Make Your Own Grain Bowl

By Debbie Koenig

Know what I had for dinner last night? A ridiculously delicious, hearty, and easy bowl filled with texture and flavor. In other words, a grain bowl. This particular version featured whole wheat Israeli couscous, cooked chicken breast, crunchy bell peppers, a sauce made with garlic, grape tomatoes, and white wine, and a drizzle of lemon juice. It kept me full right up until bedtime, and all for only 7 SmartPoints® value.

I’ve been on a bit of a grain-bowl kick, and there’s a reason: In the second installment of my “Master the…” column for Weight Watchers Magazine, I wrote a mix-and-match grain-bowl formula. You’ll find the master plan on page 72 of the March/April 2017 issue, with get-you-started recipes and suggestions on the preceding pages.

In the six months since I wrote that column (yes, it takes that long to go from writing the recipes and text to seeing it in the magazine — the editors at the magazine test every recipe to make sure it works, and that takes time!) I’ve assembled an impromptu grain bowl at least twice a week. Some of my favorite recent examples:

  • I went Middle Eastern with bulgur, cucumber, cauliflower, chickpeas, figs, preserved lemon, toasted sesame seeds, and tahini (9 SmartPoints value).
  • Italy beckoned via farro, artichokes, tomato, chicken sausage, giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables), and balsamic vinegar (6 SmartPoints value).
  • My fork went to Argentina with quinoa, roasted vegetables, bell peppers, steak, and chimichurri sauce (9 SmartPoints value).

I even had a grain bowl for breakfast! OK, it was steel-cut oatmeal. But I topped it with fresh fruit, nuts, and a bit of maple syrup, for 7 SmartPoints value. And it was perfect.

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