When the weather starts to cool down and the leaves start to change, I start to crave more hearty and warming foods. Starchier foods start to become in season and popular in restaurant dishes. Our bodies naturally crave these types of meals to help sustain us during unpleasant weather. Harvest Bowls are a great way of combining lots of these fall flavors together into one dish, while keeping the preparation easy and the combinations interesting.
Some of my favorite foods to eat during this time of year are pumpkin (obviously), anything creamy and heavier carbohydrates. These cravings can easily spiral into an unhealthy binge of sugary and fatty foods. However, when we revert back to the idea of wholesome and simple ingredients, we can create some healthier options, while still satisfying certain cravings.
I created 3 Harvest Bowl combinations that involved healthy, seasonal foods. I chose ingredients that I thought would compliment each other. I also made sure that there was variety within the dish with lots of colors and textures. All three contain a balance of macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) so that you can stay satiated throughout your day. I recommend all of these bowls slightly warmed, but they could all be eaten cold as well. When you’re on the go and don’t have time to heat up your lunch, you want a dish that can be eaten both ways. A lot of thought was put into these recipes to accommodate different ways of eating and I’m proud that they all turned out super delicious!
Some seasonal produce that I used…
This is usually some sort of leafy green like kale, spinach, spring mix, or romaine.
This can be the typical option of rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes (gluten free). Barley, millet, and couscous are also great options.
The produce can be either raw or cooked. Most of the time I have a mixture of textures and temperatures. This is the most interesting part of the bowl because there are so many different combinations.
Whether you’re a meat eater or vegan, adding in protein is very important. This can be legumes, beans, fish, chicken, beef, lamb, tofu, tempeh, or eggs. Whatever the protein source, make sure it is good quality and sustainably sourced.
This is where it gets fun. Nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter, hummus, and cheese are some of my favorite ways to dress up my Harvest Bowl. Again, the options are endless.
Finally, the part that binds it all together. The dressing can be super simple or a little more complex. This can be straight up tahini or a beautifully blended ballet of ingredients. Either one will add a more creamy quality to your bowl.
Not only did I make sure to add in a warm savory feeling in my Harvest Bowls, but I included touches of sweetness as well. Below you will find pictures of them deconstructed and then put together. I hope you enjoy these recipes and feel free to try these at home or even experiment with your own creations.
Harvest Bowl #1
Nothing fancy here, just cooked a pot of quinoa normal and stored it in the fridge.
Veggies/Fruits: Mushrooms & Brussels Sprouts
I roasted the Brussels sprouts during my weekly meal prep and stored them in a glass container in the fridge. I try to do this every week with lots of different vegetables. I sautéed some mushrooms in avocado oil until they were nice and soft.
Protein: Maple and Rosemary Tempeh
I love tempeh. The nutty flavor of the soy-based protein is one of my favorite vegetarian products to make. I started by slicing the tempeh into strips, then soaked them overnight in olive oil, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and rosemary. Then, I fried them up until nice and brown on each side. They resemble a thicker, softer bacon. If you want to make this into a non-vegetarian dish, you could use just maple bacon. I also use this item in my TLT sandwich (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato) all the time. Comment below if you want me to share that recipe!
Toppings: Figs, Pecans, & Sage
All 3 of these flavors make my mouth water. They go incredibly well together and are cliché Fall foods. I chopped them all up into sprinkle-able pieces.
Dressing: Pumpkin Dressing
I added together 1 tbsp of pumpkin puree, ½ tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I thinned it out a little bit with water. You can add as little or as much water as you want to create the consistency that you desire.
The combination of these foods were so warming and instantly transported me to a crisp Fall day. The crunch of the Brussels sprouts, with the creaminess of the pumpkin dressing, the nuttiness of the tempeh with the sweetness of the figs was a bowl that was bursting with flavor.
Harvest Bowl #2
Adding in leafy greens whenever possible is the key to staying healthy during the fall and winter seasons. I try to buy colorful foods, so that I can get a wide variety of nutrients into my body.
Grains/Starch: Sweet Potatoes
I roasted these in my weekly meal prep, so they were already chopped and ready to go. I always have sweet potatoes in my house at all times. They are such a great staple to fill that carb craving I have on occasion.
