How-to Cook a One Bowl Meal for Healthy Every Day Eating

Build Your Own Bowl Meal in 7 Simple Steps

Between your 9-5 job and various other life chores (walking the dog, working out or going to the gym, doing laundry (my personal least favorite), cleaning around the house, etc.), it is not always easy to cook a healthy, wholesome meal.

I had this same problem.

“I want to be healthy and eat great food without eating out, but, I’m super busy and just don’t feel like cooking most of the time. Plus, when I try to cook healthy or eat clean, it tastes bland.”

The solution?

This 7 step One Bowl Meal Cooking Guide. You will be cooking healthy, delicious buddha bowls, grain bowls, and grain salads every day in no time!

This Guide Will Teach You

  1. To cook easy, healthy, delicious meals that are made in a single bowl and perfect for meal prep.

  2. To build your own bowls so you won’t need a recipe after working through this plan a few times!

Learn to Cook (a little)

Does the traditional meal prep method, with the spreadsheets and planning schedules, take the fun out of cooking for you? (full disclosure: I hate paperwork).

No documentation here.

Follow this plan and learn how to easily develop flavor and put healthy, delicious tasting meals together like the one below.

Your final dish will last at least 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator. Scale up the ingredients so you get several meals out of your cooking efforts.

Become Your Own Personal Chef

The thing about cooking is: it’s not very hard.

Once you learn a few dishes and cooking methods, you will feel confident and you will want to cook more. Don’t we all like things we’re good at?

Keep reading below so you can learn to cook (just a little), eat great every day, and be your own chef!


Healthy Meal Process

Download Your One Bowl Meal Guide

Before you start cooking, download the One-Bowl Meal Cooking Guide by clicking here.

How to Cook a One Bowl Meal

1. Pick a Base

Select the primary carbohydrate to use in your one bowl meal. The list below will get you started, but feel free to get creative.

Stick with complex carbs (vs. simple carbs). You can read about the benefits of eating complex carbs versus simple carbs here. In short, these take your body longer to breakdown and are more nutritious. You will stay full longer and minimize any spikes in blood sugar that cause you to feel tired.

P.S. If you want to test the whole complex vs. simple carbs thing, eat a bowl of pasta for lunch tomorrow and notice how you feel afterwards. The next day, eat a bowl of quinoa with greens and an avocado and notice how you feel.

Base ingredient ideas

2. Pick a Vegetable(s)

Vegetables get a bad rap from the flavor police.

We all know vegetables are great for you (see this Harvard study for more details on this). But, they can be lacking in the flavor.

Solution: Roast them to release some of their sugars and get them all crispy.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  2. Cut whatever veggie you’re using up into similar size pieces (so they roast evenly).

  3. Place pieces on a baking sheet(s). Toss with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per filled baking sheet and salt.

  4. Roast for 25-40 minutes until browned and crispy.

Note: Roast leafy vegetables for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Roasted vegetables are your new best friend. Feel free to add a few different kinds to your meals.

Vegetable ingredient ideas.

Bowl of Oven Roasted Beets

Big Batch of Oven Roasted Beets – Perfect addition to your bowl.

3. Pick a Protein

Protein helps you feel full. It also adds depth and can serve as the centerpiece of a dish.

The list below focuses primarily on meat and fish. There is an endless number of types of meat and fish in addition to cuts. So, the ideas below is just a starting point. Also, not adding any meat or fish is also an option.

If you are adding meat, try to use unprocessed and humanely raised cuts of meat. It is better tasting, healthier, and better for the environment.

For fish, follow these sustainability recommendations.

Protein ingredient ideas

Buttermilk Marinated Chicken

Buttermilk Marinated Roast Chicken – Try this for your protein.

4. Pick Add-ons (optional)

Some things like cheese and nuts will make anything taste better. Toss some of your favorite goodies on to your dish and to produce some interesting bites.

Add-on ingredient ideas

5. Pick a Dressing

Topping a dish with a tasty dressing is a flavorful game changer. It will instantly brighten up any dish.

Make a big batch of one of the dressings below so you can easily pull out of the fridge and top your dishes.

Don’t have a dressing on hand or feel like making from scratch? Simply add a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil and a few dribbles of whatever vinegar you have on-hand (not distilled white though) to your dish. Toss, and taste. Add more vinegar or oil until you are satisfied with the taste.

Also, remember to season with salt throughout the cooking process and at the end (if needed). Here are some tips from Serious Eats on seasoning with salt.

Pick a Dressing

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Apple Cider Vinaigrette – Lasts a month covered in the fridge.

6. Cook/Prepare Ingredients

We’re big fans of roasting. It is one of the most hands-off methods of cooking and it yields crispy, crunchy ingredients. That is usually the first choice of preparation for just about any ingredient.

But, experiment and get creative! Remember, you can cook now, so this is where the fun begins.

Check out the walktoeat food blog here for how to cook some ingredients you can use.

Roasted acorn squash, collards, and acorn squash seeds for adding to the Winter Grain Bowl with Squash and Wild Rice .

Roasted acorn squash, collards, and acorn squash seeds for adding to the Winter Grain Bowl with Squash and Wild Rice.

7. Toss Together Prepared Ingredients

How does this sound: Cut up your ingredients and toss them in the oven. Then go take a shower and get ready for the night. Go back to the kitchen, take out the roasted ingredients, and toss them in a big bowl with a dressing and salt.

Boom. There is dinner, lunch for the next day and maybe more depending on how much you scaled up.

You will have a one bowl meal like the Winter Grain Bowl with Squash and Wild Rice below.

Winter Squash Grain Bowl with Wild Rice

Winter Grain Salad with Squash and Wild Rice – No protein for a vegetarian meal.

Now you can make a quick and healthy meal every day! Even better, cook once and make enough to eat multiple times. No more dieting. Just healthy living.

So… Get cooking!

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