How To Build The Perfect Healthy Plant-Based Bowl, 5 step formula

How To Build The Perfect Healthy Plant-Based Bowl, 5 step formula

Stick to this basic 5-action method to create a healthier vegan bowl with lots of protein and flavor in 30-minutes or much less.

As a plant-centered eater and Registered Dietitian, a single of my go-to dinners (and lunches) is a vegan bowl. Not only are plant-based mostly bowls effortless to make, they are extremely customizable. Use what ever elements you have in the fridge or pantry, toss them alongside one another in a bowl and prime with mouth watering goodies, like sauces and nuts. 

lentil bowel with veggies
Greek Lentil Ability Bowl (recipe at conclude of posting)

Although building a bowl is an effortless possibility, there are selected things that can bring about it to go south. For instance, some bowls neglect protein and others are minimal in the satisfaction and style office. 

But generating the excellent bowl doesn’t have to indicate adhering to a difficult recipe. This simple 5-move method will assistance you appear up with the fantastic bowl that satisfies your tastebuds and appetite. You can opt for the ingredients that you like best and experiment with distinctive variations of a plant-centered bowl. The options are limitless!

And my favourite section is that you can make a big batch of any bowl you like and try to eat it all week prolonged!

The formulation

This easy components for constructing a plant-based bowl final results in a excellent food each individual time. Stick to it and tag me on social media @greenletes to demonstrate me your creations. 

  1. Pick out a base

If you have at any time frequented Chipotle or any rapid services restaurant that allows you establish your own bowl, you probable know that most bowls typically get started with a grain. Chipotle presents brown or white rice. Other destinations may well start off with quinoa or farro. 

Commence there with your bowl. Aside from rice, quinoa and farro, check out bulgur wheat, wheatberries, spelt, amaranth, or even cooked oats. Entire grains are complicated carbs that have a great deal of protein and fiber, both of those of which hold you whole. Make sure you consider the part measurement of any grain. Ordinarily, ½ cup to 1 cup of cooked grains is a great deal. 

Or if you want to skip the grain, begin your bowl with a leafy green. [ Related: How To Add More Leafy Greens Into Your Plant-Based Diet] Chopped kale, spinach, butter leaf lettuce, swiss chard, blended greens, purple leaf lettuce or blended lettuce are just some of the environmentally friendly alternatives. 

  1. Increase a protein 

A plant-based protein may possibly be a single of the most vital features of a healthful bowl. Protein contributes to muscle expansion and hunger handle. In other text, adding protein to your bowl will enable maintain you entire for hrs. 

Decide on from the next list of plant-dependent proteins. Far better however, blend and match a couple of of these:

  • Tofu, Protein: 9 grams in 3 ounces (⅕ of a block)
  • Seitan, Protein: 21 grams in ⅓ cup (1 ounce)
  • Tempeh, Protein: 16 grams in 3 ounces
  • Edamame, Protein: 9 grams of protein in ½ cup
  • Black beans, Protein: 14 grams in 1 cup (canned)
  • Lentils, Protein: 13 grams in ½ cup cooked
  • Hemp seeds, Protein: 10 grams in 3 tablespoons
  • Peas, Protein: 5 grams in ⅔ cup
  • Amaranth, Protein: 6 grams in ⅔ cup (cooked)
  • Oats, Protein: 5 grams in 1/2 cup of dry oats
  • Quinoa, Protein: 8 grams of protein in 1 cup cooked
  • Chickpeas, Protein: 12 grams in 1 cup (canned)
  • White beans, Protein: 12 grams in 1 cup (canned)
  • Kidney beans, Protein: 14 grams in 1 cup (canned)
  • Flax seeds, Protein: 8 grams in 3 tablespoons
  • Black-eyed peas, Protein: 14 grams in 1 cup (canned)
  1. Incorporate veggies (and/or fruit)

Veggies and fruit are not only nutrition powerhouses, they are also packed with flavor. Not to mention that there are so several versions to pick out from. Choose for raw veggies, like shredded cabbage, sliced peppers, diced carrots or chopped onion. Or blend veggies with olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven. Some of my favorites to roast are sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beets and environmentally friendly beans. 

