3 hearty and healthy recipes

Whatever you call them—grain bowls, Buddha bowls, macro bowls or hippie bowls—big bowl meals seem to be everywhere these days, and for good reason. They’re flavorful, colorful, heartily nutritious and infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

Not only are these meal bowls easy to prepare at home, but they also make healthy eating much more interesting and delicious.

Spiced Chicken Bowl

By replacing the base of this bowl with cauliflower rice instead of the grain we amp up the nutritional value, while drastically cutting calories.

Quick Pickled Onions

1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut into very thin half-moons

1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine vinegar

Spiced Chicken Bake

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) frozen peas

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes (about 1 cup/250 mL)

1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seed

1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seed

1 tsp (5 mL) black mustard seed

Zest of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp (30 mL) water

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

1 Tbsp (15 mL) avocado oil


1 small head cauliflower

1 tsp (5 mL) avocado oil or grapeseed oil

1 small shallot, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt

1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

2 Tbsp (30 mL) cilantro leaves

2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

In small airtight container, stir together red onions and white wine vinegar. Cover and set aside at room temperature while preparing rest of bowl.

In large baking dish, add frozen peas, sweet potato, cumin seed, fennel seed, mustard seed, lime zest, garlic, water and chicken. Toss everything together until well combined. Place chicken skin side up on top of peas and potatoes. Drizzle chicken with avocado oil before placing baking dish in oven to cook until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through and its skin is golden brown and crisp, about 45 minutes.

While chicken cooks, trim cauliflower and shred into pieces slightly larger than a rice grain either by pulsing in food processor or by grating on the large holes of a box grater. Warm avocado oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté shallot until softened but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Stir in cauliflower rice and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in salt, turmeric and red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute.

Divide cauliflower rice among serving bowls and top with warm chicken and vegetables. Garnish with some drained pickled onions, cilantro and almonds.

Serves 2.

Each serving contains: 411 calories; 28 g protein; 17 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 40 g total carbohydrates (12 g sugars, 12 g fiber); 551 mg sodium

Crispy Peanut Tofu Bowl

Just one bite and you will fall head over heels for this completely plant-based meal bowl that is not only vegan but also gluten free.

Crispy Peanut Tofu

12 oz (340 g) extra-firm tofu

2 tsp (10 mL) toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp (15 mL) low-sodium tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 Tbsp (15 mL) water or low-sodium vegetable stock

1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili garlic sauce

2 1/2 Tbsp (37 mL) unsalted, smooth peanut butter


3 1/2 oz (100 g) dried rice noodles, either thick or thin

1 tsp (5 mL) avocado oil or grapeseed oil

4 to 6 baby bok choy, trimmed and cut in half

1 small red beetroot, julienned or shredded

1/2 cup (125 mL) bean sprouts or soy sprouts

1 green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced into rounds

2 Tbsp (30 mL) roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Wrap tofu in several layers of paper towel or a couple of kitchen towels. Place something heavy, like a large pot containing a couple of canned goods, on top and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl whisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, tamari, coconut sugar, water, chili garlic sauce and peanut butter until well combined. Set aside.

Cut drained tofu into bite-sized cubes and place in single layer on parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring once about halfway through cooking time. Set aside to cool at least 10 minutes. Stir cooled tofu into peanut sauce and let marinate for 15 minutes.

Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.

In large frying pan or skillet, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add bok choy and sauté until wilted and lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and set aside on plate and cover to keep warm. Place pan back over medium heat and, using slotted spoon, transfer tofu cubes to hot pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides.

Divide noodles among serving bowls. Top with bok choy, beets, crispy tofu and sprouts. Drizzle with any leftover peanut sauce before garnishing with some green onion and chopped peanuts.

Serves 2.

Each serving contains: 708 calories; 33 g protein; 39 g total fat (7 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 77 g total carbohydrates (23 g sugars, 8 g fiber); 543 mg sodium

Fish Taco Bowl

Taco night will never be the same once you try out this recipe. Millet is a gluten-free seed that cooks up quickly and has a mild sweetness to it.

Mango Salsa

1 cup (250 mL) chopped mango, about 1 large

3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely diced red onion

2 Tbsp (30 mL) roughly chopped cilantro

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)

Juice of half a lime


1/2 cup (125 mL) millet or rice

1 cup (250 mL) no-salt-added vegetable stock

1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt

1 Tbsp (15 mL) avocado oil or grapeseed oil, divided

1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lime zest

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin

1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika

1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder

2 – 4 oz (113 g) wild salmon fillets

1/2 cup (125 mL) finely julienned red cabbage and or green cabbage

1/2 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced or diced

2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted pumpkin seeds

Start by making mango salsa. In medium bowl, fold together all salsa ingredients until well combined. Set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving or refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.

To cook millet, place in dry medium saucepan over medium heat and toast millet, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add broth and salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low, stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) avocado oil, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let saucepan sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir lime zest into cooked millet with fork and set aside until ready to use. Alternatively, cook rice according to package instructions.

To prepare salmon, in small bowl whisk together cumin, paprika, chili powder and garlic powder. Pat spice mixture over each piece of salmon and set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) avocado oil in frying pan over medium heat. Place salmon in pan, flesh side down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes before flipping salmon over and continuing to cook until cooked through, about another 4 to 5 minutes.

Divide millet among serving bowls. Top with salmon, cabbage, avocado, some mango salsa and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Serves 2.

Each serving contains: 608 calories; 35 g protein; 28 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 57 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars, 10 g fiber); 383 mg sodium