Meal-in-a-Bowl

I’ve been thinking about a full meal in a bowl being a good way to eat a satisfying, healthy and balanced meal.  You’ve got your protein, starch and veggies all playing nicely together.  And, since I’m a guest here and we don’t really use the dishwasher, it’s a good way to cut down on the dishes I have to wash.

I was craving beans in a major way, and had celery and carrot in the fridge, so I made Cajun-style red beans and brown rice which turned out to be more veggie than bean, which is fine with me.  On the side is steamed spinach, and some baby romaine that was on its way out.

I still had most of the gargantuan mango from my last post, and was still in the mood for beans, so I wanted to make some sort of quinoa/black bean/mango dish.  Alas, the grocery stores here are very basic, and there is no quinoa to be found.  I went with potatoes as the starch instead, and relegated the mango to a condiment of sorts.  I consulted my friend Jackie in whether I should call it a relish, pico de gallo or chutney, and we decided it was most like a relish or pico, so Jackie suggested pico de relish.  In the end I decided on relish de gallo, because “relish of the rooster” sounds more fun than “beak of the relish”.  So this is Black Bean and Corn Hash with Mango Avocado Relish de Gallo, topped with hot sauce.

Here we have leftover broccoli in hunan sauce with brown rice with store bought teriyaki tofu.  I may have put it all in a bowl just to go with the bowl theme.  Shhhhh….

Lastly, Hannah’s Sesame Noodles.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – I couldn’t find soba noodles and used whole wheat spaghetti instead, didn’t have any ginger (thought I did and was very disappointed), used white sugar instead of brown and doubled the quantity, peeled my carrot and zucchini with a normal peeler since my julienne peeler is packed away, added sauteed cremini mushrooms and shelled edamame for some extra oomph, and garnished with cilantro just cause I had some.  This recipe is good!  Next time I will definitely make sure I have ginger, and cut back a tad on the soy sauce since it was just a bit too salty for me.

And now, since not everything can fit in a bowl, here are some randoms.

I made my first real shopping trip to Trader Joe’s.  I stopped by one a few years ago, and after actually shopping there I have the same opinion I did back then.  They have some really cool products and I’ll definitely go from time to time, but some of the items are a bit expensive, and they don’t have enough “normal” grocery items.  Like, the spices were extremely limited and I couldn’t find sesame seeds.  It seems impractical to not carry stuff like that, people don’t want to have to go to two stores.  TJ’s seems like a great place for people who don’t want to or don’t have time to cook, lots of good ready-made food.  My total purchase came to almost $50, although $8 of it was for soy yogurt, which I can’t find in town.

Some home fries made with potatoes I didn’t use in the hash above.  Part of a big breakfast for bf before his first job interview today.  So good with ketchup.

One of my (and probably your) favorite lunches, plain ol’ hummus with pita and veggies.

Up next:  Hopefully a couple uses for the world’s largest zucchini.

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22 Comments »

  1. Ah, you see, I adore salty foods, so I’m sorry if that skewed the recipe a bit! Looks great though, as do all of the other meals-in-bowls. :)

  2. VeggieGirl said

    I did an entire post way back, about “bowl-meals”; but man oh man, yours look MUCH bette than mine!! Yum!!

  3. Tofufreak said

    I love bowl meals! They are so versatile! All of yours look fantastically delicious! I agree with you bout Trader Joes. Lots of their stuff if novelty, and therefore expensive. Pooh! =|

  4. I’m all about meals in a bowl. It helps me eat more balanced! The mango relish sounds great!

  5. Nikki said

    I haven’t been to a traderjoes since I lived in Sna Francisco 8 years ago! It was pretty cool then But I usually only went there to get lunch. ALl your food looks delicious so why would you bother with ready-made! I love hummus and pita – it is part of my weekly eating – no matter what.

  6. Jennifer said

    Your bean and spinach bowl looks really good. A meal in a bowl is a perfect way to get a good meal and not dirty too many dishes.

    I love the relish de gallo, it sounds very tasty and the name rocks!

    Those sesame noodles look really good. That is too bad you couldn’t find soba noodles!

    WOW, that’s a lot of food for $50! That sucks they don’t carry more “normal” food. We don’t have anything like a Trader Joes or Whole Foods in Columbia, I always assumed they would be more like specialty stores than regular grocers.

    I hope the interview went well, I bet those potatoes were a great way to start out the day.

  7. atxvegn said

    All the dishes look really delicious, but I know you’ll be glad to get in your own kitchen. I would love to visit a TJ’s just once!

  8. I love food in a bowl. It’s fun to mix it all up on your fork. And I’ve never been to Trader Joe’s, but we’re getting one soon in Nashville (3 hours from here but I go there all the time), so I can’t wait to check it out. Someone told me TJ’s has $2 wine.

  9. Congratulations on your first Trader Joe’s trip! Isn’t it fun?! All of your food bowls look so balanced & delicious.

  10. I love your “meals in a bowl”. They look so yummy and nutritious!

  11. Carrie said

    All of that food looks awesome! I was recently in the U.S. for a trip and we walked past a Trader Joe’s so I had to stop in. It almost made me cry that you could go in and almost effortlessly find vegan food…I bought tons to keep in our hotel room.

  12. Anardana said

    Yum!!! Everything looks great. Great photos.

  13. There’s something fun to me about meals in a bowl. Yours looks delicious and colorful!

  14. jessy said

    what colorful, fresh, & yummy looking meals you’ve been making! and what a deal for just $50.00 @ trader joe’s! i love it all! mmmmmmmmm! we’re supposed to be getting one here in richmond some time this year, and i can’t wait! :D

  15. Samantha said

    I love TJ, but I agree, it’s not an “everyday” grocery store. Rob and I used to make the trip there specifically for the sea salt and chocolate covered almonds… so good…

  16. shellyfish said

    Everything looks so good! I miss Trader Joe’s so much! They need to franchize here in France!

  17. Meow said

    Trader Joe’s is dirt cheap. One doesn’t go there for produce or reg groceries (all the produce is in platic. Yikes!), but it’s great for snacks, breads and hordourves (or however I spell that)

  18. Louise said

    Yup, hummous and veggies is definitely one of my favourite lunches too! ^_^
    The meals-in-bowls all look delicious too!

  19. All of your meals in a bowl looks excellent and you got some great stuff at Trader Joe’s!

  20. I would eat anyone of those bowls for dinner! I’m especially eyeing those sesame noodles…

  21. anna said

    Those look like some great meals. I serve a lot of my food in pasta bowls, curry, chili etc as it just seems easier to eat it that way rather than to have it slopping around on a plate!

    Looks like you got quite a bit of food for your $50!

  22. Sophie said

    Your meals look so healthy and delicious, the colors make the presentation lovely too! I really like the idea of a one-bowl dinner :).

    We’d like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest. All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me, sophiekiblogger@gmail.com, if you’re interested.

    Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/08/29/september-kick-contest/

    Thanks :),
    Sophie
    KI Chief Blogger

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