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Salad bowls are genius: the variations are endless, you can prepare big batches of grains and veggies and have them ready when needed, they are smack-packed with color, look and taste delicious and make you feel good from the inside and out. Health Coach Maia Söderlund shares her best tips for building a bowl.

This is how the bowl could be built up, but feel free to experiment and find your own favorite way of composing it.

1. Cook a big batch of grains: quinoa, barley, or brown rice. Cook either in water or in vegetable stock. Drain, let cool and season to taste with apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar and olive oil. Add some chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, basil or rosemary).
2. Roast some veggies in the oven while the grains are boiling. Here you can really choose any kind you like and add the seasoning you want. I used olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. In the pictured bowl, I used butternut squash, carrots and bimi (small broccoli) but other favorites include asparagus, kale, cabbage, peppers, beets and sugar snap peas. Make enough to have as many bowls as you’d like ready for the week.
3. Cut up some fresh vegetables: avocado, cucumber, carrot, kale, cabbage, edamame, peas, radishes, cherry tomatoes or whatever is in season.
4. Add a protein: beans, hummus, eggs, tofu, shrimp or smoked fish.
5. Add the herbs you like and some nuts or seeds.
6. Finish with a lovely cashew dressing and enjoy!

Preparing all the steps in one go and in big quantities will allow you to set up a healthy lunch box or dinner in no time. There won’t be room for last minute bad choices or eating whatever on the go. You’ll also save time as you won’t have to think about what to make.

80 g cashews
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice and peel of ½ lemon
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 small garlic clove
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Salt and pepper
50-100 ml water

Soak the cashews for a couple of hours or boil them in water for 10 minutes. Drain and add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until smooth adding as much water as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

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