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Kaylor: 5 steps to making a meal in a bowl

By Staff | Oct 13, 2017

Making your own meal in a bowl is inexpensive and easy. You can make meals from ingredients you probably already have on hand. Think about all the different bowls you can make. You also could set up a buffet with a variety of toppings so people can personalize their meal with layers of flavor.

Begin with the grain of your choice, add layers of other ingredients and seasonings, then enjoy!

1. Choose one grain.

– Add cup of the grain of choice to begin the many flavorful layers of your bowl.

– Choose a grain such as brown rice, white rice, quinoa, wild rice, couscous, grits, oatmeal, buckwheat, whole-grain pasta or millet.

Quick tip: Freeze leftover grains; heat and serve for another bowl creation.

2. Choose one or more vegetable(s).

– Add cup of veggies for flavor, fiber and extra nutrition.

– Choose colorful veggies such as chopped or sliced bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, zucchini, green onions, mushrooms or your favorite veggies of choice.

– Vegetables are low in calories and filling.

Quick tip: Buy canned or frozen vegetables labeled “reduced sodium,” “low sodium” or “no salt added” to decrease the amount of sodium in your diet.

3. Choose one or more fruit(s), if desired.

– Add cup of fruit to provide essential nutrients for an overall healthful diet.

– Brighten your bowl with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, apples, bananas, peaches, mandarin oranges, or your favorite fruit of choice.

– Do you have any fruit that has been in the freezer for a while and you want to use it?

Quick tip: Leave the skin on fruit for added fiber.

4. Choose one protein.

– Add cup or 2 ounces of protein to your bowl creation.

– Choose lean protein foods such as fully cooked poultry, lean ground beef, lean ham, black beans or your favorite protein of choice.

– Do you have leftover grilled or cooked meat that you need to use?

Quick tip: Choose lean protein; trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking to the recommended safe internal temperature. Cook poultry, for example, to an internal temperature of 165 F.

5. Choose one or more sauce(s) and/or seasoning(s).

– Add to cup of sauce or seasoning such as one of the following:

o Asian teriyaki or sweet and sour sauce

o Mexican taco sauce, taco seasoning or salsa

o Italian marinara or alfredo sauce

o Be creative!

Build a Healthy Bowl With Layers of Flavor

Here are some idea-starters for your bowl combinations. Begin with a grain of your choice.

– Mexican Fiesta

Bowl: Tomatoes, onions,

black beans, corn, avocado (optional), taco-seasoned ground beef or chicken, shredded cheese, cilantro, low-fat sour cream and taco sauce, salsa or seasoning.

– Fruit Breakfast Bowl: Apples, bananas, raisins, berries, peaches, almonds or walnuts, cinnamon or orange zest; top with dollop of plain Greek yogurt and granola.

– Asian Bowl: Green and red peppers, onions, pineapple, chicken or pork, teriyaki sauce, sweet and sour sauce or soy sauce, peanut butter and ginger for a Thai sauce effect.

– Morning Egg Bowl: Green peppers, onions, tomatoes, cooked scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese.

– Hawaiian Ham Bowl: Red pepper, pineapple, steamed spinach, ham, sesame ginger dressing, juice from an orange or pineapple salsa.

– Seafood Rice Bowl: Red pepper, mushrooms tomatoes, onions, cod, canned tuna or salmon (drained), cilantro, oil of choice, herbs.

– Spotlight Rice Bowl: Carrots, red pepper, zucchini, chicken (optional), shredded cheddar cheese

– Italian Rice Bowl: Carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, green onion, turkey sausage, marinara or alfredo sauce.

From: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, Ph.D, R.D., L.R.D and Hannah Colby, Dietetic intern

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