Healthy bowls packed with flavour

Healthy bowls packed with flavour

Healthy, varied and easy to prepare, these bowl-based meals have been all the rage for several years now. Why have they become so popular and what does every bowl have to have? Let’s get to the bottom of the bowl.

Who invented it?

They’ve been available for a while now at specialised restaurants and street food festivals, but they’ve also made their way into large supermarkets. Even if you think you haven’t heard of food bowls, you might have seen those vibrantly coloured meals served in bowls under the self-explanatory label “Food Bowls”.

These culinary compositions are served in many countries, such as Tibet, where monks top off their “tsampa” (a dough mixture of barley and water or tea) with various vegetables and goat’s cheese. In Japanese cuisine, rice is served in bowls with various layers of ingredients.

But what’s known as the “food bowl” in the West originated in Hawaii. There, poké bowls are a speciality which consists of diced, raw fish (e.g. salmon), fruit, vegetables and rice. For the native Polynesians, whose basic nutrition has always been fresh fish, it was important to quickly cut the fish up into ready-to-be-eaten, bite-sized chunks so that it didn’t go off.

Food bowls are healthy and easy to prepare

Not only are these tasty bowls eaten quickly, they’re prepared quickly too. They mostly use fresh ingredients that don’t need much prep. The rule of thumb is one third carbohydrates such as rice or bulgur for the base, one third vegetables of your choosing and finally one third ingredients that are high in protein.

Fish are particularly well suited to the food bowl and thanks to its contents, which include omega 3, iodine and vitamin D, it’s good for your cardiovascular and immune systems. As fish is usually served raw when it comes to food bowls, it needs to be served as fresh as possible and is not suitable for pregnant women or small children. As an alternative, you can fill your bowl with chicken or meat substitute products.

As the toppings are highly variable as well – from cashew nuts to fried onions – there’s something for everyone. Depending on your taste buds and what you’ve got available at home, you can create your own food bowl. Best of all, you can take these healthy meals into work with you for an easy afternoon snack.

Buddha, Hawaii… The colourful world of bowls

Besides the traditional poké bowl – also called Hawaii bowl – there are many other variations that are influenced by different cuisines. Check out our favourite bowl recipes from BORA:

  • Asian Chicken Bowl: This sweet and sour bowl variation consists of sushi rice, edamame beans, Chinese cabbage, mango and chicken – and the honey and chilli give it that special something.
  • Burger Bowl: A deconstructed burger – does it work? We certainly think so. Take classic burger ingredients like romaine lettuce, rye bread roll and gherkins and cut them up into bite-sized pieces and sear the loose mince in a pan – your burger bowl is done.

The types of food bowls you can create are endless. From the Mexican burrito bowl to the vegan falafel bowl, the only limit is your imagination. All you need to do to create a food bowl is to cover a carbohydrate base with plenty of fresh ingredients and serve it in a bowl. Enjoy!