Have you heard of something called the "3 pm slump"? It is real. I have even experienced it working from home. Sometimes I get too much into work that I forget to rehydrate and refuel. When the hierarchy of needs isn't met, then work doesn't get done; it's as simple as that, whether you work in a busy office or at home. Cogan PR sent me a box of SoLo energy and nutrition bars to try to see if they could alleviate my symptoms of the "3pm slump." SoLo energy bars--at about 200 calories per bar--come in eight flavours including lemon lift, peanut power, dark chocolate almond and mocha fudge. The bars are low glycemic which means they release glucose slower and steadier. Low glycemic foods relate to a person's blood sugar and are supposed to help balance blood sugar, give you energy and make you feel less hungry.
Generally, I don't eat a lot of protein or power bars. My Dad used to eat power bars a lot when he ran marathons and I remember trying them and thinking they were gross. The traditional power bars I remember were chalky, flavourless and not an enjoyable snack. I was surprised at how far protein and power bars have come now that something like SoLo is on the market. The flavours tasted like what they promised and were almost like chocolate bars. Because I love lemon desserts, my favourite bar was the lemon lift. The other chocolate flavours were also great and didn't have that traditional power bar chalkiness to them. SoLo energy and nutrition bars definitely helped get me through the afternoon slump.
For my tofu vegetable bowl, I was inspired by this recipe and used barley as the base to my bowl. After that you add anything you like to the bowl. It can be a mix of sweet, salty, crunchy, savoury or fried. I made some sliced cucumbers into a quick pickle for mine. It's like a salad bar in a bowl, so have fun with it.
1 cup pearl barley, cooked
1 Chinese eggplant, sliced
1/2 package firm tofu
1 cucumber sliced
1 package of baby bok choy, chopped
1/2 cup cashews
Directions:In a small pot of water, cook the barley until done. Drain the tofu and squeeze dry. Slice into triangles. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, sauté the eggplant, tofu and bok choy. You may have to cook all of the components separately depending on how you plan to present everything. Add the cucumbers by themselves or use the "quick pickle" recipe above. Add the cashews to garnish. Build the bowls by scooping some barley into a bowl and then the remaining components on top followed by a drizzle of the sauce.
Korean BBQ sauce (inspired by this recipe)1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp chili garlic paste and/or Siracha sauce
Directions:Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili garlic paste, sesame oil, ginger and garlic in a saucepan. Heat on high until it boils. Reduce the heat and add the cornstarch. Whisk until it thickens.
Serve on a platter to build or already in the bowls. I think the ends of the bok choys make lovely decorative touches to a green plate, so I usually keep them instead of throwing them out. The leftover components make a great lunch the next day. All you have to do is make some more grains and you have satisfying leftovers. The whole meal came together in about 30 minutes, so it's also a quick meal idea, as well as a chance to use up vegetables from the fridge.
What do you think of the new "bowl" trend? Have you tried it? What do you like to put in your bowls of food? Comment below or visit Food.Love.Happiness on Facebook.
More bowl inspiration:
Lunch bowl recipes
Stir fry zen crunch bowl
Chicken and quinoa bowl
Quinoa sushi bowl with baked tofu