Like many terms in the health food world (natural, free-range, healthy, etc.), “clean eating” doesn’t have a strict definition. Luckily, these terrifically tasty macro bowls cover all the bases: nutritious, unprocessed, gluten-free, plant-based, and darn good, to boot.
Green Bowl at Blossoming Lotus
Loaded with quinoa, kale, cucumber, edamame, and super greens, this bowl looks so dang healthy that it feels like we should get some kind of fitness award just for eating it. Luckily, the deliciousness of the dual dressings—creamy lemon tahini and bright pink beet vinaigrette—is reward in itself, especially when accompanied by meaty, nooch-coated soy curls (or tofu) and extra avocado.
Vietnum at Kure Kitchen
Even the staunchest Ron Swanson types in our office have fallen for this banh mi-inspired masterpiece from downtown’s Kure Kitchen. Steamed spinach, red cabbage, brown rice, cucumber, pickled carrot, and scallions are tossed with sweet chili sauce and rich sriracha cashew mayo. Toss on the zingy ginger-sesame roasted tempeh, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed winner.
Betty Bowl at Prasad & Harlow
This isn’t the first time we’ve raved about this many-layered macro bowl, nor will it be the last. Explore our deconstructed Betty Bowl, then head to Prasad, Harlow, or the new Prasad East to order your own. We recommend opting for millet for a tasty twist, and pairing it all with a fresh juice or smoothie for a nutrient-loaded lunch.
Mexican Bowl at Thrive
As our own Kelly Clarke wrote in a recent review, “Every bowl [at Thrive] starts with a solid jumble of seasonal veggies from local farms, wok sautéed to order—maybe red and green cabbage, celery, perfectly cooked broccoli and brussels sprouts, a little squash and nuggets of avocado. The Mexico bowl served its greens over a bedrock of toothsome, bay-infused black beans and brown rice. Then comes the bright tomatillo-avocado salsa, zingy lime sauce, and a shower of cilantro. The kitchen’s thoughtful attention to texture and spicing leads to a mingle that tastes both homey and reviving.” Pick your favorite protein from a list ranging from tempeh to pork belly, and dig in.
Portland Bowl at Canteen
Some “healthy” meals leave us hungry minutes later, but this legendary local bowl keeps us full for hours and hours. Mounds of quinoa, black beans, kale, and baked maple tempeh are smothered in decadent, cheesy “NW sauce” and topped with chopped Oregon hazelnuts. Add a Maca & Friends smoothie—which tastes like a cookie milkshake—and you’ll be fueled for an epic day.
Precious Bowl at Sweet Hereafter
If “bar food” and “healthy” feels inherently contradictory, you clearly haven’t spent enough time in Portland’s vegan pubs. Sweet Hereafter’s deliciously simple Precious Bowl, for example, is a wholesome medley of coconut kale, black beans, and brown rice. Add avocado and pineapple for a culinary trip to the tropics.
(Bonus tip: if you’re at Sweet Hereafter’s sister bar, Bye & Bye, you gotta go for the BBQ Brussels Bowl. Trust us—it’s a classic.)