One of the easiest ways to eat healthier is to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. Dishes that are filled with vegetables, herbs, beans, and grains pack a nutritious punch. Now I’m not saying that you have to become a vegan, but what if one meal a day, like lunch, you focused on eating veggies? Eat breakfast on the go and order takeout for dinner, but make a concentrated effort to eat a mindful and wholesome lunch, and you’re on your way to a more well-rounded diet. Plus, you’ll save money since you aren’t buying lunch during the workweek—you’re making it and bringing it to enjoy at your desk instead.
Now, what to make? That’s easy: a bowl. Rice bowls, veggie bowls, quinoa bowls—they are all the rage right now and for good reason. Bowls are satisfying, delicious, and when made with ingredients like heart-healthy kale, broccoli, and chickpeas, beneficial to our bodies. Here are nine recipes that will inspire you to make lunch bowls your daily priority.
Crunchy Veggie Bowl With Warm Peanut Sauce
Brown rice is the base of this bowl that’s filled with crunchy cabbage, beets, celery, and cucumbers. A soft cooked egg adds protein and a creamy peanut butter and coconut milk sauce make the bowl feel decadent. Put together the sauce the night before and heat in the microwave at work before drizzling over the vege.
Broccolini and Kale Bowl
The building blocks to a perfect bowl are as follows: grain base, vegetables in a variety of textures and colors, protein, greens, herbs, and some sort of sauce. This broccolini and kale bowl is the ideal example. The grain base is cooked quinoa. The vegetables are varied: broccolini is crisp and green, avocados are soft and creamy, and peppery watermelon radishes add a pop of vibrant color. Kale, mint, and dill are the greens, roasted chickpeas are the protein, and a herby-pea pesto made with hemp seeds and lemon juice is the sauce. Delish!
Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl
To make this scrumptious bowl, you simply roast a bunch of vegetables then combine them with sauteed spiced chickpeas. A tahini maple syrup and lemon sauce adds tang and creaminess. In the words of the Barefoot Contessa, “how easy is that?”
Caprese BLT Bowl
Here’s a genius idea: take a favorite dish, like the BLT, and turn it into a bowl. Quinoa, arugula, burrata, basil, and bacon are combined to make the ultimate Caprese salad BLT mashup. To take this bowl to the next level, roast the tomatoes to maximize sweetness.
Buddha Bowl With Quinoa
According to Urban Dictionary, a buddha bowl is “a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded belly appearance on top much like the belly of a buddha.” With quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, tofu, avocado, cucumbers, nuts, and herbs, it’s safe to say that this jam-packed dish could be the definition of a buddha bowl.
Poke is a trendy dish these days, so why not show your culinary prowess to your coworkers and make this poke bowl? Use the freshest fish you can find and slice it in the morning before you head to work. Enjoy at your desk with crispy seaweed on the side.
Chicken Rice Bowl
On Sunday night, roast a big batch of sweet potatoes and chicken thighs seasoned with Mexican-inspired spices. Use the potatoes and chicken to make this cilantro rice bowl for lunch. Turn the leftovers into quesadillas for dinner. Serve with guacamole and Negro Modelo for a Friday night meal that is relaxing and rewarding.
Big Vegan Bowl
On a special diet? This bowl recipe is for you. It’s vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, and soy-free. What it does have? Carrots, quinoa, chickpeas, cabbage, hummus, and avocado. It doesn’t get much more healthy than that!
Spring Roll Bowl
Here’s another recipe that takes a beloved dish—in this case spring rolls—and deconstructs it into a bowl. Rice noodles, basil, mint, cilantro, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and chopped peanuts are tossed with a sweet garlic lime sauce. Want protein? Add chicken, tofu, or shrimp.