Week 13: Meal Prep Power Bowls
Sometimes life gets busy. Last week was one of those weeks for me. When that happens, I find making lunches is one task that gets put off. Not only does the cost of buying lunches add up, but I don’t really get excited about the cafeteria’s offerings. This weekend seemed like a good time to try to catch up and get ahead for the next week.
I never quite jumped on the meal prep bandwagon, though. The idea of eating the same thing over and over for the whole week just doesn’t appeal to me. After a busy week, I also like to take some time to chill out rather than spend an entire day prepping meals. When I read Angela’s blog post on Oh She Glows, I could totally relate to needing a happy medium between wanting to prepare some healthy items but not going crazy overboard. This seemed like a great place to start, so I gave her Meal Prep Week-Long Power Bowls a try. I also love that these are mix and match and you add whatever dressing you want so you can make these taste very different from day to day. Plus, the bright, colourful rainbow of veggies made me excited to eat lunch!
Ingredients: I love that the ingredients are flexible. Pick up some veggies in the produce section plus quinoa and any other toppings you’d like. I roasted sweet potato, bell pepper, cauliflower, and red onion, and added green onions fresh. Still waiting for my avocados to ripen or they’d be on there too. I used lemon garlic salad dressing and roasted garlic hummus to top them off. We had some leftover chipotle sauce and corn salsa from taco night, so Luke added those to his bowl for a bit of a spicy Mexican flair. I’ve also got a honey dijon vinaigrette ready to try on the next one. The combinations are endless!
Yield: 6-8 bowls
Serving: In a bowl (or a tupperware container), these make a perfect lunch. Beyond that comes the fun part – you can mix and match your ingredients to serve these however you’d like!
How did it go? Really well! The recipe is straight forward and easy. My only comment would be that I respectfully disagree that roasted vegetables do not need to be flipped. The sweet potatoes were too dark on the bottom and too soft on the top after cooking for 35 minutes without a flip. I loved the idea of this being easy – throw them in, take them out, and they’re done, but I should have trusted my gut here. I flipped them and popped them back in for another 5. Also, I knew I’d be packing our bowls ahead of time and bringing them for work lunches, so I skipped the greens at the bottom of the bowl to avoid sogginess and make them microwave-friendly. I also forgot about the beans/seeds component of the recipe (oops) but will throw some on next time.
Taste: So fresh!!! I absolutely love the flavour that roasting imparts on veggies. Apart from that, the flavour of the bowl is pretty neutral as the quinoa isn’t seasoned, so most of the flavour you get is from the dressing and toppings. I used lemon garlic vinaigrette and a spoonful of roasted garlic hummus, which was a great complement to the bowl. In the future (aka tomorrow) I might add some avocado, edamame, and maybe some cheese or seeds to keep me full all the way through the afternoon. Bonus: this would add even more flavour. The best part is that you feel great after eating this.
- Seasoning: make sure to generously season your veggies with salt and pepper before they go in the oven. Salt really brings out the flavour.
- Cooking: flip the veggies halfway through. You won’t regret it if you do, but you might if you don’t.
- Toppings: pick a flavourful sauce/dressing (the quinoa is plain) and think about adding things that will keep you full through the afternoon like protein and healthy fats.
Luke’s review: This bowl is a fresh way to start your day! Accompanied by chipotle mayo and lemon vinaigrette to spice up the quinoa! This bowl’s got everything a vegetarian could ask for, and unlike McDonald’s you actually retain energy after consuming this delicious meal. An every day lunch meal that doesn’t even need to be heated up to enjoy! Would recommend avocado too!
Luke’s recipe rating: two thumbs up!