How to Create One Bowl Meals

How to make one-bowl meals

Creating a one bowl meal is a really great way to get nourished and healthy. We go through stretches in our house when these are coming out of the kitchen on a daily basis for weeks on end. Primarily macrobiotic, they are a staple in our household and they keep our teenage boys fueled and happy. These dishes are made up of five general categories of ingredients: a legume, a grain, a green, a whole food and a sauce. The possibilities are endless!

Most of the elements can be made ahead of time so assembly takes just minutes. Use sprouted beans to lift the nutritional value. One bowls — perfect for lunch or dinner. Reprinted from The Plantpower Way by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, ©2015, Rich Roll and Julie Platt.

Good Grains

  • All colors of quinoa
  • Millet
  • Short grain brown rice
  • Exotic black or red rice
  • Kelp noodles (grain substitution)

My first choice is quinoa: a high protein seed. It’s easier to digest than grains and packed with nutrition. Millet is low on the glycemic index and a fantastic multipurpose, gluten-free grain. However, short grain brown rice is also nourishing. Feel free to mix quinoa and rice together for a textured blend. Black and red rice varieties add a more exotic feel to the dish. If you have problems digesting grains, use kelp noodle, quinoa or millet.

Layer on the Legumes

  • Black beans
  • Adzuki beans
  • Mung beans

All of these bean varieties will easily sprout over a three-day period. I like to make a fresh pot of cooked sprouted beans and store them in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure you rinse the cooking water from the mung beans so they don’t become pasty. Adding a large piece of kombu or raw seaweed to your pot will add great flavor and nutrients to your beans. Also adding in the Mexican herb asafoetida, turmeric, ginger or black pepper helps manage gas with beans. Never add salt during the cooking process. Instead sprinkle a large grain Celtic variety over the top of your meal just before you eat it.

Get Your Greens

  • Dinosaur kale
  • Curly kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach

Get your greens on! If you are steaming (perfect for weight loss) or sautéing with a very small amount of coconut oil, double the quantity of greens you think you need as they will reduce down considerably. Alternatively, skip cooking your greens altogether and instead lovingly massage some miso dressing into your raw kale.

Add in More Whole Foods

  • Yams
  • Bananas
  • Avocados

These should be virtually untouched. I simply bake the yam whole and cut it in half. Lightly sauté bananas sliced long in a very small amount of coconut oil. Avocado? Just slice a few wedges and add.

Pick Your Sauces & Toppings

  • Nut Cheeses
  • Tahini Green Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Probiotic sauerkraut
  • Gluten-free tamari
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Celtic large grain sea salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Fresh grated ginger
  • Fresh grated turmeric

How to make one-bowl meals


Tahini Green Sauce
A lighter version of its momma: hummus. This lemony sauce is pure bliss on your plate. The Nutritional yeast provides a nice boost of B vitamins and a substantial amount of folic acid along with it’s cheesy taste. Aside from the One Bowls above, pour it over steamed kale, black beans and quinoa. Add a baked yam with cinnamon sprinkled on it and you have a meal that is the foundation of wellness.

Makes: About 1/2 cup

  • 1/4 cup raw organic tahini paste
  • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice 1 small lemon
  • Celtic sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (optional)

In a Vitamix, high-powered blender, or food processor, add in the ingredients and blend.

If you keep the Vitamix going for a couple minutes it will automatically heat your sauce. Or you can transfer into a saucepan and warm it up old school. Sometimes I prefer to do soups or sauces this way so I can easily adjust the seasoning.

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