I absolutely LOVE Grain Bowls – they are full of fresh ingredients, yet super satisfying and delicious. Better yet, they are GREAT for meal prepping – even assembling just a few different ingredients at the beginning of the week will provide a multitude of grain bowl combinations to be enjoyed throughout the week. There are a MILLION and one ways you can make a grain bowl – but, in my mind, there are four BASIC food categories that you must combine in order to make a GREAT grain bowl. Let’s begin!
Well it is called a grain bowl after all isn’t it?
Personally, I LOVE farro – I know that I sound like a broken record because I have mentioned it MANY times on other posts and on Instagram. But, let me say it one more time. I. Love. Farro. FARREAL! Get it? Eh?
Farro is FAB because it has so much texture. It is hearty and flavorful, a little nutty, yet not too much! Its got protein and fiber and so much else to offer! I love using farro in these Easy Grain Bowls as well as in salads (like in this Kale and Farro Salad (V)) – pretty much anything that you would normally eat with rice or quinoa will taste de-lish with farro. For example, this Crispy Peanut Tofu (V) (YAS) or this Roasted Cuban Zucchini with black beans.
Some people love quinoa, but to me it is not dense enough. I like having to chew my grains – quinoa almost melts in your mouth! Which some people love, but I don’t as much. Bulgar is another great grain that I love! Feel free to use any grain that you please in your bowl – white rice, brown rice, wild rice, farro, barley, quinoa – heck you can use noodles if you’d like!
Next step, VEGGIES! Though it may not seem like the best part of a grain bowl, you are going to LOVE the veggies. Combined with all the other fun, delicious ingredients, veggies add the perfect freshness and crunch. Not to mention, the make the grain bowl healthy so you can eat it over and over again.
Pick one Leafy Green
Your options are again endless when it comes to picking veggie toppings! I usually like to pick one leafy green like spinach, kale, or shredded brussel sprouts to mix in with my farro. This spreads the grain out and makes you feel like you are eating more yummy grains than you actually are.
Additional Veggies are Unlimited
Broccoli, carrots, peas, snap peas, red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper, corn, green beans – ALL veggies are good in a grain bowl. Whether you prefer fresh or cooked, it doesn’t even matter! You do you!
I love to have some frozen veggies in the fridge for easy defrosting and use – you can buy some great frozen mixes that have corn, carrots, and peas all in one! The frozen bags can be great because you can defrost as little or as much as you’d like. Sugar snap peas are also fab. I kinda forgot how much I love them until recently. You can cook them or eat them raw – I absolutely love them raw though. They are sweet and crunchy – yum yum yum!
Try prepping a few different veggies at the beginning of the week and separating into containers for storage. This way, you can easily assemble a fresh, new grain bowl each day!
Eggs, wontons, tofu, shrimp, chicken, steak, or even edamame – again, they are all good!
Proteins like tofu and chicken may take longer to cook so you may want to prep those at the beginning of the week. On the other hand, eggs, shrimp and edamame are super easy to prepare and you can cook them fresh in just a few minutes to top your fave grain bowl combination.
You may notice I have a few pictures of grain bowls with wontons – these are Trader Joe’s Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons – they are DIVINE! I seriously love them. Low cal, fully cooked and frozen, they are super easy to prepare and enjoy.
LAST, but certainly not least – you need some PIZZAZZ! You might think I am joking, and I sort of am – but not really! You need something special to top off your bowl. I recommend a sauce like my favorite Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce or a healthy fat like avocado. A runny egg yolk will taste amazing, I promise. Sesame seeds, green onion, and red pepper flakes are all delicious as well – but I like to have some sort of something creamy that will flow over the rest of my bowl!
There You Have It, Easy Peasy!
Grain, veggie(s), protein, pizzazz! Totally customizable by you – easy to prep, easier to eat, and easiest to enjoy.
Full of fresh ingredients, yet super satisfying and delicious - these Easy Grain Bowls are extremely versatile and GREAT for meal prepping!
- 3/4 cup farro
- 1 lb cooked protein shrimp, tofu, chicken, fried egg or protein of your choice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup edamame shelled (frozen or fresh)
- 4 cups kale or mixed greens I love Trader Joe's Crunchy Cruciferous mix
- 1 cup diced vegetables (fresh or frozen) such as red pepper, avocado, carrots, corn, peas, sugar snap peas
- 1 tbsp olive oil if cooking frozen vegetables
- 1/2 cup Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce optional
- sesame seeds optional
Cook farro according to package instructions, set aside. (3/4 cup uncooked will give you a little over 2 cups cooked, make more or less as you see fit!)
If protein is pre-cooked, congrats you're done! If not, cut protein into bite sized pieces (except for egg) then toss with salt and pepper (or preferred seasoning). Heat olive oil in skillet (over medium flame) until shiny. Add protein to hot skillet and cook.
For shrimp: cook until no longer translucent, about 1-2 minutes per side. For tofu, cook until crispy, flipping occasionally (~8 minutes). For chicken: cook until no longer pink/translucent inside (timing will depend on size of pieces). For egg: crack egg into pan and cook to desired firmness. Remove from heat, set aside.
If frozen, defrost shelled edamame in warm water - this will only take a few minutes. Drain and set aside.
For fresh veggies: Wash/cut as desired, set aside. (I love red peppers, avocado, and sugar snap peas).
For frozen veggies: Heat olive oil in a saute pan - once hot, add veggies, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally until fully defrosted, set aside. (A mix of carrots, corn and peas are always a great choice!).
Prepare one batch of Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce according to recipe, if desired.
Assemble bowls with 1/2 cup farro, a handful of greens (I love Trader Joes Crunchy Cruciferous mix with kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts), then top with edamame, veggies, and protein!
Drizzle with Spicy Thai Peanut sauce and sesame seeds (if desired). Enjoy!
Storage: For longest lasting storage, refrigerate ingredients separately and combine before serving (heat protein and farro slightly before plating).