One of the shifts you might find when you switch towards a plant-based diet is that you eat a much wider variety of foods. It seems counterintuitive: you remove some foods from your diet, so you might think you’d eat a smaller variety. However, you might find that you start looking out for foods that you hadn’t known about before – which can be so fun! And the plate of food that you’re used to eating will start to look quite different: it might start to look like a collection of “sides”, with different types of foods, all different colours. Besides being really flavourful and interesting, the best part about a colourful meal is that you automatically get a variety of micronutrients in… And with dozens of different food options and a few bowl-building guidelines, the combinations you can make are endless!
Here are some ideas to build your own bowl, depending on the meal:
Sweet bowls, maybe for breakfast:
- Use a starch for your base, such as oats, puffed rice or muesli
- Add your favourite fruits or berries
- Add a bit of liquid such as plant milk or cooled rooibos tea, or coconut/soy yoghurt
- Top with some seeds for Omega-3 such as chia, hemp or ground flax, and something sweet like applesauce, jam, or syrup
- Sprinkle some sweet spices/flavouring such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or cacao.
Salad bowls, maybe for lunch:
- Get some leafy greens for your base
- Add a variety of vegetables – cooked or raw
- Add some starchy veggies, legumes or grains to keep you full, such as potato, mielies, beans or millet
- Top it up with healthy treats like avocado, sundried tomato, olives, nuts or seeds, tempeh, hummus
- Mix in some spices or sauces such as balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, tahina, mustard, nutritional yeast etc.
Savoury bowls, maybe for dinner:
- Choose a starch as your base, such as rice, couscous, quinoa, millet, potatoes
- Add some veggies (either raw or cooked)
- Add some beans or legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, lentils or tofu
- Add some toasted seeds for healthy fats, such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Season with spices or sauces
The great thing about these bowls is that they are so adaptable, you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand – and it helps if you’ve already got some prepped ingredients in the fridge, such as cooked quinoa, roast vegetables, or marinated tofu.
Inspired to make some bowls this week?