Veggies/Fruits: Tomatoes & Beets
Both of these foods have very different flavors in yet they complemented this dish. The beets were already pickled when I bought them and I used regular cherry tomatoes cut in half.
Protein: Fried Egg
This can also be a hard/soft boiled egg if you want to eat this cold. I used a little bit of avocado oil to make a medium fried egg and placed it right on top. I could eat eggs at all times of the day, but for some this can be odd to take for a lunchtime meal. Feel free to replace this with any protein of your choice. You could even make it vegan by making a tofu scramble to place on top.
Toppings: Goat’s Cheese, Spring Onion, & Pomegranate Seeds
The fattiness of the cheese adds some sustainability to this bowl. Most people can tolerate Goat’s cheese without being able to eat regular cheese, but you could always replace it with non-dairy cheese. The seeds bring in a nice tarty flavor and crunch to the dish. The green onions bring in a bitter taste.
Dressing: Artichoke Dressing
I blended a mixture of artichoke hearts with olive oil, salt, pepper, tahini, and a little bit of water. I kind of eye-balled this because I wanted to create my own consistency that wasn’t too runny, but not chunky. You can use artichoke hearts marinated in oil or not. You can also add herbs and spices like oregano and parsley if you wish.
This Harvest Bowl reminded me of something I would eat for breakfast everyday. It was similar to a hash with the sweet potatoes being the base. If you decided to make the dish with an egg, try making it over easy. The yolk will make the bowl even creamier. With this dish, there is protein from the egg, fat from the Goat’s cheese, and carbs from the sweet potato and beets. A perfectly balanced meal.
Harvest Bowl #3
Having the kale as the base, makes this bowl feel more like a salad. I washed the leaves and de-stemmed them. I broke them up into bite sized pieces and massaged them in a little bit of olive oil.
Grains: Brown Rice
I had a little bit of cooked rice leftover from my meal-prepping and decided to throw this into my Harvest Bowl. This added a nice full feeling to the meal transforming it from salad to bowl.
Veggies/Fruits: Apple, Red Onion, & Carrot
All 3 of these flavors have traditionally gone together in many fall dishes. Carrot and apple especially mesh well together with their sweet and tart qualities. The apple gives it a crunch and the red onion brings some bitterness to the bowl.
This chicken breast has just been grilled. I picked this up from the prepared foods section of Whole Foods because I’m not eating a ton of meat right now, so I wanted this to be ready to go for my dish. You can always replace this with some tempeh, beans, lentils, or fried tofu.
Toppings: Walnuts, Cranberries, & Cheddar Cheese
Again, these ingredients are typical for the fall season. I see a lot of dishes with walnuts and cranberries in them, especially baked goods. On the other hand, I didn’t start enjoying cheddar with apple together until this year. What a gorgeous combo. The richness and pungent quality of the cheese with the tartness of the apple goes very well together.
Dressing: Honey & Dijon Dressing
Honey and dijon mustard are flavors that I use often in my cooking. I have this combo on my salmon. This dressing complimented the apples and cheddar as well as the chicken. I blended some dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar together until pourable.
This one had to be my favorite. The crispness of the raw fruits and veggies with the sweet and richness of the protein and cheese satisfied many of my Fall time cravings.
Harvest Bowl Tip!
If you want to make one of these Harvest Bowls, but don’t want to have to buy a lot of different ingredients, try shopping in the bulk section of your grocery store for a catered amount of ingredients. I would also recommend grabbing a salad bar box and filling it with the already chopped or cooked foods that you may need. I ended up doing this with the shredded carrot for HB #3.
Wherever you may live, you can bring in the Fall season to your meals just by using some of these seasonal ingredients. It’s around 80 degrees here in Orlando, Florida every day, but that doesn’t stop me from getting my Fall flavor fix with these healthy and hearty Harvest Bowls. These dishes are a great way of eliminating food waste and encouraging creativity in the kitchen. You can make these recipes for 1 or lay out the ingredients and tell your family to put their own together. Both are easy and fun.
If you try any of these recipes be sure to tag me on FB or IG so that I can see how you made it your own! Comment below if you liked these recipes and want to see more of them in future blog posts. Enjoy the crisp air and gorgeous colors of Autumn. Fully love your body with a warming Harvest Bowl to fuel all of your outdoor adventures.