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After an indulgent holiday, everyone is looking for a tasty way to get on a healthier track in the new year. Grain bowls are an easy and delicious way to get started. You can make them with your favorite grains or try some new ones using this simple recipe. Be sure to choose lots of veggies in different colors for flavor and nutrition. So select your favorites and assemble your grain bowl – they taste great warm, cold, or room temperature.

Choose a grain such as brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley, millet, or spelt. Following the package directions to prepare your grain, plan on cooking ½ cup per bowl, and replace the water with vegetable or chicken stock to add extra flavor. Place your cooked grains in the bowl and top with your favorites listed below. For our photos, we used brown rice, quinoa, and farro in our sample bowls.

Choose a protein such as 1/3 cup beans, 3 ounces cooked omega 3 fatty fish – like salmon, 4 ounces cooked chicken,  1-1/2 ounces of cheese, an egg, 3 ounces of tofu or 1 ounce of nuts or seeds. In our photo samples, we used salmon, chicken, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, lentils, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and walnuts.

Choose lots of vegetables such as oven-roasted kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower. Add some raw veggies too such as radish, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, fennel, cucumber, sprouts, scallions, and salad greens. For our bowls we used roasted kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes; plus, fresh bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, and scallions. See our vegetable roasting recipe below.

Choose a fat such as 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds, ¼ cup olives or ¼ avocado. Or add 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or any healthy nut oil, any healthy salad dressing or use our easy lemon dressing.

Top with fresh herbs or spices for additional flavor. Sprinkle your bowl with parsley, thyme, cilantro, basil, dill, mint, or oregano. You can also add minced ginger, lemon zest, or red pepper flakes.

Easy Lemon Dressing Combine 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss 1 tablespoon with the grains or beans, or pour over the finished bowl. Makes 4 servings

 For oven roasted vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400˚F, toss two cups of vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil, spread evenly over a foil-lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. and roast until lightly browned and tender. Thicker veggies will take 20-30 minutes. Thinner or leafy, such as Kale and asparagus, will take only 10 minutes.