The One Formula You Need to Make the Perfect Lunch Bowl

By: Abbey Hybl  |  Friday, February 3, 2017
For me, packing healthy lunches for work is a must. Lunch is a time to refocus and refuel during a busy day. If you're one of those people who eats lunch out every day, because you don't think you have the time to pack your own, rethink that strategy! All you need is 30 minutes to an hour on the weekend to prep your bowls using this simple formula for endless healthy lunch-bowl combos—you'll want to try a new bowl every week. You'll eat healthier and you might even save some cash too.
Related: 10 Healthy Grain Bowl Recipes
1. Prep Your Ingredients: Before assembling your bowls for the week, cook up batches of protein, grains and veggies (see our suggestions below). Or use whatever leftovers you have from dinner. Also, make sure you're well-equipped. For grab-and-go bowls, you'll need bowls with tight-fitting lids or airtight containers.
2. Lay Down the Whole-Grain Base: Start with 1/2 cup of cooked whole grains per serving for a satisfying fiber punch.
• Quinoa
• Bulgur
• Brown rice
• Farro
• Barley
3. Add Your Veggies: Shoot for 1 cup of vegetables (or 2 cups of leafy greens) in each lunch bowl. You can leave them raw or sauté, grill or roast your vegetables.
• Dark leafy greens (like kale and spinach)
• Asparagus
• Cherry tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Zucchini
• Cucumber
• Onion
• Shredded cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Sweet potatoes
• Broccoli
• Beets
• Squash
• Carrots
• Avocado
5. Add Your Protein Source: Fill each bowl with 3-4 ounces of lean, cooked protein.
• Chicken
• Pork
• Beef
• Shrimp
• Tofu
• Beans
6. Sauce It Off: The sauce is what really sets the stage for a flavorful lunch bowl—add 2 to 4 tablespoons of sauce per bowl. For packable lunches, keep your sauce or dressing in a separate container, then drizzle and toss when you're ready to eat!
• Romesco
• Salsa
• Pesto
• Hummus
• Miso
• Sriracha
• Hot sauce
• Vinaigrette
7. Jazz It Up with a Garnish: Not only do the final toppings add flavor and texture, they also make your lunch bowl totally Instagrammable. Sprinkle on to taste.
• Shredded or crumbled cheese
• Olives
• Chopped fresh herbs
• Sesame seeds
• Lime wedges
Need some inspiration? Try one of these healthy and delicious lunch-bowl combos to get started.

Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini & Pork Bowls

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Roast Pork, Asparagus & Cherry Tomato Bowl

Tex-Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl

Watch How to Make Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowls