Easy Lunch Bowl

EasylunchBowlAre there any food trends you’re hooked on? Moi? I’ve flipped for bowling, aka   building a meal in a bowl.  I think this trend is here to stay. Sorry plate!  Bowls encourage smaller portions, and  combining  layers of veggies, along with whole grains, is ultimately what we hope more people embrace.  This concept inspired my Real California Breakfast Bowl, and  it’s also helping me cut back on food waste by  using leftovers in tasty bowls I create for lunch. So of courseRadishes aren’t just for salads, they make tasty sides and the greens are edible!, I was thrilled to see  the Recipe Redux theme this month focus on lunch:

 Limping Along with lunch: Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question head-on with creative ideas. Please share your healthy lunch recipe – so we can swap it into our own rotation.

Yesterday at noon,  I gathered up some leftovers from earlier in the week, added them to a bowl,  tossed it in the microwave,   and  then topped it off with some coleslaw and a bold barbeque sauce. Simple, right? You can use whatever you have on hand. Just think about  adding texture and flavor!

If you’re packing a lunch, this would be just as simple to pack into a portable bowl. Use one that’s  microwave safe,  if you plan on reheating the ingredients, and pack cole slaw and bbq sauce separately.

Oh, one more tip for an easy lunch this time of year…enjoy it in some fresh air.

IMG_4181IMHO, this bowl would be perfectly fine eaten cold. Would you eat this cold? Be sure to visit the links at the bottom of this post for more ideas to get  out of the lunchtime rut!
Easy Lunch Bowl

serves one

by Diane Boyd MBA, RD, LDN


  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice , quinoa or other whole grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 3 ounces cooked chicken breast or other lean protein source
  • 1/2 cup cole slaw , salsa or relish
  • fresh rosemary for garnish

for the sauce

  • 1 tablespoons bbq sauce
  • 1 talbespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


For the sauce

Combine bbq sauce, cider vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

for the bbq bowl

Add brown rice, corn, black beans and chicken side by side to a single serving bowl or microwavable container. Place in microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes or until heated through. Finish with cole slaw and garnish with fresh rosemary. Serve with bbq sauce for dipping or dizzle over top.

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Cast Iron Skillet Fish Nachos

Two for one; as in cook once eat twice.  Have you tried this  short cut for getting healthy and delicious meals on the table? For me, it works as a way to reduce food waste as well,  and it just so happens to be this month’s Recipe Redux theme! Today, I’m taking a recipe already on  my blog, Cedar-Plank Wahoo, and reworking it  into this second meal…

cast iron skillet fish nachos

When making the wahoo, cook a second pound for the nachos or use leftover cooked fish you already have in the refrigerator.  I ‘m using up the remaining cod  from last nights dinner. You can use any white fish; even if you have less than a pound of fish, you can make up the difference by adding some cooked shrimp. This recipe uses my favorite cheese, Cabot Cheddar (I am a proud member of the Cabot Cheese Board.) You can also use a Cabot Pepper Jack. I am keeping it light with low fat yogurt instead of sour cream and knocking off some  homemade baked tortilla  chips.

My recipe  choice  is related to my daunting task  mission of getting my family to eat more fish. I’ve discussed making family favorites vs. pushing the envelope before (Brownie Points or Epic Failure; No Bake Chocolate Mousse), and the inherent risk of failure. So let me be honest, fish isn’t a family favorite.  The Man is  indifferent to it (he eats it, but would prefer something else); my kids don’t like it, period. Usually I make it for myself. Truth.  Last summer was the first time I prepared cedar-plank wahoo, after my son and his friends’ fishing trip promise was fulfilled.  It was the Man who originally came up with the idea of fish nachos for a second meal! After seven months, I’m giving it a try.. so let’s see how this turned out…

Cast Iron Skillet Fish NachosMy daughter breezed through the kitchen as I snapped this shot and said,

Mmm.. that looks so good!

I’m counting that as PLUS ONE. As the man and I sat down to a plate full for lunch, he gave a nod of approval, PLUS TWO. My son gets no voice as he was out of town. Moi?  I thought I hit a dang homerun, PLUS THREE. Hope you will try my healthier version of fish nachos and visit the links at the bottom of the post for more ways to save time and reduce waste with the two for one approach to meal planning.

What strategies do you use to save time and reduce waste in the kitchen?


Cast Iron Skillet Fish NachosCast Iron Skillet Fish Nachos

4 entree serving or 8 appetizer servings

by Diane Boyd


  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sliced greens onion, divided
  • 1 pound cooked fish, shredded
  • 1/2 cup low fat yogurt or low fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 1/2 ounce bag of corn tortilla chips or homemade chips
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Cabot cheddar cheese
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Cotija cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Add olive oil and half of chopped onion to a 10 -inch cast iron skillet.

3. Place skillet in oven and heat until very hot (two to three minutes). Swirl the skillet around to evenly coat the bottom.

4. Meanwhile, mix fish with yogurt, chilli powder, cumin and salt.

5. Remove hot skillet from oven and add tortilla chips to the bottom.

6. Cover chips with fish mixture and top with salsa and cheddar cheese.

7. Bake  for about 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with remaining green onions, radishes, and Cotija cheese. Serve hot.

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