When it comes to one of today’s hottest food trends, it’s all in the mix.
Everything in one bowl—it’s an ancient way of eating that is thoroughly modern. American meals used to be served in compartments—distinct servings of meat, green vegetable, yellow vegetable and potatoes. Some of us remember school cafeterias plates divided into sections so the veg never touched the “meat” or the mashed potatoes, but we’ve come to love the contrast of tastes and textures together, putting the whole meal in a bowl. It takes a sense of proportion, a taste for texture and a bit of imagination; we’re here to help.
DIY: TIPS FROM A PRO BOWLER
How-to advice from Becky Rosenthal,
owner of Creek Tea in SLC
1. Choose one grain and one green
Pick these out at the beginning of the week and have them on hand with the grains pre-cooked so you can create a grain bowl pretty quickly.
2. The more toppings, the better.
Nuts, veggies, cheese, beans, seeds and meat are all great additions.
3. Mix up your veggies for some change.
Try pickled veggies, roasted or raw. A combination of a few of these lends to a fun mouthful.
4. Always add protein and fat.
Protein keeps you fuller longer. Beans, meat and nuts are all good for this. A soft boiled egg or half an avocado are great for making the bowl heartier.
5. Never forget the sauce.
A good sauce is key. Try a tahini dressing, curry sauce or even a simple lemon vinaigrette.
Build your Own
ELEMENTS OF a SUPER Bowl
Think about all the food groups—leafy, tasty greens like kale, spinach, arugula, celery leaves; yellow vegetables like carrots (grated, sliced, parboiled), parboiled yams; nuts and seeds for crunch, avocado for smooth mouth feel.
Cook your grains in vegetable or chicken broth instead of water to add more flavor.
Add fresh herb leaves—basil, cilantro, thyme—to the greens mix, add pitted olives and tiny cherry tomatoes then sprinkle with crumbled cheese—feta, cojita, goat cheese.
The base of any one-bowl meal is the grain and there are lots to choose from. Most of them are cooked like rice, but the proportion of liquid to grain may vary.
The basic method: Rinse grain in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear, drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed. Set aside, off the heat, for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.
Quinoa: A favorite because it is a complete protein—rare among plant foods—and quick and easy to prepare: 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water; simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Farro or Emmer Wheat: 1 cup farro to 2 cups water; simmer for 25-40 minutes.
Bulgur: Cracked wheat comes in several sizes—for bowls, try the coarser grind. Bulgur is parboiled when you buy it; it only needs soaking for a couple hours to be usable.
Amaranth: Technically, a pseudocereal, it’s actually the small seed of a variety of pigweed. 1 cup amaranth to 1 1/2 cups liquid; simmer, about 20 minutes.
Black or forbidden rice: So-called because it was once reserved for the Emperor, it’s healthier than white or brown rice. 1 cup black rice to 2 cups water; simmer about 35 minutes.
How to Serve It
Because your bowls should be as special as what you serve inside them.
1. Juliska Country Estate Delft Blue cereal bowl
$176, New Orientation, SLC
2. Sicily Pasta bowlStarting at $15, Williams-Sonoma, SLC
3. Yuki Blue noodle and rice bowl
$9-$13, Crate & Barrel, Murray
4. Monte Doggett bowl
$85, O.C. Tanner Jewelers, SLC
5. Handmade Italian bowl
$55, Glass House, SLC.
ON THE MENU
Don’t want to craft it yourself? You’re in luck: More and more, Utah restaurants are offering flavor-packed bowls.
Campos Coffee Roastery & Kitchen
This industrial-chic Aussie-based coffeehouse is first about coffee, but its menu—available all day—includes vegan options, like their Buddha Bowl filled with based quinoa, rice, sweet potato, chickpeas, mushrooms, sautéed greens, tofu, avocado, carrot almond and turmeric puree and tofu topping. Meat optional.
228 S. Edison St., SLC,
This little spot aims for nothing less than giving its guests a healthy mind, body and spirit—filled with sofas and comfortable furniture that encourages people to linger, gracious service (tea in your own pot with a timer so you won’t overbrew), shelves of books and a menu focusing on healthy grain bowls—using farro, lentils, rice and quinoa—devised by owner Becky Rosenthal.
155 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-918-8173
Specializing in modern Lebanese food, Laziz has adapted Middle Eastern flavors to modern tastes. For example, the Laziz Salad Bowl is so much more than a salad: Mixed greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green onion, quinoa, feta, olives, pickled cabbage, crisped onions and you can add potato kibbeh, tawook chicken, salmon topped with a tahini-based dressing.
912 S. Jefferson St. , SLC,
Bowls are the core of CoreLife Eatery, a national franchise business. Grain bowls, broth bowls, rice bowls, green bowls, you-name-it bowls—offer an upstart challenge to Mickey D’s and the other antibiotic burger joints. There are five locations in the Salt Lake City area; to find the one nearest you go to corelifeeatery.com