Whether you’ve heard (or read) the term Balance Bowls / Buddha Bowls / Power Bowls, the gist is all the same: the bowl is your vessel to pack with whole foods to fuel your body and mind. Think My Plate, but a bowl instead. It’s the latest trend but not a passing fad as it simply promotes mindful balance.
We at ecoRDN have eaten the power-balance-Buddha bowls for as long as we’ve had bowls. As each day is an opportunity to learn to be a little better, to eat a little better, to make better choices. We’ve selectively built our own bowls to mimic those choices. Hopefully these simple ideas will also inspire you to start your own fire and pack your own bowls full of goodness!
The conception to create balance encompasses all aspects of life, one of the easiest areas to control can be the foods we choose to consume. We can’t control the weather, we can’t control the emotions or actions of others, but we can choose what we eat, how much, and in what ratio.
The bowl concept is simple: find a bowl you love and fill it with whole foods you love! If you aren’t exactly sure what to fill your favorite bowl with, we will share some our favorite ingredients. These components are staples in the ecoRDN kitchen and provide a plentiful rotation of varied, wholesome options, which keep us afloat as we traverse the sometimes rocky roads of day-to-day life.
Easy Rice Cooker Foods
The rice cooker plays an important role in our kitchen. It’s not just for cooking rice. In fact, we make various pulses, numerous grains, and even cake! What makes this method such an inventive life hack is that you are able to add your ingredients, water, cover and let the machine do the rest. Average cook time can be anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Our little Aroma rice cooker came with it’s own measuring cup, it’s approximately 3/4 c. All the pulses and grains we are about to mention have a 2:1 water ratio (i.e. “2 water / 1 brown rice”).
Egyptian lentils, moth beans, mung beans, red rice, brown rice, wild rice, wheat berries, rye berries, barley, freekeh, bulgur, farro, quinoa (oh my!)
Our rice cooker is a small 6 cup model, so a normal batch requires 2 grain (or pulse) to 4 water. Add any seasoning you like, usually we’ll add 2 tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp black pepper (we like spice, so if you prefer mild don’t add so much pepper) 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp onion powder, etc. For additional flavor add 1/2 cup diced celery, or 1/2 diced onion to replace the onion powder. It’s up to you, the possibilities are many! Keep your ratios the same and experiment, your spice rack beckons!
So Many The Vegetable
This is all up to you! Whatever veg you wish to add, and by what means. We will either steam or roast depending on time and recipe, and the list is long and varied. Another very important tool in ecoRDN‘s kitchen is the often overlooked and widely misunderstood microwave. We use our microwave everyday, it is by far the most perfect and fastest method to steam fresh vegetables and bring frozen vegetables to edible temps. Find a microwave safe pyrex or Cambro, fill with small cut vegetables, season and place in microwave on for one minute. Remove, check, stir and repeat for another minute if undone. After 2 minutes those veggies should be a perfectly steamed al dente! For leafy vegetables, only steam for 45 seconds to one minute, tops. Kale is just about perfect in a minute. And you can load the vessel with kale since it shrinks so much. Such a great way to pack in those fresh superfoods!!! If you want to build your bowl using the MyPlate schematic, fill half the volume of your bowl with vegetables and split the remaining half between protein and starch.
The All Important Starch
We have already expounded our love for the sweet potato, and we recommend you also fall in love with the sweet potato! Skin on, any way you want to prepare it (minus deep frying), this wonder tuber is a hugely beneficial and vastly important component to any and every balance bowl. Along with the sweet potato, we also use any of the grains mentioned above in the rice cooker section. Red skin, russet, and yellow potatoes are another favorite. Baked squash, when in season, are an absolute delight!. Autumn brings about many butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash deals. And after you get the hang of processing, these luscious gourds make a great seasonal accompaniment!
Proteins Repair Your World
As we mentioned earlier, the rice cooker is an ideal way to prepare a varied selection of proteins for your bowls. Other easy methods to introduce plant-based proteins into your roster include: beans, tofu, tempeh, and edamame.
But the single most important aspect of the Balance Bowl is YOU. You make the call, you build your destiny, you pack your own balance. Hopefully this post provides you with a few ideas to work with, something to build on.
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As always, thanks for reading and eat well!