Looking for a balanced, nutritious, delicious and easy to make meal idea? Learn how to build a healthy nourish bowl using this simple 3-step formula. Great for lunch, dinner and meal prep!
What is a nourish bowl?
A nourish bowl is a well balanced, healthy meal containing a variety of nutrient dense ingredients (veggies, healthy fats, quality proteins and carbs). They are also known as buddha bowls, macro bowls, bliss bowls, power bowls, etc. No matter what you call them, these bowls are an excellent option for a healthy and easy lunch or dinner.
Do you eat them hot or cold?
That’s up to you – either way is fine! It depends on your preference and the ingredients you choose to add.
Reasons why I love these healthy bowls
Nourish bowls are an amazing meal option for a number of reasons:
- No Recipe Needed: I love that these bowls are so versatile and do not require a recipe. You can use whatever is in season or what is on special – the choice is up to you!
- Healthy: Filled with a well balanced variety of nutrient rich, whole foods (aka “real food”).
- Delicious: Obviously one of the most important reasons.😉 So many different flavours and textures combined in one bowl – YUM!
- Easy To Make: These are super easy to make since you are basically just assembling a variety of your favourite ingredients in a bowl.
- Endless Options: There are countless combinations so you will never get bored. This also makes them great in households with multiple people since everybody can customize their own bowl to suit their individual tastes.
- Works For Every Diet: No matter your dietary preference or requirements, these bowls can be customized to suit your needs. That’s the beauty of a meal with no specific recipe. Allergies? Just don’t add those items to your bowl. Vegan? Just use plant-based ingredients. Paleo? Don’t add any dairy or grain-based ingredients, etc. I think you get the picture!
- Perfect For Meal Prep: These are great for meal prep since you just need to prep a variety of ingredients and then can mix and match to make a variety of different nourish bowls.
How to make a nourish bowl
Are you ready to make one? Just follow this simple 3-step formula/template to easily build yourself a healthy and delicious meal.
Step 1: Base Of Leafy Greens
Start off with a base of leafy greens. Some options include: spinach, kale, arugula, mixed baby greens (mesclun mix), romaine, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, sprouts, microgreens, etc.
Step 2: Top with variety of veggies, protein, carbs + healthy fats
It’s time to top your base of leafy greens with a variety of nutrient dense veggies, protein, carbs and healthy fats. You can sprinkle them on top or arrange them in neat little piles or stripes across the top – whatever makes you happy! Here are some options for each group:
- VEGGIES: They can be raw, roasted or grilled. Pick a few that you enjoy! Some options include: carrots, cucumber, cabbage, zucchini, beets, mushrooms, peppers, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc.
- PROTEIN: Some options include: nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, quinoa, tempeh, tofu, eggs, fish and quality meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.). If choosing animal protein, focus on quality sources. Perhaps you have a great local farmers market, butcher or CSA program in your area that sources quality meat. Alternatively, there are also meat subscription boxes like ButcherBox or truLOCAL that conveniently deliver high quality meat to your door.
- WHOLE FOOD CARBS: Some options include: sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice, corn, squash, whole grains, wild rice, beans, peas, etc.
- HEALTHY FATS: Some options include: avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, tahini, salmon, etc.
Step 3: Finish it off with Add-Ons
It’s time for the delicious add-ons! These are things that you drizzle, scatter and scoop over the top to bring it all together. Some options include: homemade or quality store-bought dressings or sauces, fermented veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi, nuts, seeds, hemp hearts, salsa, hummus, fruit, cheese, guacamole, pesto, nutritional yeast, fresh lemon juice, herbs, favourites spices or seasonings, etc.
So let’s summarize…
To make a healthy nourish bowl, simply: Start off with a base of leafy greens. Top with a variety of nutrient dense veggies, protein, carbs and healthy fats. Then bring it all together by drizzling or scattering on some delicious add-ons. Get creative and have fun – the options are endless!
Great For Meal Prep
These bowls are absolutely perfect for meal prep. Just prep a variety of ingredients and store them separately in the fridge. For example, you can wash and cut up veggies, roast veggies, cook up some proteins or grains, make a dressing or sauce, etc. Then when it comes time to make a meal, you can easily and quickly mix and match your prepped ingredients to make a delicious nourish bowl. You can also meal prep completely assembled bowls if you prefer but I like the ingredients approach for greater versatility.
