3 Steps for the Best Meal-Sized Bowls

In the most recent issue of RICARDO magazine, we give you recipes for 7 meal-sized bowls. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner with family or friends, here is everything you need to know to make the perfect, balanced and nourishing bowl.

1. Finding the ideal balance

The best bowls offer a mixture of flavours, textures and colours. It’s an opportunity to use your imagination by combining food items that are bright, salty, bitter, sweet, raw and cooked.

  • In general, vegetables should make up two-thirds of the ingredients of your bowl, including toppings. You can also integrate fruit (see examples below).
  • The remaining space is for grains (or noodles), and a protein of your choice.

2. Choosing your ingredients

To create a full meal, combine 5 components in your bowl. Here are some examples to inspire you.

Grains or noodles

Bulgur, spelt, faro, naked oats, kamut, millet, noodles (hokkien, an Asian-style noodle made with wheat, soba, udon), barley, orzo, polenta, rice, buckwheat, semolina, rice vermicelli.

Vegetables and fruits

Asparagus, avocado, beetroot, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, cabbage (red, Napa, Chinese), cucumber, squash, spinach, corn kernels, lettuce (lamb’s lettuce, arugula), greens, green onion, sweet potato, peppers, potato, tomato, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, grapefruit.


Shrimp, cheese, legumes (edamame, beans, lentils, chickpeas), eggs, fish, seitan, tempeh, marinated tofu, meat (ground beef, pork, chicken).


Guacamole, hummus, mayonnaise (with garlic, mango, orange, lime, arugula, etc.), pesto, salsa (with grilled vegetables or tomatillos), sauce (with herbs, cilantro, sriracha, tartare, tahini, etc.), vinaigrette.


Seaweed, dried cranberries, capers, herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, etc.), peanuts or nuts (almonds, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios), seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), olives, pita chips, raisins, tempura.

3. Assembling

Once you’ve chosen all your ingredients, it’s time to put them togetherwhile looking for that perfect balance. Bowls ready, set, go!

Step one: Start with a small amount of grains or noodles in the bottom of the bowl to cover about a quarter of the surface. These ingredients can be cooked in advance to save time once it comes to the assembly stage.

Step two: Add a good amount of vegetables (raw, steamed or grilled) and fruit, if desired, to occupy about two-thirds of the bowl.

Step three: To combine all the different ingredients, pour a condiment, sauce or vinaigrette in a thin stream, making a pretty geometric or zigzag pattern.

Step four: Don’t forget the garnishes! Fresh herbs, seeds, grilled or raw nuts, micro-herbs–these will add taste, freshness and texture to your bowl.