Trying to eat healthy or diet while feeding a family can be a struggle for many of us. One of the most common questions I get is how to make fast, family friendly meals that work for everyone without making each person a different meal? After all, who has time to be a short order chef after a full day? Not me.
This week I have a dinner theme to show you a few ways that make this very simple – Dinner Bowls! My goal is to do a bowl every night to show you quite a few versions and get your creativity going. So what the heck is a dinner bowl?! Pretty much just what it sounds like – a mix of different dinner ingredients thrown together into a bowl.
They’re fast and simple because most of the work is done ahead of time with rice, grains, proteins and veggies that are prepped on the weekend. Everyone can customize their own amount of ingredients, leaving out what they don’t want, and making portions fit their tastes. It also makes the kids more likely to eat it if they get to pick what they want in their bowl.
Since most of the cooking is done ahead of time, you only need a microwave to get dinner on the table in record time. It’s fun to put the ingredients on the table and everyone can serve themselves family style with a Create Your Own Bowl Night. Since you control the portions of ingredients, you can also easily change them to fit your needs. More of the things you like and less of what you don’t.
Korean BBQ Bowl
- 1 cup (172g) uncooked brown rice
- 1/2 oz (16g) dried shiitake mushrooms
- 6 cups (170g) fresh spinach
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 6 cups (170g) shredded cabbage
- 2 medium carrots (~200g), sliced
- 2 green onions, white and green parts diced
- 2 Tbsp (12g) gochujung sauce
- 2 Tbsp (30g) mayonnaise
Cook the rice according to package directions. You can easily do this ahead of time and simply reheat the rice in the microwave before servings. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the dried mushrooms to rehydrate while the rice is heating.
After about 5 minutes, drain the mushrooms and slice. Toss the spinach and mushrooms in a plastic container and microwave for about 90 seconds until the spinach wilts and it’s heated. Remove from microwave, and toss with the sesame oil.
Slice the carrots and green onion. In a small bowl, mix the gochujung sauce and mayonnaise to make a dressing. I also used a Boca burger as my protein but you can use chicken, pork, or any protein you like. Layer the ingredients as desired in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing, and enjoy.
Makes 4 bowls at approximately 274 calories each – 7g protein, 48g carbs, and 6g fat (not including the added meat, burgers, pork, etc).
You can also pack them in a mason jar for lunch the next day. Layer rice at the bottom, then the spinach, protein, and top with the cabbage, carrots and dressing. Easy, portable and you get several meals with very little effort. The combinations are endless and here are a few more ideas of bowls I ate this week to get you started:
If you’re interested in working with me to get meals together fast while working towards your health goals and feeding a family, I’d love to chat. You don’t have to and shouldn’t eat differently while dieting than the rest of your family. Drop me an email, or come on over to Facebook and ask a question, and check out the Dinner Bowl fun.