Looking for some inspiration?
The beauty of these bowls is that they do not require a recipe and are so flexible! However, sometimes we need a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. Here are 12 great ideas to get you started!
First off let me break down the ingredients in the bowls featured in the images at the top of this post. These were very easy to put together with a bit of prep work.
- Tex Mex Style: Base of mixed baby greens topped with shredded carrots, red and yellow tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, shredded roast chicken, corn, black beans, avocado and finished off with a drizzle of sauce (greek yogurt mixed with salsa).
- Salmon Bowl: Base of mixed baby greens topped with canned wild sockeye salmon, cucumber, wild rice blend, hard boiled egg, red cabbage, shredded carrots, pea shoots, pepitas, kimchi and finished off with a drizzle of this local UMAMI vinaigrette that I have been obsessed with lately (any tangy vinaigrette or tahini sauce would also taste great!).
- Mediterranean Style: Base of baby spinach topped with roasted sweet potatoes, feta cheese, olives, mix of roasted veggies (red onion, zucchini, bell peppers), hummus, squeeze of fresh lemon and drizzle of olive oil.
Here are some more great ideas from some other talented bloggers to check out:
- Veggie Power Bowl with Peanut Butter Coconut Milk Dressing by The Forked Spoon
- Tumeric Chickpea Buddha Bowl by The Kitchen Girl
- Crispy Tofu Bowls & Garlicky Lemon Yogurt Sauce by Girl Heart Food
- Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl by Spoonabilities
- Spicy Chicken Nourish Bowl by Kitchen Sanctuary
- Roasted Veggie Winter Bliss Bowl by The View from Great Island
- Fall Nourish Bowls by Damn Delicious
- Chipotle Tahini Bowls by Pinch of Yum
- Buddha Bowl by Claudia Canu
What’s your favourite nourish bowl combo? Let me know in the comments or show me your delicious creations on Instagram by tagging me (@maple_and_mango). I would love to see what you come up with!Print
Looking for a balanced, nutritious, delicious and easy to make meal idea? Learn how to build a healthy nourish bowl using this simple formula. Great for lunch, dinner and meal prep!
- Leafy Greens (e.g. spinach, kale, arugula, mixed baby greens, romaine, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, sprouts, microgreens, etc.)
- Veggies: raw, roasted or grilled (e.g. carrots, cucumber, cabbage, zucchini, beets, mushrooms, peppers, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, green beans, asparagus, etc.)
- Protein (e.g. nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, quinoa, tempeh, tofu, eggs, fish, quality meat*, etc.)
- Whole Food Carbs (e.g. sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice, corn, squash, whole grains, wild rice, beans, peas, etc.)
- Healthy Fats (e.g. avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, tahini, salmon, etc.)
- Options include: homemade or quality store-bought dressings or sauces, fermented veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi, nuts, seeds, hemp hearts, salsa, hummus, fruit, cheese, guacamole, pesto, nutritional yeast, fresh lemon juice, herbs, spices, seasonings, etc.
These bowls are super versatile and do not require a specific recipe. Just 3 simple steps to easily build yourself a healthy and delicious meal. Get creative and have fun – the options are endless!
- Base of Leafy Greens: Start off by placing a couple handfuls of leafy greens in your bowl.
- Top with Veggies + Protein + Carbs + Healthy Fats: Add a variety of nutrient dense veggies, protein, carbs and healthy fats. You can sprinkle them on top or arrange them in neat little piles or stripes.
- Finish It Off With Add-Ons: Drizzle, scatter or scoop on some delicious add-ons to bring it all together.
- Customizable: These bowls can be customized to suit your personal tastes or dietary requirements (allergies, vegan, paleo, keto, etc.)
- Perfect for Meal Prep: These are great for meal prep since you just need to prep a variety of ingredients and then can mix and match to make a number of different nourish bowls.
- *Quality Meat: When choosing animal protein, focus on quality sources (e.g. great local farmers market, butcher, CSA program or meat subscription service like ButcherBox or truLOCAL).
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