A Meal In A Bowl: Fridge-To-Face In 7 Steps

Start with a base of leafy greens:

Spinach, kale, shredded Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, Mustard greens, arugula, bok choy, pea shoots

Add unlimited raw, roasted, steamed or grilled veggies:

Carrots, peppers, beets, roasted eggplant, asparagus, Brussels, broccoli, cauliflower, bean sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, onion

Toss in a grain or starch:

Quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, faro, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, soba (buckwheat) noodles

Include protein:

Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, salmon, tuna, grilled chicken, edamame, veggie burgers, hard-boiled eggs

Don’t forget the healthy fats:

Seeds, nuts, avocado, drizzle of pumpkin, coconut or olive oil

Top it off with dressings + sauces:

Hummus, lemon/lime squeeze & olive oil, tahini, salsa, pesto, miso ginger sauce, tamari

Extra credit for some nutritional boosts:

Fresh herbs, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, a fried egg (it’s a thing!), nutritional yeast, seaweed

To get started and plan out your meals in a bowl, visit Our Body Book by clicking through here!

Bottom banner image
From our friends