Lunches can be a hard thing sometimes. For the busy woman, the last thing you want to think about is packing a lunch, or figuring out what to throw together. It’s so easy to get into a rut when it comes to lunches, and you may find yourself eating the same boring thing every single day. But have no fear! I’ve got the solution to a better lunch! One with constant variety, total nutrition, and bold flavor every time! The answer is to build a better lunch bowl.
Are you ever in the lunch rut? You know that rut…the place where you try to not think about lunch because it’s too difficult, nothing sounds appetizing, you feel as if you’ve exhausted your options. There’s no time to throw together a Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger, can’t even think about making an Eggplant Parmesan… let’s be honest, all you really want are Maple Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies that you made last night. That’ll do, right? Let me tell you, girl. You are not alone. The lunch rut is a real thing! Look it up in the dictionary…
Lunch Rut (n.)- the place you find yourself when nothing sounds good and you’re too tired to think about it.
Just kidding. That’s not really a word in the dictionary. But all the same, it’s a thing. But don’t you worry, girl. I’ve got the solution to all your lunch woes. The answer is simple. Build a better bowl.
I’ve found that by making bowl lunches, I never have to worry about what to eat. Bowls take all the stress away from creating a “perfect” lunch and guarantee a nutritious and filling meal every single time. The best news? They literally take 5 minutes or less to create, but taste and look amazing!
Here’s the basics to building a better lunch bowl:
- A base made of some form of complex carbohydrates. In this bowl I made which I’d love to formally call the “Farmer’s Market Bowl” simply because I got some of the ingredients from the farmer’s market and also because it makes me sound hippie and I’m a total wanna-be hippie, I used steamed sweet potatoes as my base carb. I absolutely LOVE me some sweet potatoes and love the density and filling-quality that they offer, so I’ll often include them in my lunch bowls. But other options can include cooked quinoa, white potato, brown rice, barley, farro, or any other grain. Carbohydrates are so important to include at meals because they help to promote brain function. Did you know, your brain functions solely on carbohydrates? Fun fact of the day. So by including them at each meal will help to promote brain health and keep you sharp. That being said, of course the best sources of carbs for lunch to help prevent 2:00 PM snoozes are complex ones, as in those that are the closest to that found in nature. Basically, your whole grain, whole food options.
- Ok, we’ve got our base down…now time to add in your protein. This can be anything from beans, to chicken, to tofu…whatever floats your boat! Proteins will help keep you full and satisfied with lasting energy as they fuel your muscular activities continuing on through the day. So pile on the protein in these bowls!
- Next we’ve got veggies! Veggies are the fillers of these bowls. They’re great because they can easily add so much variety to your lunch and offer a seasonal touch. For example, in the winter maybe you want to choose more cold-weather items such as butternut squash and root vegetables. In the spring and summer, though, you can easily add in more raw veggies like radishes, pea shoots, and bell peppers.
- Last, but certainly not least…healthy fat. This is the essential ingredient to these better lunch bowls. Without a source of healthy fat, not only will they not taste near as good, but you’re going to be hungry an approximate 58 minutes later. So, sister, pile on the creamy avocado, spoon you up some hummus, top with a fun chimchurri or harissa, or simply drizzle some good extra virgin olive oil. Again, you can completely change your bowl’s status from mediocre to supreme by simply adding a good dose of healthy fat!
**Prep tip: Make a big batch of grains, sweet/white potatoes, desired protein, wash/cut/roast desired veggies, and prepare/stock up on sauces ahead of time (on the weekend???). Then you’re all set throughout the week to throw things together in a jiffy!**
Ok, so that’s how you’re going to be guaranteed to have a delicious lunch easily made and easily varied for every day, every mood, every season!
Farmer's Market Lunch BowlPrint Recipe
- 1 handful of pea shoots
- 1 sweet potato, steamed and sliced
- 3 radishes
- 1/4 sliced bell pepper
- 1 small avocado
- 1/4 cup hummus
- sesame seeds to top
Begin with pea shoots; lay in the bottom of a bowl.
Top with sweet potato, radishes, bell pepper, and avocado.
Dollop hummus in the middle and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
The fun of theses lunch bowls is all the modifications you can make! For example, even with this simple Farmer's Market Bowl, you can exchange spring mix for pea shoots and sesame seeds for sunflower seeds. Be creative and have fun with it!
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the picture below to save to Pinterest and find other recipe inspiration here.
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