How to Make a Healthy Power Bowl: The Base, The Protein, The Toppings

Jan 13 2021
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

I love all those meal-in-a-bowl recipes you post, but I don't always have exactly the right ingredients for each one. Do you have a format you go by when building a balanced bowl?

Build-A-Bowl Workshop
Answer@2x Hi Build-A-Bowl,

Great question! I love those recipes, but for those times when you want to freestyle it, I have plenty of suggestions. Essentially, you just need a base, a protein, and some fun toppings!

The Base

This will be the bulk of your bowl. You can choose a hot or cold base, but FYI: Just because your base is cold doesn't mean the rest of your ingredients need to be (and vice versa)! Mixing 'n matching hot 'n cold ingredients is totally acceptable. And don't feel like you have to pick just one -- for example, a base of riced cauliflower + brown rice rocks, and it’s a great way to volumize your base without making it too heavy.

* Riced cauliflower (freezer staple!)
* Shredded lettuce
* Zucchini noodles (another freezer staple)
* Broccoli slaw or cole slaw mix (steamed or raw)
* Spaghetti squash
* Cooked grains (like brown rice)

The Protein

Anything goes here, but these are some of my favorites. I keep a few precooked versions around for convenience, but others I buy raw and cook up a big batch in advance. Measure out a serving and set it on top... Voila!

* Skinless chicken breast
* Canned/pouched tuna
* Shrimp (I buy it frozen)
* Extra-lean ground meat (chicken, turkey, or beef)
* Canned beans
* Soy crumbles (or chopped veggie burgers)

The Toppings & Sauces

Here's where the real fun starts. I definitely suggest any additional veggies you have around for extra flavor and texture. (For example, stir-fried peppers and onions go with just about everything.) Raid the fridge, and get creative! When it comes to sauces, pretty much any of your go-to condiments are fair game for adding flavor. My top topping picks...

* Salsa
* Fat-free Greek yogurt or light sour cream
* Teriyaki sauce
* BBQ sauce
* Your favorite salad dressings
* Shredded/crumbled/grated cheese

Have fun with your at-home bowl-a-rama! And for some easy recipes, grab a copy of my brand-new cookbook -- Hungry Girl Fast & Easy. There's a whole chapter of 10-minute power bowls!

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Chew on this:

Today (January 13th) is National Peach Melba Day. For a peachy spin on breakfast, try this fruity yogurt bowl.

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

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