‘Bowls’ are having a culinary moment. They’re not exactly salads, not exactly soups. They can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Today’s bowls are defined as one-dish meals. They are typically packed with a lot of nutritious ingredients. They’re easy to make and are perfect for our busy lives.
Asian cuisines have traditions of one-dish meals like ramen (Japan), pho (Vietnam) and bibimbap (Korea) — all characterized as bowls of fragrant broth, noodles or rice, some sort of protein and fresh vegetables. But the world of bowls has gone global and there is every reason to explore bowls inspired by other parts of the world.
Each mouthful provides the taste of the sea with the textures of fresh vegetables and wild rice to create a wholesome, flavorful, and filling one-dish meal. The Omega-3s in the seafood and wild rice smooth and soften the skin. For variety, try adding chicken and sausage to your favorite seafood.
SEAFOOD WITH WILD RICE
1 cup wild rice or a combination of wild and brown rice
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
2 bay leaves
¼ cup chopped carrot
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped broccoli
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
½ lb. seafood medley
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- Place the rice in a bowl, cover with water, and soak overnight.
- Combine the chicken broth and rice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook covered over low heat until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Set aside to cool.
- Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bay leaves, carrot, celery, broccoli, and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the seafood and cook for 10–12 minutes. Turn the seafood at least once during cooking. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Add the rice to the skillet and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
SWEET AND SPICY BREAKFAST BOWL
This recipe takes classic breakfast ingredients such as eggs (for protein) and maple syrup but completes the flavors and nutrition with nutrient-packed spinach and sweet potato.
5 oz. fresh spinach
3 Tbs. neutral-tasting oil such as avocado oil
1 small onion sliced into thin rings
½ cup sliced white mushrooms (optional)
1 small sweet potato
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. real maple syrup
2 cups leftover rice or mixed grains
2 large fried eggs
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of sea salt
Chili garlic paste or hot sauce for serving
- Trim rough stems off the spinach.
- Heat 1 Tbs. of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the spinach until just wilted. Remove from heat and press out excess liquid from the spinach.
- Add remaining 2 Tbs. oil to skillet and sauté the onion and mushrooms (optional) until they just starts to brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions to a dry paper towel. Leave the remaining oil in the skillet.
- Slice the sweet potato cross-wise into ¼ inch slices, then cut each slice into quarters.
- Add the cayenne pepper to the hot oil, then the sweet potato. Sauté until the sweet potato becomes tender and just starts to brown, about 4-6 minutes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the potatoes and coat well. Cook for about another minute to thicken the syrup and glaze the potatoes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place them on the plate with the spinach.
- Leave the remaining maple syrup in the skillet; add the rice (or grains) and heat through, stirring and breaking it up.
- In a small skillet, fry the two eggs in the neutral oil until they are set.
- To serve, divide the hot rice into two bowls; place a fried egg on top of the rice; divide the spinach and sweet potatoes into each bowl, garnish with the fried onions. Add chili paste or hot sauce as desired. Grate fresh ground pepper and sprinkle sea salt to taste.
AVOCADO/MANGO BLACK RICE BOWL
This Latin-inspired bowl contains black ‘forbidden rice,’ black beans and red cabbage for a generous dose of antioxidants as well as fiber. Avocado, mango and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add vitamins and good fats making it irresistible.
1 ½ cups black rice
2 ½ cups water for soaking the rice
1-15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed
3 small jalapeño peppers, seeded, ribs removed and finely diced
Juice of 2 limes (about 3 Tbs.) plus wedges for garnish
¾ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 large, firm avocado, diced into ½ inch pieces
1 large mango, diced
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
½ cup diced sweet onions (such as Dulce or Vidalia varieties)
1/3 cup crumbled mild cotija, queso fresco or feta cheese
¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tbs. loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
½ cup pico de gallo
- Place the rice in a medium bowl and cover with about 3 inches of water. Soak for at least 2 hours, then rinse. Place rice in a 2 qt. saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water; bring to a boil. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Let the cooked rice stay in the covered pot until ready to serve.
- Combine beans, olive oil, cumin, jalapenos, and chili powder in a mixing bowl.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in the small skillet until they start to brown, about 3-4 minutes; remove from heat.
- To serve, divide the rice among 4 bowls, then spoon the beans over the rice and top each serving with the avocado, mango, cabbage, onions, pumpkin seeds, cheese cilantro and oregano. Garnish with the lime wedges and serve with the pico de gallo.
Asian fusion cooking is about using Mediterranean or American ingredients and, possibly, French techniques in classical Chinese, Thai, or Filipino recipes. This dish takes the best of several cultures to make a delicious, FoodTrients-packed meal in a bowl. The quinoa is highly nutritious, but a little bland, but it carries the other flavors and ingredients beautifully.
3-4 cups water
¼ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
1 medium-sized stalk of lemongrass, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup quinoa
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
¾ cup chopped orange or red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 tsp. crushed garlic
4 Tbs. coconut oil
1 cup crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
Salt or salt substitute and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring the water, salt, and lemongrass to a boil over high heat.
- Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a shallow pan, sauté the shrimp, vegetables, and garlic in the oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the tomatoes, turmeric, salt, and pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque and the vegetables are halfway between crisp and tender.
- Remove the lemongrass from the quinoa.
- To serve, spoon the sauce over the quinoa.
Chef’s Note: If using chicken, cut a skinless, boneless breast (organic or free-range) into 1-inch cubes. Sauté the chicken and vegetables for 5 minutes (Step 3).
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