And if you want some purely natural sweetness to enhance the other nutty and savory flavors, add chopped fruit. Tomatoes, avocados and zucchini are all regarded a fruit. But there are other sweet options, like apples, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon and a lot more!  

  1. Pick out your toppings

Now arrives the fun part– the toppings! The next addition to your bowl provides texture and taste. In the Chipotle case in point, a person of the biggest glitches os choosing calorie dense toppings, like sour cream or loads of cheese.

In its place, sprinkle your bowl with seeds or nuts. Some of my go-to’s include: 

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chopped toasted almonds
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Chopped peanuts

Or improve the veggie intake ever even more and increase sliced radishes or a homemade pico de gallo or guacamole. 

  1. Sauce it up

I believed about which include sauce in the toppings, but I imagine sauces must stand on their have. They are actually what make or split your dish and insert a big taste element. And remember, the toppings include texture, though the sauces contribute flavor. 

You can quickly use a bottled sauce, like a teriyaki, sriracha, balsamic glaze, salad dressing or even a dip, like hummus, salsa tzatziki. Or you can make your have sauce. Some of my favorites include things like a homemade honey mustard, lemon pepper marinade, balsamic vinaigrette, romanesco and pesto. 

Just like the rest of your bowl, the sauce choices are limitless. 

rice bowl with cauliflower and chickpeas
Buffalo Cauliflower Rice Bowl (recipe at conclusion of post)

How to personalize your bowl

Now that you have the simple 5-move method for generating a plant-based mostly bowl, it’s time to customize it even even further. Making the bowl was the newbie variation, and now we’re shifting on to the superior. Listed here are methods to make your vegan bowl your very own specific recipe. 

Improve the flavor

The sauces are definitely a flavor increase, but there are many other techniques to add taste to your bowl. These are some solutions: 

  • Roast your veggies in spices, like cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, aged bay seasoning, curry powder or smoked paprika. 
  • Utilize herbs, like chopped cilantro, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, mint and others. A small bit of herbs goes a prolonged way. 
  • If you can handle the warmth, increase chopped chilies, like jalapenos, serrano or habaneros. 
  • A small little bit of diced chives or scallions can seriously up the taste recreation.
  • Drizzle the bowl with olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice. Better nonetheless, use garlic marinated olive oil.

Double up the protein

If you’re teaching for an athletic celebration, like a marathon or triathlon, chances are you want much more protein to fulfill your calorie and muscle mass requirements. Or you may possibly be a power-experienced athlete wanting for increase muscle gains. 

Whatever the cause, expanding the protein in your plant-centered bowl can be a great notion. Include a double serving of tofu, legumes, beans or seeds. That claimed, unless your caloric requirements are increased, you’ll very likely want to slice back on some of the grains, toppings or sauces, so the calories stay the very same. 

Carb load

Stamina athletes might require more carbs than the ordinary man or woman, and the normal ½-1 cup of whole grains may not slash it. If you are carb loading for a race or instruction at every day substantial depth, enhance the carbs in your bowl. [Realted: How To Carb Load For A Race}

Double up on the grain or vegetable portion of the bowl for more carbs. Some plant-based proteins, like beans or lentils, also include plenty of carbs. Just be careful not to overdo it on the fiber and cause digestive issues. 

Fun extras

You may want to add some fun extras to spice things up. These aren’t all the healthiest options, but they may up the satisfaction factor for you. If adding a little bit of cheese to your bowl makes you happy, go for it. Here are some fun extras:

  • Cheese, like fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, feta, burrata or vegan cheese
  • Fried onions
  • Tortilla chips
  • Apple chips
  • Falafel
  • Pita chips
  • Roasted red pepper
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Marinated artichokes
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Parmesan crisps

Plant-based bowl recipes

Prefer to follow a recipe? I’ve got you covered with these options:

cauliflower grain bowl
Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl