A grain bowl is my ideal lunch these days. It is filling, comforting, can be served hot or cold and it provides an opportunity to pack in a variety of flavors and textures (read: the contents of my fridge). I also love how a grain bowl really soaks in a dressing, in a way that a grain-less salad simply cannot.
We seem to have a lot of grain bowls in our house lately, largely because I typically have the individual components already prepped. Really, a “grain bowl” is simply a fancy way of describing the result of throwing together said components with minimal effort involved. Unless we have a weekend filled with social events — the type of weekend I try to avoid at all costs — I will usually prep meal components over the weekend with weekday grain bowls in mind. I follow a rough equation to change things up weekly.
Grain bowl equation:
1 whole grain + 1 protein + 1 roasted veggie + 1 fresh veggie + 1 flavorful dressing + 1-2 wildcard ingredients
= a delicious grain bowl
The sum is certainly greater than its parts!
The bowl at hand is a roughly Japanese spin on a grain bowl, with an absolutely delicious miso dressing that I could eat straight from the jar (I did). I prepped the brown rice and white beans over the weekend using my Instant Pot and I also made a large triple batch of the miso dressing to use throughout the week. You could easily substitute already-cooked brown rice from the grocery store and canned white beans. With those components already prepped, all I had to do was roast some broccoli and slice some cucumbers, both of which I had already washed over the weekend to further cut down on time.
To dress up the bowl a bit, I added store-bought pickled vegetables (rhubarb, radish, onion and ginger — a farmer’s market find!) and a 7-minute egg. I had prepped the eggs the day before and stored them in the fridge unpeeled for easy access throughout the week.
This bowl is so nourishing and delicious, and hopefully it gives you ideas for a whole world of grain bowl possibilities for your weekday lunches. Just use the equation.
Enjoy! xo Maggie
For the bowl:
- 1 head of broccoli, washed and cut into small florets
- 3 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy/tamari sauce
- 2–4 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, prepared according to package directions (I used brown basmati rice, cooked with ghee)
- 1 cup cooked white beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
- 2 handfuls of greens of choice (I used watercress and baby purple kale)
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
- Miso dressing (see below)
- Optional garnish: black sesame seeds and pickled onions or ginger
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp white miso
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (from about a 1 inch knob)
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp coconut aminos or soy/tamari sauce
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar (ACV works, too)
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 425° and line two large baking sheets with parchment.
- Roast the broccoli: place florets in a large mound on one of the baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and 1/2 tsp of sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Divide broccoli between two baking sheets, leaving ample space among the florets to facilitate browning. Roast for 20-25 minutes, giving it a quick toss 15 min in. It should be nicely browned with crispy edges. After removing from oven, sprinkle with coconut aminos or soy/tamari sauce. Feel free to prep in advance.
- Meanwhile, make the eggs: fill a medium sized pot halfway with water and set over high heat. Bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, lower in eggs using a slotted spoon. Set a timer for 6 minutes for runny or 7 minutes for jammy. The timing will also depend on the size of your eggs and their temperature, so keep that in mind. While the eggs cook, fill a bowl with ice water to have at the ready. When the timer is up, transfer the eggs to the ice bath to cool. Eggs can be prepped up to 3 days in advance.
- Make the dressing: whisk together all ingredients until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary to reach desired consistency.
- Assemble the salad: Fill each bowl with some of the brown rice, beans, roasted broccoli and greens. Drizzle with miso dressing, top with a peeled egg and garnish with black sesame seeds and pickled ginger. Enjoy!