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3 Recipes to Try the Latest Nutrition Trend - Food Bowls

Food bowls were introduced by many restaurants in the past few years, but really gained popularity in 2015 and are expected to be a hot trend in 2016. This popular way of eating an entire meal in one convenient bowl is also known as bowl food, power bowls, broth bowls or smoothie bowls. These nutrient-packed dishes usually have an emphasis on lean protein, whole grains, and dense vegetables while adding out of the ordinary topping such as seeds, nuts and avocado.

A food bowl is a great way to try something that you may not usually eat, such as tofu or ancient grains, because the other components in the dish help add flavor to tie it all together. Quinoa, Kamut, and millet are popular choices for whole grains, with even brown rice making a comeback. Tofu, eggs, and soybeans are some proteins of choice, varying from the safe options of chicken, pork, and beef. Food bowls are served warm or cold, or a combination of both and recipes can be found for any meal of the day.

Food bowls often use a light sauce instead of calorie dense dressing or gravy, saving calories without sacrificing flavor. It is also a great way to serve crock pot dinners or one-pot meals, which have also gained popularity over the past year. Food bowls stem from the growing popularity of Asian inspired cuisine and are being served more regularly at home. People are moving away from wanting to drink their food and are trading in smoothies for food bowls, which allow the hardiness of an entire meal without the hassle of food sliding off a plate.

Try these recipes, or make your own food bowl with a protein, grain or vegetable that you have never tried before.

Tofu Broth Bowls


  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, warmed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups cubed tofu
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounces) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves


  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat. Cook the tofu until lightly browned.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the warm brown rice and fresh lime juice. Divide evenly into four serving bowls.
  3. Into each bowl, place ¼ each of the tofu, tomatoes, beans, corn, green onion, and avocado.
  4. Garnish each bowl with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves.

Berry Beet Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients for the Bowl

  • ½ cup unsweetened, unflavored soy milk
  • 1 large date, pitted and softened in water
  • 1 beet, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup frozen acai berry pulp

 Ingredients for the Toppings

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh blueberries, raspberries, and sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds


  1. Place the soy milk, date (without the water), almonds, and chia seeds in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Add the chopped beet and frozen berries. Blend on high until thick and smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
  3. Pour the mixture in a bowl and top with fresh berries, coconut flakes and almonds.

Fish Taco Bowl

Ingredients for the Bowl

  • 4 small tilapia fillets
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fish seasoning
  • 8 cups shredded red and green cabbage
  • ½ cup sliced green onion
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and diced
  • 4 small tortillas

 Ingredients for the Dressing

  • ½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp green Tobasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the chile powder, cumin, and fish seasoning. Rub both sides of fillets with 2 tsp olive oil and then the fish seasoning mixture. In a pan, heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil to medium-high heat. Cook the fillets for 4 minutes on eat side.
  2. In the same pan, warm each tortilla for a few seconds on each side. Slice each tortilla into 4 pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, lime juice, green Tobasco sauce and some salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, sliced green onion and half of the dressing.
  5. When the fish is slightly cooled, shred or slice the fillets.
  6. In 4 bowls, layer ¼ each of the cabbage mixture, fish, avocado, tortillas and remaining dressing.


CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team

These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.

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