All You Need To Know About One-Bowl Meals
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The Down Low on One-Bowls
Looking for healthy meals to cook for dinner can be a major challenge, especially when you need new, yummy ideas every day that correlate with your cooking abilities.
That’s why one-bowl meals are becoming a thing, and fast. People are sharing their favorite recipes, and social media is crawling with pictures of the yummiest meals in a bowl.
Chatter is increasing daily around about breakfast bowls, power bowls, protein bowls, chicken bowls, rice bowls, curry bowls, veggie bowls, and many more. Whether they’re making them from scratch or using a combination method, many people are getting creative and making their own bowls.
Fortunately for you, this cookbook will help you from concept to execution. We’ve found the best recipes that meet our requirements of being easy, healthy, and most importantly, yummy. We will give you the down-low on why one-bowl meals are piquing our interest, show you step by step how easy one-bowl meals can be, and give you a list of our top 15 favorite bowls that will make your mouth water without pushing the waistline. We are always looking for ways to encourage everyone to enjoy their meals without breaking their diet goals. These one-bowl meals may be the next greatest foodie hack.
Take a look through the other sections of our cookbook to get everything from why to how on one-bowl meals.
Why One-Bowl Meals?
One bowl, but many purposes. Let’s be honest. Sometimes planning out your meals for the week can be a daunting task. To find meals that you, and your family, might enjoy, while also paying attention to time to prepare and, obviously, skill level. And let’s not forget about the never-ending battle of finding meals that aren’t going to push your diet limits.
So, we branch out. We ask our friends and family for their favorite meals and recipes, causing them to participate in our struggle. All too many of us recognize this scenario, which is only the beginning as to why one-bowl meals, or meals in a bowl, are becoming so popular.
Planning meals can also get technical and confusing as you look to coordinate starches, proteins, fruits, and veggies. Like matching your clothes for the day, sometimes it’s easier to just not take the time to plan, and instead you may take the easy route by hitting up the fast food.
Take a look at the top five reasons one-bowls are a good way to go.
1. One-bowl meals are designed to have all the components of a well-balanced meal already planned out and coordinated for you.
2. They easily beat the frozen option full of preservatives and lacking in flavor. The one-bowl meals we have in our cookbook are fresh and quench your flavor cravings.
3. One-bowl meals are made with foods with flavors that are meant to jive, so food touching is ok.
4. You don’t have to fake it—they’re yummy. There are many options out there so you can not only find some that you will like, but that your whole family will enjoy, as well.
5. Last but not least, they’re versatile. You can grab them and go, or you can sit down at the table for a family meal. These meals are an easy no-mess option if you’re jumping in the car, can be dressed up to impress your guests at the table, and can be easily held if you’re just looking to eat and watch your favorite show.
For added convenience, you can make several of these bowls at one time, freeze them, and then have a one-bowl meal ready to go in a matter of minutes. Just stick it in the microwave, and voila, your meal is ready to go. Also, singles who feel they always make way too much food for one, this is also an opportunity for you to make several bowls out of one recipe, freeze them, and have one-bowl meals ready to go at any moment.
One-Bowl Meals Are Easy—My Attempt Step By Step
To prove our five points, we thought we would put them to the test. We wanted to show you just how easy, yummy, and healthy these bowls can be. I mean, honestly, if I can cook this, and if I can enjoy it, we’ve literally covered all the bases.
I apologize in advance, my photography skills are amateur at best. At least you’ll know it’s the real deal.
The meal we chose to try is the famous 7-Spice Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl. You can find the recipe by clicking the link.
To begin, you have to know I am always looking to save money where I can. My wife and I went grocery shopping for the ingredients on the list and chose the most essential, and quite frankly, easiest ones to find. We also tried only buying the spices that we could see being used again in future meals. Feel free to go crazy and buy all the ingredients.
As you can see below, we already had the basics (salt, pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch) and we even happened to have a new bottle of rice vinegar, and some ground ginger. We opted to buy the sesame seeds, poppy seeds and orange peel spices, and went without the mirin (because we couldn’t find any).
I started by salting the chicken (we used breasts because that’s what we had) and set them aside as instructed. Really easy so far.
The recipe didn’t mention clearly when to start the rice, so we chose to do it here, just because it takes a bit longer, and we wanted to be sure it was ready once everything else was. We simply stuck it in the rice cooker, because that’s easiest. My wife is a big fan of Asian food, so we had sushi rice (a huge bag of it).
Next we combined the soy sauce and sugar. I didn’t turn the heat on quite yet, because I didn’t want to burn it while I prepared the cornstarch.
Here’s a little tip for you. If you set down your cornstarch and water long enough to take a picture, it becomes like hard glue really quickly. So, best to stir it quickly from the get-go. I used a fork to act as a miniature whisk.
At this point I felt safe to turn the burner on to medium heat as I began to combine the cornstarch-water mixture. Quickly after, I combined all the spices (minus the mirin) and added them to my warming sauce pan. NOTE: I only put in 2 ½ tsp. of red pepper, and hesitated to put a full teaspoon of ginger, but did anyway, and the sauce turned out almost too spicy. But, I’m a medium-spicy kind of guy, so if you’re all about the spice, go for it, but don’t say you weren’t warned.
The recipe said to stir for five minutes or until the sauce thickens; mine got thick pretty fast. Be careful, because the minute it boils, you are at quick risk of burning it (because of the sugar). After boiling the sauce, then briefly simmering it, I removed the mixture from the heat and poured into a separate bowl. You can see how thick it looks here.
Next, I had to get the chicken cooking pronto. We’re racing the rice, you see. I used our cast iron, lightly sprayed it with cooking spray (oil), and cooked on medium heat for about six minutes on each side as instructed.
Next, I basted the sauce on the chicken, and let cook an additional two minutes on each side.
In the meantime, I chopped up the green onion, used a peeler to shave the carrots, and thawed the frozen edamame (be sure to pour them out somewhere before you put them on your bowl, or else you’ll get edamame juice all over your food—just saying).
And now you’re close. At this point, it’s all about the presentation—gotta make it look good for Instagram. After all, one-bowl meals aren’t just fast, easy, healthy, and yummy; they’re also “the thing” right now. Below is my attempt to make a good-lookin’ one-bowl meal.
So there you have it. A couple things to note.
1. The meal took me just under an hour to prepare. Like I said, I’m not the best cook, and I was taking some pictures.
2. The added sauce you see in the above and below pictures made the meal way too spicy/gingery for me, even when adding extra rice. The chicken alone with the rice and veggies was a perfect blend. And sure enough, the meal was a new flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed; it contained a nice balance of protein, vitamins, carbs, etc.
3. The meal was mobile and relatively quick to make.
For the most part, the one-bowl meal did exactly what we had intended it to do. Below, for your viewing pleasure, are other renditions of the final product. Enjoy.
Top 15 Healthy One-Bowl Recipes
Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. Below is a compilation of the top 15 healthy one-bowl recipes that we found. These recipes are intended to help you have a balanced meal, while also spicing up the flavors in your home. They don’t take long to make, and allow you to be mobile and engage in your busy lives.
We have power bowls and pork and chicken bowls, bowls with flavors from different countries, breakfast bowls and acai bowls. We may even have a little bonus bowl that might just push that “healthy” moniker.
To find each recipe, simply click the link on each item that corresponds with the picture below it.