Last week I had a client talk about food overwhelm. As in having so much information about what constitutes healthy food that it overwhelms her. Her ultimate goal is to eat perfectly paleo. But instead of taking baby steps toward that (maybe-too-lofty-for-her) goal, she throws her hands up and stays stuck.
It’s a classic case of letting perfect be the enemy of good, and most of us know it all too well. In our strive for perfection, we inevitably fall short of our ideals.
My advice to her was to keep it as simple as possible. Don’t overthink it. Protein, veggie, starch. Use a good cooking fat, sea salt and a good spice blend. BOOM. You done.
I could eat some version of this Basic Bowl every single day — and I pretty much do. Most of my lunches and dinners look just like this (my breakfast is usually a smoothie — for convenience purposes, and also because I love smoothies). I’ll throw in some extra flair here and there, but I generally keep it basic AF. Although I genuinely enjoy cooking, I don’t want to spend all day erryday doing it. Most of my meals take 20 minutes or less.
Here’s my Keep It Simple and Basic AF Template
Always have on hand — to cook the protein + veggies:
Good cooking fats:
Good quality spice blends:
For the Bowl:
High quality protein
Quick cooking options: Ground turkey/chicken/beef/bison, fish, chicken sausage, hard boiled or fried eggs, organic tempeh, organic sprouted tofu
Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, onions, leeks, mushrooms, cabbage, peppers
Baby spinach, arugula, kale, romaine, Bibb lettuce, mixed greens (for bottom of bowl)
Fresh chopped herbs
Cilantro, parsley, scallions, chives, basil
Avocado, olives, nuts/seeds
Good brands: Micro Mama’s, Brookford Farm, Real Pickles, Farmhouse Culture
Here’s how it places out as a recipe IRL…
The Basic Bowl with Spicy Curry Peanut Sauce
Makes 3-4 servings
For the Bowl:
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch broccolini
3 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
sea salt to taste
1 lb. organic ground turkey
1 Tablespoon Fajita spice blend
6-8 cups baby spinach
For the sauce:
3 Tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 Tablespoon avocado oil
2 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (use more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 drop stevia extract (you can also use honey or maple syrup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Arrange asparagus, broccolini spears, 2 Tablespoons avocado oil and salt on a baking sheet. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, add 1 Tablespoon avocado oil, turkey, fajita spice blend (or other salted blend you like) in a cast iron and stir until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
While turkey cooks, make the dressing/sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small glass jar with a top. Shake until blended.
Arrange handfuls of baby spinach on large bowl or plate. Top with roasted veggies and turkey. Drizzle with dressing.
Get extra by adding fresh cilantro, 1/4-1/3 of avocado, and 2 Tablespoons fermented veggies to each bowl.