You walk into a yoga class, you are settling into a comfortable seat, deepening your breath, concentrating inward and then your instructor says, “Take this time to set an intention for your practice.” There’s something to be said about being positive. Many people have been picking up on “The Law of Attraction,” trying to figure out what it is all about and how it can work for them.
Grain bowls are our go-to solution for a quick, healthy and satisfying vegetarian meal on busy weeknights. Depending on what you have on hand (and how much you planned ahead), you can throw in just a handful of ingredients or the whole, ahem, kitchen sink.
Not only is this one-dish meal an easy way to incorporate more whole grains and veggies into your diet, it’s also a great way to use up all those greens you bought at the farmer’s market before they go bad. Follow our flexible template for building a better grain bowl that’s irresistibly good.
Ingredients: Grain + Vegetables + Protein + Boosters + Sauce
Whole grains are a filling, chewy and delicious complement to vegetables. And because they’re a healthy source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, you’ll feel full longer. We like to cook a big batch of grains ahead of time and store in the fridge -- they’ll keep for up to a week. Try one of these grains:
- Brown Rice
- Wheat Berries
Don’t be shy: pile on the vegetables and let these superstars be the bulk of your bowl. You can use a single vegetable or a colorful variety -- whatever you have in the fridge. Let the season guide your choices in the produce aisle. Here are few ideas:
Greens (kale, spinach, arugula, romaine, watercress, etc.)
Root vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, etc.)
Broccoli and/or cauliflower
Onions and/or scallions
Summer squash and/or zucchini
The combination of a whole grain and legumes, nuts or seeds creates a complete vegetarian source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids your body needs all in one meal. (Soy, such as tofu or tempeh, is the one plant protein that contains all the essential amino acids.) So get to know your plant-protein options -- they’re more plentiful than you think:
Tofu or Tempeh (marinated, baked, grilled or steamed)
Legumes (peanuts, peas, beans and lentils)
Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc.)
Seeds (flax, hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
These extra garnishes add a boost of color, texture and flavor along with their own healthful benefits. Try a combination that suits your palate:
Fresh herbs (cilantro or basil)
Dried fruit (raisins, currants and cranberries)
Seeds (seeds get double billing as a protein and a healthy fat booster)
A grain bowl just isn’t complete without a hearty sauce to drizzle on top. You can make it ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator all week to use as a salad dressing or dip. Here are a few recipes worth trying:
- Vegan Green Goddess Dressing (Oh She Glows)
- Carrot Ginger Dressing (Smitten Kitchen)
- Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing (Food for the Soul)
- Ultra Creamy Hemp Salad Dressing (Oh She Glows)
- Sunflower Seed Dressing (Food for the Soul)
- Curry-Coconut Sauce (Real Simple)
Now that you’ve got the essentials down, you’re ready to go. Prepare your grains, whip up the sauce and cut up your vegetables into uniform sizes. If you’re using tofu or tempeh, toss it together with the vegetables and lightly saute or steam until everything is just cooked. Assemble in layers and serve. Enjoy!
In one of my classes a few weeks ago, I asked if any of the students had practiced yoga before. One of the responses was “I’ve taken a class or two but I’m horrible at it.” My reply? There is no such thing as being “horrible” at yoga.
Think of a bad day. Your alarm doesn’t go off. You can’t find your keys. You hit traffic on the way to work and it makes you 20 minutes late. Then to top it all off, it starts to rain. Maybe tomorrow you would make a note to set more than one alarm, have your keys in an obvious spot, leave early for your commute and bring an umbrella, just in case. But today, on a bad day, there’s nothing you can change. So why not let it go?
By now we all know about the dangers of BPA, the synthetic estrogen that’s linked to a host of serious diseases, including breast cancer. And these days, it’s fairly easy to find BPA-free plastics, from baby bottles to food storage. But thanks to this recent article in Mother Jones, we’re now wondering if any plastic is truly safe.