Apparently “grain bowls” are a thing these days, but they’ve long been a part of my work-from-home-lunch repertoire. It’s a good excuse to throw a bunch of leftovers in a bowl together and call it a meal. You can mix and match, eat it hot or cold, and you don’t need a recipe.
Whenever I cook grains for a meal, I try to cook extra to have on hand later. I’m a lot more likely to actually eat a proper lunch when I know at least part of it is already prepared. Leftover meat or vegetables are easy to throw in with grains. Layer in your favorite salad dressing and/or a dollop of hummus. If you’re feeling fancy, use the back of a spoon or a flexible spatula to swipe a dip or puree around the edge of the bowl (pictured below). Roasted nuts, fresh herbs, a sprinkle of flaky salt, or cracked pepper can all add a little something extra. And when all else falls, put an egg on it!
If you’re nervous to get started making your own perfectly-Instagrammable grain bowls, I’ve put together some guidelines. You don’t have to use all the categories, but it’s a place to start (and helps keep things balanced).
Here are a few examples of grain bowls that I’ve shared:
roasted turnips + sweet potatoes
roasted eggplant dip
roasted garlic + ginger dressing
stone ground grits
seared duck breast
cherries in balsamic reduction
mint + oregano
Cinco de Mayo style:
brown rice with green garlic
sautéed red + golden beets