The Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetable Meals to Power Your Day cookbook by Allison Day lists recipes for every skill level to make balanced, complete meal bowls using the Whole Bowls Formula for any meal of the day.
This easy-to-follow formula consists of components that combine a variety of seasonal flavours and textures to suit different palates and dietary preferences. The Whole Bowls Formula page lists the required portion of each component (protein, starchy vegetables or fruits, non-starchy vegetables, grains, cheese and crunch or garnish).
The Vegetarian Pantry Guide lists ingredient essentials used in the recipes throughout the cookbook, followed by How to Cook from this Book that contains useful tips to help you assemble your bowls.
The next five chapters list recipes for Breakfast Whole Bowls, Salad Whole Bowls, Entrée Whole Bowls, Dessert Whole Bowls and Homemade Extras and Basics.
The recipe ingredients are easy to read, though I would have preferred the instructions be listed instead of written in paragraph form, to make them easier to follow. Each recipe contains serving suggestions, make ahead tips and recipe notes.
Stunning colour photos are spread throughout the cookbook.
As mentioned in the How to Cook from this Book chapter, it's always best to read through the whole recipe to familiarize yourself with the steps. Most recipes in this cookbook require multiple steps, so you wouldn’t want to be midway through a recipe and realize you had to use an ingredient that took 30 minutes to prepare.
Samples of the over 80 recipes include:Pear Muesli with Figs; Maple Granola with Yogurt; Toasted Coconut Chia Pudding; Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Peppers; Spring Mashed Chickpea Salad with Curry Mayo; Black Beans with Butternut Squash, Black Rice and Chimichurri; Chili Con Veggie with Cornbread; Double Grain Wild Mushroom Risotto; Mediterranean Pasta with Arugula, Peas, Yellow Tomatoes, and Feta; Tuscan Bean Stew; Mexican Chocolate Pudding; and, The Big Bowl of Cookie Dough.
Tested Whole Bowls Recipes
Baked Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Marinara (Page 150)
Combine polenta, caramelized veggies and marinara sauce and you get a comfort dish with rich, robust flavours that I love.
It takes about two hours to make unless you use the store-bought options for the polenta and marinara sauce. All the ingredients can be prepared five days in advance and assembled the day you serve it.
The combination of ingredients does not conform to the Whole Bowls Formula as it lacks protein, so I added feta cheese to make it a balanced meal.
Pasta e Ceci (Chickpea and Pasta Soup) (Page 155)
Chickpeas (both canned and dry) are a staple in my pantry. I’ve used them in soups, pasta and stews so I welcomed the opportunity to try this version.
The chickpeas combined with the orzo makes it a delicious, hearty soup which can be made five days in advance. The added lemon juice gives the soup a bit of a tangy taste. It’s fast and easy to put together, making it a recipe that I'll certainly include in my chickpea recipe repertoire.
Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs and Goat Cheese (Page 159)
I was skeptical at first to make this recipe as I wasn’t sure how the combination of the roasted vegetables, grains, goat cheese and fried eggs would taste. Well, it turned out that not only were the flavours quite appetizing, but the whole bowl made a nutritious meal. I took my time to savour every morsel.
Make sure to read the recipe through first as while the vegetables are roasting, the grains are cooking at the same time. The fried egg is added just before serving.
Also, you can customize this recipe by using seasonal vegetables, cheese and grains of your choice.
- 1 (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups hot, cooked grains of your choice
- 4 ounces of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- balsamic vinegar or Balsamic Glaze (found on page 198 of the book)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- On large rimmed baking sheet, toss together all roasted vegetable ingredients.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes
- Immediately before serving, add a splash of olive oil to a large non-stick skillet
- Fry until desired level of cooked
- To bowls, add a bed of grains, top with roasted vegetables, egg and cheese.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
You can substitute seasonal vegetables.
Starchy vegetables, which take longer to cook, should be cut smaller, while the quick cooking veggies should be kept chunkier.
I like that the concept of the Whole Bowl Formula gives you the choice to choose fresh ingredients that will make balanced, nutritious and appetizing meals that appeal to any diet preference. The Whole Bowls cookbook is staying on my bookshelf.
Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetable Meals to Power Your Day
Author: Allison Day
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Excerpted from Whole Bowls Copyright © 2016 Allison Day. Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing Inc. All rights reserved
The Whole Bowls cookbook was sent to me by Food Bloggers of Canada for review. The opinions are my own.
The Whole Bowls cookbook review was written by Liliana Tommasini, author of the aptly named blog My Cookbook Addiction. Her passion for baking and cooking began at an early age. Liliana grew up in an Italian household where each meal was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and Sunday family lunches were always a celebration. She has a passion for collecting cookbooks and is improving her photography skills. Now, Sunday lunches are celebrated in her family. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.