It is the end of the week and in my house, containers of leftovers are stacking up in the refrigerator.  None are enough for a complete meal, but when you are trying to limit your trips to the grocery store, consuming all those leftovers is a must.  One way that I like to use up leftovers is by making a grain bowl. 

Grain bowls are so versatile and you can easily combine the perishable foods in your refrigerator with the pantry items that you have stocked up.  No matter what you have on hand, chances are you can make yourself a simple and healthy meal.

This is the most versatile grain bowl recipe in this round-up because you have the freedom to choose whichever grain, vegetable, protein, and other toppings you desire. It’ll teach you the basics on how to construct a hearty and healthy bowl and from there, you can experiment, try new flavors and expand your repertoire!

Here are the basics to layering the perfect grain bowl:

Pick a grain.  Some of my favorite grains to use are quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, and millet.  Follow the package direction and cook them just until tender.  Overcooking can lead to a mushy grain bowl.

Add some vegetables.  You can use fresh leafy greens, sliced cabbage, cut raw vegetables, or the leftover vegetables you cooked earlier in the week.  I love to add roasted vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets or squash.  Cold or hot, either is delicious. 

Enrich with protein.  Chicken, beef, and fish can complement any grain bowel.  If you don’t have any leftovers in the refrigerator, dig into that pantry and pull out a can of tuna, salmon, chickpeas or beans.  Frozen shrimp is another great option.  It thaws quickly and sautés up in a minute.  Add some Mexican spices to make a Baja Shrimp Bowl.  

Garnish it up. Here is where you can get truly creative! Spoon on some nuts or seeds.  I like to use chopped almonds or walnuts, as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  Dice up some figs or apples.  Spice it up with fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, dill or thyme.  Feta or goat cheese is always a refreshing addition, and don’t forget the avocado!

The finishing touch:  Dress it up with a flavorful vinaigrette or just add some olive oil, salt and pepper.  If you like a citrusy flavor, combine lemon or lime juice with olive oil and touch of honey.   If you’re going with an Asian theme, use some sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, and hot sauce.  Go with what your taste buds are yearning!

Whether spicy, savory or sweet, meet or meatless, grain bowls create a satisfying meal that is convenient, flexible and family friendly.  So utilize those leftovers and tap into your pantry supplies to create a delicious and nutritious meal.

Susan Brady
is a Physical Therapist,
Nutrition Consultant and
Doctor of Integrative Medicine.
She has been treating women with osteoporosis for over 30 years and is dedicated to helping people achieve
lasting good health and vitality.

Want to learn more about how you can improve your bone health? Contact me for a free 15 minute phone consult to learn more about the BONES Method™ and how it can help you achieve strong, healthy bones for life!

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