Healthy Living Healthy Recipes

Let’s go bowling! Hearty and healthy meals for the win

Bowl meals are rising in popularity—and for good reason. These all-in-one meals are easy to prepare, good as a meal on-the-go, and chock-full of healthy ingredients. From smoothie bowls to grain bowls to macro bowls, these meals incorporate vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, whole grains and a variety of protein sources.

Depending on the types of ingredients you use, you and your family can eat a bowl meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Bowl meals can be as inventive as you want them to be. You can create a bowl around a specific vegetable or type of cuisine, such as Mexican or Indian, or based on a certain color, like an eye-popping purple smoothie bowl. Since each fruit or vegetable’s color is based on the kinds of vitamins, minerals and nutrients it contains, the more colorful your bowl is, the more nutritious it will be.

A bowl meal usually consists of a carbohydrate base, a choice of fruits or vegetables, a protein source, and a topping that gives the bowl a sweet, spicy or creamy kick. You can also add a crunchy texture with nuts or seeds.

To make preparation even easier, you can cut and cook your vegetables ahead of time or use leftovers from a previous meal. You can also make a large pot of your favorite whole grain and use it in bowls throughout the week.

Ingredient ideas

A successful bowl meal incorporates a variety of foods. Need help figuring out what kinds of carbohydrate bases, proteins and toppings to use? Consider these options:

  • Base: brown or wild rice, quinoa, chickpeas, buckwheat noodles, barley, oatmeal or whole-grain pasta
  • Protein: meat, poultry, fish, shell fish, tofu, eggs or lentils
  • Sauce: tahini, Greek yogurt, Sriracha, salsa, peanut butter, honey or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Crunch: almonds, peanuts, walnuts, Chia seeds, sunflower seeds or dried seaweed

Superfood taco bowl

Ingredients (makes 4)

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 1⁄2  tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄5 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1⁄2 cup hummus
  • 2 cups raw or steamed kale
  • 1 cup sprouts
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1⁄2 cup salsa
  • Tortilla strips


  1. Preheat skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Place ground beef or turkey in skillet and cook until slightly browned. Season with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and sea salt, and continue cooking until fully cooked.
  3. Drain any fat from the ground meat, and spoon portions into four bowls.
  4. Add 1⁄2 cup rice, 2 tablespoons hummus, 1⁄2 cup kale, 1⁄4 cup sprouts, 1⁄4 cup tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of salsa and a few tortilla strips to each bowl.
Want more fresh, fast and fun ideas?
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About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.