3 Recipes Using Your Kitchen’s Best Meal Utensil: The Bowl!

My eating habits have changed a lot over the last few years. One of the biggest switches was going on a gluten-free diet. My diet relied heavily on carbs and I honestly couldn’t imagine ever feeling full again without my favorite foods and all of their starchy goodness.

How the heck does anyone feel full without noodles and bread? I mean, seriously. Of course, I have discovered I can feed myself quite well without the gluten. What really helped me make that switch was creating bowl meals to fill me up. Give this girl a bowl and a spoon and I couldn’t be happier.

With bases like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa, these meals fill me up and keep me fueled all day long. They also keep my kids (who are always, always, ALWAYS dying of hunger) full too.

So Here is a Recipe for Each Meal of the Day to Get You Started

Breakfast

Here is my secret that yields the most perfect and creamy bowl of oatmeal you can imagine created. And it’s from something you already have in your kitchen. Find an oven-safe dish that fits inside of your slow cooker and fill that dish with all of your ingredients for your oatmeal. Now, fill a measuring cup with water and pour the water around your dish, just to about the halfway point. This creates a warm water bath and helps your oatmeal to cook more evenly yet remain delightfully creamy. Put a lid on the slow cooker (no need to double lid) and set it to cook for eight hours. It’s okay if your slow cooker switches to “warm” in the night. Thanks to your water bath, your oats will not get overcooked, but stay hot until you wake up!

Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal

  • 2 cups steel cut oatmeal (no substitutions)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar (can omit if topping with brown sugar)
  • 1 pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cook on low for eight hours. Serve with your favorite oatmeal toppings like berries, dried fruits, nuts, granola, nut butters, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, or additional milk for topping.

Lunch

Quinoa bowls are my favorite bowls to make (and to eat!). They are so filling and happen to be gluten-free too! If you haven’t tried quinoa before, you should definitely check it out.

Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad

  • 1 pound spinach, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 lemons, zested (reserve the lemons for juicing over the pasta)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (use the technique I shared above)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the bowl
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare quinoa in your rice cooker or as directed on packaging. Pile spinach leaves in stacks 1 on top of the other. Thinly slice stacks of leaves to make spinach confetti. Pile shredded spinach into the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl. Halve grape or cherry tomatoes with a paring knife and add them to the mixing bowl. Add the zest of 2 lemons to the bowl reserve the lemons for adding juice to the sauce later.

Add hot cooked quinoa to the mixing bowl. The heat of the quinoa will wilt the spinach and warm the tomatoes at the bottom of the bowl and get the juices flowing from veggies. The heat of the quinoa will also release the flavor and oils in the lemon zest. Drizzle 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of two lemons over the quinoa and toss to combine the veggies and quinoa. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Toss the ingredients together to combine. Scoop into individual bowls.

Dinner

These carnitas taste just like Chipotle, but for a fraction of the price. Enjoy the savings!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 4-5 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce (optional- we left it out because we are wimps)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces gluten-free beer
  • ½ cup salsa

Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Roughly chop the garlic and rub it all over the pork (top and bottom). Sprinkle the meat with salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne. Rub seasonings onto the pork until they are well incorporated. Add lime juice, orange juice, beer, and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred meat with two forks directly in the slow cooker (or take out, shred, and replace in sauce). It should fall apart easily. Remove the meat and put into a serving bowl, pouring some of the drippings over the top to moisten the meat. Prepare a burrito bowl by adding a layer of brown rice, a layer of black beans, carnita meat, cheese, diced tomatoes, and a scoop of sour cream or Greek yogurt!

You may have not considered the bowl a top eating utensil, but it is in my house. In fact, I eat out of a bowl almost every meal #sorrynotsorry. The best part about the bowls is the ability to customize each meal with each person’s own favorite toppings. If you have picky eaters in your house, this just might be the thing that gets them to eat and finally give you a little peace.

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