As a Baseball Mom, it can be challenging to come up with healthy and balanced meals that will fuel your athlete on weeknights when you’re short on time. One option that is easy and fast to pull together is a Protein and Grain Bowl. Grain bowls are versatile, satisfying, and easy to make. Perfect for meal prep, you can pull together a grain bowl for every member of your family in minutes, especially if you pre-cook proteins and grains ahead of time.
Check out our tips below to create a nutrient-dense protein and veggie grain bowl that is the perfect weeknight dinner for your baseball player.
A protein and grain bowl includes a base of healthy grains, topped with a lean protein, vegetables and fruits, and a delicious topping that brings the entire bowl together.
The base ingredient in your protein and veggie grain bowl is a nutrient dense carbohydrate. We recommend using whole-grain brown rice, quinoa, barley, or another healthy grain source to fuel your athlete’s body with an ample energy source. These ingredients are rich in fiber and vitamins, and have many antioxidants that are beneficial to your athlete’s health.
Grain Base suggestions:
- Brown Rice
When creating a grain bowl, it’s essential to choose a protein source that will support your athlete’s muscle growth and recovery needs. Some great protein options to include in your grain bowl are grilled chicken, steak, tofu, hard boiled eggs, or chickpeas. These protein sources are easy to prepare and will keep your athlete feeling full and satisfied.
- Hardboiled eggs
- Cubed or shredded cheese
- Cooked ground beef
- Cooked ground pork
- Cooked ground turkey
- Cooked ground chicken
- Grilled Tofu
- Sliced Grilled Chicken
- Sliced Steak
Roasted, Steamed or Raw Vegetables
No grain bowl is complete without a colorful and nutrient-dense choice of vegetables. Adding fresh herbs like parsley or adding kale, spinach, or mixed greens is a great way to add variety to your bowl and increase the nutrient content. Roasted vegetables like sweet potato, broccoli, or cauliflower are also excellent choices to add to your bowl as they are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals.
- Roasted carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, peppers, kale, brussels sprouts
- Steamed broccoli, snow peas, green beans
- Fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, matchstick carrots, raw peppers, sprouts
The final touch to your perfect grain bowl are flavorful additions that tie the bowl together. Adding toppings like almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or crumbled feta is a great way to add flavor, healthy fats, and crunch to your bowl. The possibilities are endless, and adding some of your athlete’s favorites like salsa, hot sauce, or teriyaki sauce is a great way to encourage your athlete to enjoy their healthy meal.
Herbs and crisp greens like pea shoots, basil, pesto, or arugula add interest.
Fruits like Avocado, Berries, sliced apples or pears, grapes all make great additions to a Protein and Grain bowls. Dried fruits like apples, raisins, or cherries can add an additional layer of flavor.
Finally, finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or a drizzle of vinegar.
As a busy baseball parent, meal prep can be a game-changer. Take some time over the weekend to cook and store prepared ingredients ahead of time. Pre-cooked grains, grilled chicken or tofu, and chopped fresh vegetables or roasted vegetables are perfect to store in the fridge so that at mealtime, you can quickly assemble the bowl and heat up.
Grain bowls can also be assembled ahead of time and stored in your favorite to-go container. Grain bowls are extremely portable – just remember to utensils.
Favorite Grain Bowl Combinations
Asian grain bowl: Brown Rice, Grilled Tofu, Sliced Grilled Chicken, Sliced Cucumbers, Matchstick Carrots, Crushed Peanuts, Soy Sauce.
Italian Grain Bowl: Cooked Farro, Mozzarella Balls, Sliced Pepperoni, Sliced Salami, Sliced Provolone, Sliced Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers, Italian Dressing.
Southwest Grain Bowl: Cooked Brown Rice, Black Beans, Cooked Ground Beef with Taco Seasoning, Shredded Cheese, Salsa.
Chef Salad Grain Bowl: Cooked Brown Rice, Hardboiled Egg, Sliced Ham, Sliced Avocado, Sliced Cheese, Green Goddess Dressing.
Ultimate Vegetarian Grain Bowl: Cooked Brown Rice, Grilled Tofu, Grilled Vegetables, Roasted Chickpeas, Sliced Avocado, Sliced Nuts, Oil and Vinegar.
Protein and Veggie Grain bowls offer an exciting and nutritious meal option that is perfect for a busy baseball family. Not only are they easy to make and packed with the nutrients to help support your athlete’s physical and mental health during a game day, but they also provide great flexibility for flavor combinations. From classic steak burrito bowls to quinoa salads with fresh vegetables, adding various ingredients like proteins, grains, veggies, and flavorful toppings can create a delicious bowl that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!
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