Creating a balanced meal in a hurry can be a bit of a challenge.
I have the solution: The Balance Bowl
I’ve talked before about the importance of planning and prepping food to have on hand for times when you just don’t know what to make or are in a rush. With a refrigerator stocked full of healthy ingredients, you can’t go wrong!
Take one day a week to cook a batch of quinoa, roast some vegetables, make salad dressing and sauté up some beans.
To season chickpeas: Add one can of rinsed and drained chickpeas to a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add a tablespoon of paprika and sea salt to taste, saute until golden.
Keep cut up vegetables fresh by storing in an air-tight container and covering with a damp paper towel.
The key to constructing a balanced meal is having a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat and an abundance of greens! This combination will keep you full longer and will help to stabilize blood sugars.
Here is how to balance your bowl…
1. Begin with a bed of greens:
Greens – arugula, baby kale, romaine, spinach, mixed greens, red or green leaf lettuce
2. Add as much raw veggies as you want:
Vegetables – cucumbers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, peppers, sprouts, shredded beets, radishes, tomatoes, scallions, onions, broccoli
3. Choose 1-2 of each from the following categories:
Healthy Fat – avocado, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, olive oil, hummus, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
Protein – chickpeas, black beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, edamame, white beans, kidney beans, (non-vegan version: hard-boiled eggs, chicken, fish)
Complex Carbohydrates – quinoa, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, farro, barley
4. Optional Add-Ins:
Roasted Vegetables – asparagus, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, beets, corn
I like to add roasted vegetables especially in the winter for added warmth and satiety.
Fruit – pomegranate seeds, raisins, apple slices, mango, orange or grapefruit sections, dried cranberries
Creamy Avocado Dressing
Or, try this recipe!
Sweet Miso Dressing
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons maple syrup
~Blend, drizzle and enjoy!~
We eat a variation of this meal at least 3 times a week. It makes a satisfying dinner and can be easily packed for lunch. Keeping cut up veggies, cooked grains, homemade dressing and seasoned beans or tofu readily available, you don’t have to put any thought into the never-ending question of “what’s for dinner?”
I hope this makes meal planning easier!