As I noted in Weekday Wonts, I am a huge fan of macrobiotic ("macro") bowls. They are full of macro- and micro-nutrients. They also leave you feeling satiated yet energetic, unlike typical meat and potatoes dinners, which are staples of the standard American diet ("SAD") and leave you feeling stuffed and lethargic. When shopping for ingredients, try to buy all or mostly organic ingredients, paying particular attention to the dirty dozen.
Below is a mix & match chart to help you create your own macro bowls:
Here are some preparation tips:
- If you are including a cereal in your macro bowl (sometimes I skip this ingredient in favor of other seeds), soak the cereal while the cooking water comes to a boil, unless your cereal is already sprouted. Once the water is boiling, strain and rinse the cereal, if applicable, and add it to the cooking water. Check the package for cooking instructions (i.e. cooking time, sitting time, covered or uncovered, etc.). Once your cereal is done, fluff and add it to your bowl.
- Preheat your oven to 350-400 degrees. Cut up and season the root vegetables, gourds/squashes, and/or eggplants. Toss them with a temperature-appropriate oil so they don't stick to the pan. Pop the veggies in the oven and let them cook for ~30-40 minutes. Once the veggies are soft but not burnt, remove them from the oven and add them to your bowl.
- Cut up the onions, garlic, peppers, haricots verts, and other veggies. You could eat them raw, but I usually lightly sauté them on low/medium heat. To be safe, use cooking oil with a relatively high smoke point, like sunflower oil. Once the ingredients are about three-quarters of the way cooked (~3-4 minutes), mix in your desired dried herbs and seasonings to let the flavors meld together. When the ingredients are cooked but still vibrantly colored (~5-6 minutes), transfer the mixture to your bowl.
- Cook the legumes separately. If you are using dry beans or lentils, you should have soaked them for 8+ hours prior (see Legume Love for more details), unless they are already sprouted. Once they are thoroughly soaked, check the package for cooking instructions. If you are using beans from a can or tetra pak, rinse them. The beans will be pre-cooked, so you can either 1) eat them as is or 2) lightly sauté or roast them for ~3 minutes so they are warm.
- If you prefer your leafy vegetables raw, you can chop or massage them. Alternatively, you can braise them in a pan for ~2-3 minutes. When the leaves are wilted but still vibrantly colored, transfer them to your bowl. When I say "braise," I mean sauté right after rinsing them, while they're still damp. The water creates a steaming action and enables you to sauté them without added oil. Since you are only cooking the leaves for a couple of minutes, you don't have to worry about them sticking to the pan.
- Add any desired fruits, fresh herbs, and/or nuts/seeds (see (Pea)nut Butter for details on the roasted v. soaked debate) to your bowl at the end.
Eat slowly and mindfully. Savor the flavors.