5 Steps to Protein Power Bowls

5 Steps to Protein Power Bowls

Tired of the same old chicken and broccoli? Just because you eat healthy, it doesn’t mean it needs to be boring or the same every day. There are endless combinations of meals— you just need to be creative and inspired. The perfect power bowls will combine protein, complex carbs, veggies and healthy fats. Use these easy steps to build a healthy protein power bowl to help meet your nutrition needs and fuel your muscle building and fat burning.

Step 1 -– Choose A Protein

You don’t need to limit yourself to just chicken. Choose from beef, salmon, tuna, hard-boiled eggs or vegetarian protein sources such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils or even tofu steaks. You can also use extra lean ground beef or turkey. You can even combine proteins choosing something like black beans and steak, or chickpeas and chicken. Be sure to weigh at least 3 to 4 ounces for meat protein.

Step 2 – Choose A Carb

For those who are active and want some carbs in your diet, choose from brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, wild rice, couscous, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice or quinoa pasta to name a few. Root vegetables like potato, sweet potato and squashes are also good low-carb sources. If you’re on an ultra low-carb diet, use vegetables instead like zucchini strips, baked spaghetti squash or cauliflower mash. Choose the amount of carb based on your dietary needs.

Step 3 – Choose Your Veggies

There is no limit on choices when it comes to veggie selection. Be sure to get lots of greens— such as roasted broccoli, wilted spinach or kale or grilled asparagus. Be sure to also eat lots of colorful veggies such as red or orange pepper, purple or green cabbage, eggplant and zucchini, mushrooms, spring or red onion. The vegetables you choose can help shape the flavor of your power bowl. Don’t be scared to try new vegetables and new methods. Try roasting, mashing, grilling or boiling your veggies.

Step 4 – Choose Your Fats

Fats can come from the oil you choose to cook your power bowl components with or can come from the additional items like nuts and seeds. Cook with coconut or olive oil. Top your bowl with nuts such as almonds, walnuts or peanuts, or seeds like sesame, sunflower or pumpkin. Avocado, Greek yogurt and olives are also a great side to your bowl.

Step 5 – Choose Your Flavors

The individual components you choose will help build the flavor of your bowl. You can add additional flavors such as lemon or lime splash, salsas, chutneys as well as using garlic, onion, herbs and spices. Create your own marinades or dressings, or choose to use light vinaigrettes.

5 Steps to Protein Power Bowls

Build Your Bowl

Now that you have all the components, chose your individual items and build a flavorful and nutrient dense protein power full to fuel your body! Use these examples to inspire your power bowl recipes:

Baja Bowl

3 oz chopped cooked chicken
½ cup shredded cabbage sautéed
1 chopped green onion
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
4 chopped baby tomato halves
½ cup roasted broccoli
¼ chopped avocado
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup salsa

Sautee cabbage, and roast broccoli— set aside. Layer a bowl with quinoa, chopped chicken, cabbage and roast broccoli. Top with fresh chopped tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Serve with salsa and avocado.

Calories: 408
Fat: 19g
Protein: 28g
Carbs: 34g

Mediterranean Bowl

1/3 cup cooked lentils
1 cup fresh spinach
4 oz of chopped grilled chicken
4 chopped baby tomato halves
I cup roasted zucchini, eggplants, onions
1 chopped green onion
4 olives
1 tbsp of Hummus
1 tbsp of Greek yogurt

Place fresh spinach at bottom of bowl. Top with lentils, roasted vegetables, chopped chicken, and baby tomato halves. Top with chopped green onions, a few olives, and a few tablespoons of hummus and Greek yogurt.

Calories: 360
Fat: 11g
Protein: 34g
Carbs: 26g

Korean Bowl

4 oz of shredded beef
½ cup shredded carrots and cabbage
¼ sliced cucumber
2 sliced radish
2 grilled pineapple rings
1 chopped green onion
¼ cup sprouts
1/3 cup brown rice
2 tbsp of kimchi
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce

Place brown rice, shredded vegetables and sprouts at the bottom of bowl, add shredded beef, and top with sliced radish, cucumber and grilled pineapple. Top with chopped green onion, sesame seeds, and sriracha sauce. Serve with kimchi.

Calories: 386
Fat: 14g
Protein: 21g
Carbs: 48g

Lauren Jacobsen

Lauren is the creator of Sexy, Strong and Fit Online Coaching Services specializing in transforming women to fitness model condition. Lauren has over 15 years of experience as a trainer, supplement consultant and nutrition expert. She is also the TV show host of "Body Fuel," a competitive athlete and regular contributor to various fitness publications.

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