Build a Perfect Bowl

by on August 27, 2017

Bowls are my ultimate go-to for a tasty and nutritious lunch or dinner. You may have seen them called Goddess Bowls, Buddha Bowls or Dragon Bowls, and just like the creativity in the name, the beauty of bowls is that you can create them the way you like. I love this flexibility as I usually like to prepare several of the ingredients in advance so I can use them for at least a few meals throughout the week. This way, I can combine them different ways without feeling like I’m eating the same thing over and over!

I also find bowls to be a great way to get kids involved in cooking (and eating more vegetables) since they can chop up or grate some vegetables, mix a sauce and get creative building their own bowl, using the ingredients they like!

Here are a few ground rules to create a perfectly balanced bowl:

  • Always have a source of protein
  • Use at least 3 different coloured vegetables
  • Add something crunchy
  • Use a delicious sauce/dressing
  • Adding a grain is optional – if you do use one, use 1/3 cup cooked.
  • For convenience, prepare vegetables for more than one meal. For example, grate a few extra carrots, wash extra lettuce, make a big bowl of caramelized onions, etc.

Start with your base:

  • Steamed kale
  • Romaine lettuce (or other lettuce)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Brown rice, wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Rice noodles
  • Sweet potato noodles
  • Buckwheat noodles

Add a protein:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Egg (if tolerated)
  • Marinated Tofu (if you tolerate soy)
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils

Add some vegetables:

  • Grated carrots
  • Grated or roasted beets
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Caramelized onions
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Purple cabbage
  • Leafy greens
  • Etc

Prepare some of these in advance and keep in your fridge. For example, roasted vegetables, grated carrots and/or beets and caramelized onions can be prepared and stored in glass containers in the refrigerator for the week.

Add something crunchy:

  • Sunflower sprouts
  • Nuts and/or seeds
  • Roasted chickpeas

Add a sauce:

Make a few of these ahead of time so you have a variety. A sauce can really bring a lot of flavour and change your whole bowl, so it’s an important key to variety!



Dr Renée Purdy is a naturopathic doctor in Moncton, New Brunswick. In her practice, she values making health achievable and long lasting. She likes to explore the mind, body, spirit connection in health, and her approach includes using food as medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and lifestyle counselling. Her focus is on digestive health, hormone balance, thyroid health and adrenal fatigue.




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