Bowls, Bowls, Bowls!

This is not one of my typical running-related blog post and is more down the food route.  But then again, nutrition plays a huge role in running performance and recovery so I guess it is running-related by association.

I have been on a HUGE bowl kick.  What type of bowls? ALL TYPES.  Vegetable bowls, greek yogurt bowls, smoothie bowls, lentil pasta bowls..the list goes on. The best part of these bowls…aside from the nutritional value, of course..is how quick and easy they are to put together.

I am going to throw a bunch of bowl photos at you and give a little description of each.  I hope in this photo bomb, you find something that looks delicious and something you hope to/eventually recreate in your own kitchen.

But first….let me give you some background info on how I got started on this bowl kick.  I was doing school work at my favorite cafe.  I was getting pretty hungry and eventually  succumbed to one of their delicious but over-priced bowl.

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It was definitely delicious but was $12 really worth a meager bowl of kale, quinoa, avocado, pickled, carrots, beets and pumpkin seeds thrown in a bowl? No. I made my way to Whole Foods and bought those 7 ingredients for about $30 and had enough to make over $100 worth of bowls if I kept buying them at the cafe.  Not only have I re-created this bowl for many lunches, I have become much more creative with each farm share pick-up.  My cast iron skillet and the fresh farm-share vegetables (tomatoes, beets, carrots, green peppers, kale) are the two key components for making the best warm bowl.  Once you have the staples, have fun with some toppings!

 

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Lentil pasta, kale, tomatoes, green peppers
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Red Lentil Rotini, beets, spinach, tomatoes, pickled carrots, pumpkin seeds.
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Chickpea rotini, kale, tomatoes, avocado

Now, if you are not into the savory foods..lets talk sweet and fruit bowls.  Smoothie bowls are one of my favorite post-run meals, especially after running in the summer’s heat.  Greek yogurt bowls are perfect pre-workout fuel.  Staples for a great smoothie bowl include Vital Protein Collagen Whey, frozen zucchini, spinach, frozen berries, and maple syrup (non of that artificial sweetener crap!)

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Added cacao powder for a chocolatey flavor.
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Greek yogurt, cinnamon, fresh berries and unsweetened coconut.

As you can see, I love to top these bowls off with some nuts, coconut, bee pollen and a variety of seeds.  Why?  Well aside from the added crunch and taste, each of these toppings add even more nutritional benefits to any bowl.  Here are some of my favorite toppings and their benefits.

Hemp Seeds – Rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and 25% of their calories are from high-quality protein.

Pumpkin Seeds – Contain magnesium (often times low in runners), zinc and plant-based omega-3 fats and high in antioxidants.

Unsweetened Coconut Flakes – Flavorful addition to any bowl and adds fiber and protein to the dish.  Coconut is great source of iron which is crucial for getting oxygen to the body and can be low for many female runners.

Bee Pollen – Rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and fatty acids. Bee pollen also adds protein to the bowl as well as amino acids.

Pickled Vegetables/Tumeric Sauerkraut – Packed with probiotics, fiber and a variety of vitamins.

So next time you find yourself spending too much money on a bowl..look at the ingredients, grab them at the store and start making your own!  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, go get one!  They are a game changer – they add so much flavor and make this a one pan meal.

 

 

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