Recipe: The PRO Bowl (Protein & Probiotics Lunch Bowl)

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Happy Spring!  This month’s challenge for The Recipe Redux is “Spring Clean Your Fridge” in honor of the first day of spring.  I have a tendency to buy a lot of items in the grocery store with good intentions of using for recipe development.  Therefore I was thrilled with the recent challenge of ONLY using items currently available in my fridge and pantry.  I decided to give my usual lunch a makeover with a lunch bowl.  The lunchtime PRO Bowl is born!

One of the cool things about being a dietitian is exposure to new and emerging food trends. This comes from a combo of attending conferences/conventions, networking with industry personal, and reading blogs and social media posts of my fellow dietitian colleagues.  I’m always so excited to see new items available in my grocery stores that my first inclination is to grab for a future recipe. Unfortunately, this can result in an overload of ingredients but short on time!  For this particular recipe, I wanted to feature 3 ingredients that have been hanging in my home, and was excited to marry them together:

lunch bowl

If you read my blog regularly, then you already know I’m a major fan of whole grains. Sorghum is THE up and coming whole grain that will dethrone quinoa as Queen B Grain.  Whole grain sorghum is loaded with 5g protein and 5g fiber per serving providing a hearty alternative to rice. Sorghum will take on the flavor of whatever you use, making it the perfect compliment to ANY meal.  For this particular recipe I cooked the sorghum in coconut milk to give it a sweet flavor.  I’ve been fortunate to receive several samples from the Wondergrain company, and I’m always experimenting adding sorghum into meals.

lunch bowl

Kimchi is a probiotic food that provides an incredible sour, tangy compliment to any meal. Made from fermented veggies (primarily cabbage), kimchi can spice up any dish.  Farmhouse Culture probiotics was a featured brand a FNCE this year, and I’ve been on the hunt since October. I was thrilled to see their products in a local grocery store, and I totally stocked up.  Farmhouse Culture has a diverse variety of kraut and kimchi flavors, and their unique packaging ensures the probiotics are still live and kicking by the time you enjoy their product.  Each bag contains over 80 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of bacteria.  As someone who’s big on gut health, these probiotics are a welcome addition to any meal!

Related: Kimchi Freekeh Fried Rice

lunch bowl

Jackfruit is new to me. I bought it a few weeks ago and have been trying to figure out how to best introduce it to Mr E.  He can be a little suspicious when I try “new” foods on him, so I need to introduce these items gradually.  I had read about jackfruit on a couple blogs from my colleagues, and was super curious to try.  Jackfruit falls in the same family as figs and is distinct for its meaty texture. It contains 9g fiber and 2g protein per 1/2 cup serving and is often used as a vegan substitute in place BBQ favorites such as pulled pork. Like sorghum or tofu, it will take on the flavor of however it is prepared. The Jackfruit Company offers several different varieties of marinated jackfruit.  I opted to try their curry version for something unique.

lunch bowl

lunch bowl

The best way to marry all these items together is in a healthy lunch bowl for a quick meal. I recently found frozen black beans and lentils in the freezer section of my local store, and they have been so handy to have on hand for times when I don’t get around to whipping up a batch of dried pulses.  The beans, lentils, and coconut-soaked sorghum become my base (approx 1C total).  Top it off with crunchy kimchi for veggies, creamy avocado, and sweet curry jackfruit, and I have a lunch packed with protein, probiotics, and fiber to last me till dinner!  So many awesome flavors are happening in this bowl that it eliminates the need for any additional dressings or sauces.  In addition to doing a bowl, this is always a quick make-ahead lunch I could do in mason jars for days when I need a grab & go lunch.  Between the protein and probiotics, this is one serious PRO bowl!

Related: Fridge-Cleaning Tips

lunch bowl

When it comes to cleaning out the fridge, what are your go-to meal solutions? From stir-fry to omeletes to salads, the possibilities are endless. Remember that a meal doesn’t always have to be fancy as long as it contains a mix of protein, fiber, and colors.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

lunch bowl

RECOMMENDED REGISTRY ITEMS:  food storage containerseveryday bowls, and pint-size mason jars

How do you use up ingredients?

Share your favorite “Clean Out The Fridge Meal” in the Comments.

PRO Bowl Lunch Bowl

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/3 C cooked black beans
  • 1/3 C cooked lentils
  • 1/3 C cooked sorghum optional: cook in broth or coconut milk
  • 1/2 C kimchi
  • 1/4 C jackfruit
  • 1/4 avocado sliced

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To cut down on prep time, cook sorghum, lentils, and black beans in advance. Also look for frozen or canned options of black beans and lentils.

Nutrition Info

1 bowl =  480 calories,  11fat (2g sat fat), 84g carbs, 21g fiber, 19g protein, 507mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data

DISCLAIMER: I was given samples of sorghum by Wondergrain. I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are of my own.
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