Get Bowled Over: 9 Dishes that Go Great in a Bowl

The social sharing of pictures of smoothie bowls and savory cereal bowls has been a recent craze. The beauty of a bowl is that you can put the same foods in it you’d put on a plate, plus those foods you can’t put on a plate like soup, cereal and smoothies. But are these bowls as tasty and good as they look? They can be, with a little planning, portioning and pairing for the right flavor and texture combos.

Rule of thumb — for a snack, aim for two different food groups and for a meal aim for three or four food groups. This guide is a quick reference for how many servings from each group you should aim for each day to stay within a recommended calorie range.

Spark your bowl-planning by scanning this slideshow. These are simply inspirational vs. prescriptive.

Dairy Good Big Bowl Recipe

1. Big Bowl Salad – This is more a total meal salad with about 1 ½ cups of raw/fresh vegetables (arugula on the bottom, tomato, cucumber, yellow pepper, carrots, 1/8 avocado), ½ hard-boiled egg, ¼ cup black-eyed peas, 2 ounces grilled chicken breast, ¼ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, 3/4 cup cooked quinoa. 


Dairy Good Big Bowl Mixed Recipe

2. Big Bowl Salad Mixed - Here we have our Big Bowl Salad all mixed together with ~1/4 cup Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing (mixed with chopped garlic, fresh lemon and fresh chives).

Dairy Good Breakfast

3. Breakfast Bowl – This is great when there is extra time in the morning – or wait to make it until dinner. Sauté about 1 ½  cups of vegetables (onion, zucchini, red pepper and mushrooms) then pour over two whisked eggs and scramble. Top with ~1/4 cup cheese (Manchego shown), add fresh herbs (cilantro and scallion shown) and serve with side salad (arugula shown). Add a glass of low-fat milk to bring protein up.

Dairy Good Snack
4. Snack Bowl – Try 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with veggies like tomato and cucumber and add some chickpeas for more texture, protein and fiber.
Dairy Good Recipe

5. In a Rush Bowl – Long day? You can still have something warm and tasty. While the whole wheat pasta is cooking, add a can of whole San Marzano tomatoes (break up with a wooden spoon) to sautéed veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.) with dried oregano, crushed red pepper, black pepper and a dash of salt and simmer. Mix together with cooked pasta and top with herbs and Parmesan and/or part-skim mozzarella.

Dairy Good Southwestern Recipe

6. Southwestern Bowl – This is another easy dinner with a mix of frozen, canned and fresh foods. Combine and cook in medium pot: 1 small can of rinsed and drained low-sodium black beans, 1 large can of low-sodium diced tomatoes and 1 small package of frozen corn with cumin, chili powder (or cayenne and/or chipotle pepper), while you also cook brown rice and mix up a low-fat yogurt topping with cumin, chopped garlic, lime juice and chive. Put 1 cup of rice and 1 ½ cups of the bean and tomato mixture in a bowl and top with part-skim mozzarella and yogurt.

Dairy Good Souped Up Bowl Recipe

7. Souped Up Bowl – Sauté onion, celery, carrots in olive oil for ~20 minutes. Toast dry herbs (cumin, red pepper flakes and oregano) for ~20 seconds, and mix with veggies. Add two peeled, diced potatoes and carrots and one peeled, diced sweet potato – sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with unsalted broth and boil for ~40 minutes (until potatoes and carrots are soft) then reduce heat. Puree and adjust thickness by adding skim milk and stirring until velvety. Top with Parmesan and/or part-skim mozzarella and garnish with scallions and cilantro. Top with about six crumbled blue corn chips for color and crunch or serve with crusty whole grain bread. Note: Depending on a lunch or dinner portion, the recipe makes about six bowls.

Dairy Good Mediterranean Baby Bowl Recipe

8. Mediterranean Baby Bowl – This is great for a snack or appetizer. Cut fresh veggie sticks and dip into hummus, tzatziki and bulgur wheat tabbouleh (which you can make homemade or purchase).

Dairy Good Mediterranean Big Bowl Recipe

9. Mediterranean Big Bowl – For a dinner portion, add some of these foods to the top of your salad or just add a variety of these Mediterranean style foods to a bowl: chickpeas or lentils, artichoke hearts, olives, tabbouleh, tzatziki, stuffed grape leaves (with rice and/or meat), nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, low-fat cow’s milk feta cheese, roasted peppers, radishes, fresh herbs, etc. You can top this with a small piece of grilled salmon or tuna, too.

Looking for more bowl recipes? Learn more about how to make your very own Acai bowl