Macro bowls, aka nourish bowls, Buddha Bowls, or grain bowls, provide unlimited options for combining whole grains, vegetables, proteins, fruits and more. You can make them vegan, vegetarian, Paleo and even Keto if you wish, and even the finickiest of eaters will enjoy a macro bowl because they can customize the ingredients to fit their palate. They also pack quite a wallop of nutrients which will satiate and satisfy you for hours. 

Served warm or cold, they’re a great way to use up leftovers and are quick and easy to assemble — which makes weeknight meal planning or packing a work lunch a breeze. They are also super convenient for camping! Make 2 to 3 grains for the base such as oats, quinoa and brown rice, then prep the veggies, proteins, garnishes and sauces and package individually. When it’s time for a meal, simply set out the containers on a lazy susan and let folks create their own. This is a great way to eat healthy meals that aren’t loaded with fake carbs, sugars and artificial ingredients. 

Follow this blueprint to learn how to assemble a grain bowl that’s sure to appease any craving you have. See the recipe combinations at the end for inspiration.

The Master Plan

  1. Start with grains (for Keto or Paleo substitute with cauliflower rice). This is the base of your bowl and is packed with fiber, keeping you fuller longer. Start with 1/2 cup or mix two grains together at 1/4 cup each. Grains last a long time in the fridge so make a big pot and store for easy assembly.

Choose from: 

  • Brown Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Steel-cut Oats
  • Wild Rice
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  1. Add your veggies. This is a great way to get your daily serving of greens in! Choose 1 cup of 2 to 3 greens and veggies for color, flavor and nutrients. At the market, purchase the Organic Girl Power Greens mix and pre-chop the veggies for variety and convenience. Make a combo of both raw and cooked and try to buy organic whenever possible. Follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen® and Clean Fifteen® lists for an understanding of what to always buy organic and what is the safest conventional choices.
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Power Greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Kale (massage first to tenderize)
  • Cabbage
  • Red Pepper
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Tomatoes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli 
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Snow Peas
  • Avocado
  • Edamame
  1. Protein is the building block for our health, a macronutrient, and our bodies need copious amounts of it. Limit your portion to 4 to 6 ounces (1 to 2 ounces for cheese) and combine 1 or 2 together if you like. Spice up the protein with chipotle, African or Indian spices and always buy organic, free range, pasture raised and grass-fed whenever you can.
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish or Shellfish
  • Bay Scallops
  • Steak 
  • Pot Roast
  • Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • Venison
  • Elk
  • Bison
  • Ground Lamb
  • Pork Sausage (no fillers)
  • Eggs
  • High Quality Cheese
  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Pinto Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Walnuts (if vegan)
  1. Savory and sweet go together like red flannel shirts and warm boots. Add a bit of fruit for a little dimension but keep the portions small at 1/4 cup. Think of fruits that compliment the protein such as apple and pork, mango and shrimp, or beef and clementines. You can eliminate the fruit if you wish and go for a slightly sweet sauce, or simply omit the sweet altogether. 
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Clementine
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Melon
  • Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Figs (1 Tbsp)
  • Raisins, raisins or other died fruit (1 Tbsp)
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Try something exotic like passionfruit or lychee. 
  1. Top it off. A little bit goes a long way so don’t skip the garnish! Garnish not only adds contrasting flavors and textures, it makes your macro bowl visually pleasing to the senses. And we all know that delicious food starts with our eyes, right? 
  • Kimchi
  • Sprouts
  • Micro Greens
  • Toasted Seaweed
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • Sliced or Slivered Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Chutney
  • Olives
  • Goat Cheese
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Shredded Pecorino
  • Fermented vegetables; pickles, carrots, asparagus, cabbage
  1. And last but not least—the sauces. Use a light hand on the on the sauce, maybe 1 to 2 tablespoons max. Make sure they are low (or no) sugar and have no MSG.
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Olive Oil and Vinegar
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Salsa
  • Salsa Verde
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Liquid Aminos
  • Pesto
  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Gochujang sauce 
  • Teriyaki
  • Lemon or Lime
  • Tahini
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • Butternut Squash puree

There you have it. The master plan for macro bowls is a great way to get all of your nutrients at each meal. Have fun and get creative!

My favorite Macro bowl combinations: 

MEXICAN

  • Brown rice
  • Thinly sliced grilled flank steak w/Mexican rub
  • Fresh spinach
  • Black beans
  • Cojito cheese
  • Top with red or green salsa and thinly sliced radish

BREAKFAST

  • Steel-cut oats
  • Cooked and cubed sweet potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins 
  • Coconut flakes
  • Top with pure maple syrup

CARRIBBEAN 

  • Quinoa and jasmine rice combo
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Fresh arugula
  • Diced red pepper 
  • Diced mango
  • Shredded Pecorino
  • Drizzle w/olive oil, season w/salt and pepper

MEDITERANNEAN 

  • Quinoa
  • Grilled chicken
  • Power greens
  • Diced red pepper and mushrooms
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Fresh goat cheese
  • Microgreens
  • Drizzle with Italian dressing

ASIAN

  • Jasmine rice
  • Bay scallops
  • Snow peas
  • Shredded carrots
  • Scallions
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Drizzle w/coconut aminos
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