Bowl Party Menu

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

The older I become, the more I’m convinced that there’s not much sweeter than sharing a meal with people you love. With food as the pretense, it’s an excuse for intimate conversation: sharing dreams and frustrations, vulnerability, and laughter.

Dozens of meals stick out in my memory over the years for the company shared, and if I was lucky, for the food. The photos above show one of those meals a few months ago in Denver, the last stop on Alex and my road trip from Arizona to Utah to Colorado. You know those friends who you feel you’ve known forever but it’s only been a few years (and maybe much of that time has been online)? Those are these friends: Ashlae (Oh Ladycakes) and Ashley (Edible Perspective).

We stayed in the city with Ashlae and her almost husband Thom, which was a complete blast: not only for their fantastic company, but the comfort of hanging with people who love the rituals of pour-over coffee and late night dark chocolate as much as you do. (Check out a few more shots of their pad below the recipe links.)

This bowl meal was a feast prepared by Ashlae after Alex, Ashley and I returned from a refreshing day of hiking. It was such a laid back and simple concept for a meal that we wanted to share it with you here. While the bowls took a bit of time to put together, they were ultra-flavorful and completely versatile to fit various diet preferences and tastes. The recipe we enjoyed was from Sara Forte’s new cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon, which celebrates just this philosophy: high-quality ingredients combined thoughtfully in a bowl.

We eat bowl meals often, and have found they’re especially fun in a party setting. How about you – do you love bowl meals? Below is the meal we ate in Denver, followed by a collection of other ideas from around the web. We hope you enjoy them; let us know in the comments if you’re inspired to have your own bowl party! Thank you to Sara for the recipe and Ashlae / Ashley for being the kindest, sweetest hosts and friends we could imagine.

Our Bowl Meal Menu

Hippie Bowls
(from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon cookbook)

Almost Raw Vanilla Nut Tiramisu

More Bowl Meal Inspiration
Here’s a collection of other bowl meal ideas from friends from around the web that has us salivating. The recipes are organized into themes, each of which could be its own bowl party! We want to try them all, but some that immediately stand out to me are Dolsot Bibimbap (a Korean rice bowl that is in my top 3 favorite foods of all time), Pav Bahji (we love trying our hand at Indian), and the Vegan BBQ Lentils with Millet Polenta (sounds like comfort food at its finest).

Pure and Simple
Roasted Nourish Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing | A Couple Cooks
Healthy Rice Bowl with Kale, Red Pepper and Egg | A Couple Cooks
Chickpea Lentil Salad with Shallot White Wine Vinaigrette | Edible Perspective
Easy Pesto Veggie Bowl
| Jessica Murnane

Asian Flair
Vegetable Sushi Bowl | A Couple Cooks
Miso Roasted Asparagus and Pickled Carrot Sushi Bowls | The Bojon Gourmet
Asparagus and Dill Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Onion Kimchi
| My Darling Lemon Thyme
Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi Bowls | My Name is Yeh
Smoked Salmon Soba Bowl | Snixy Kitchen
Broccoli Soba Bowl | I am a Food Blog
Dolsot Bibimbap | Savory Simple
Pav Bahji | Indian Simmer

Latin Flava 
Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl | Cookie and Kate
Grilled Corn, Black Beans and Quinoa with Cilantro Lime Dressing | Flourishing Foodie

Comfort Food
Vegan BBQ Lentils with Millet Polenta | The First Mess
Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils | Turntable Kitchen

A Little Sweet
Cacao Nib Pavlovas with Berry Jam | The Vanilla Bean Blog
Breakfast Bowl with Amaranth Granola | Love and Lemons
Banana Mango Green Smoothie Bowl | With Food and Love

And a few more shots from Ashlae’s pad…
Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

The morning pour-over. We’ll keep doing it even when it’s not trendy (and our grandchildren will laugh).

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

There were Justin’s PB cups on the nightstand when we arrived.

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

Bowl Party Menu | A Couple Cooks

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    May 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    this looks like the perfect kind of gathering – casual and unfussy with delicious food (in bowls!!!!) in a gorgeous setting. i always drool over ashlae’s photos of her place :)

  • Reply
    Sara Forte
    May 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Looks so fun! Would have been a treat to join you all. Glad you two had a nice trip!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    May 27, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Yes, I love making a bowl bar when entertaining, and I cannot wait to get Sara’s cookbook when I’m back in the US. In the meantime several of these recipes are going on my to-make list. And I could not agree more with the importance of friendship and sharing meals. :)

  • Reply
    May 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    This looks like SO MUCH FUN, you guys! Note to self: get a guest room and place Justin’s on side table for company. (I will probably eat them first.)

    • Reply
      May 28, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Ha — I believe Ashlae’s secret was to have a giant Costco-sized haul in the closet so that there was no temptation to eat the guests’ chocolate…

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    May 27, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I always have to smile that drip/pour-over coffee is a trend again now. I am 56, and when I grew up that is what it was — pour-over. (Or, I guess some folks percolated it, including my grandparents.) The thing is, everything cycles. I always did think it was a great way to make coffee, and it’s very mindful. Your pictures make me want to run out a buy a drip set-up again. Lovely post, and oh! I want those bookshelves!

    • Reply
      May 28, 2015 at 11:21 am

      You’re right about it being so much more mindful. I find that I need less caffeine when I take the time to make it right!

  • Reply
    Dani | salt sugar and i
    May 28, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    My copy of Bowl and Spoon arrived this week and I cannot wait to start cooking from it! The Hippy Bowls look delicious… just need to convince my boyf to eat tofu. Might have to give him a chicken substitute :) Thanks for sharing! I love the photos, did you use any special lights for these or just a good old sunny window?
    Thanks for sharing! x

    • Reply
      May 29, 2015 at 8:41 am

      If he tries this tofu recipe, he might just stick with it :) No special lights on these (or any of our photos), just some great big windows!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    This post is glorious! I love seeing so many beautiful people + recipe ideas in one place. You guys are the best, xo!

  • Reply
    Emma Galloway
    May 30, 2015 at 7:55 am

    This looks like SOOOO much fun!

  • Reply
    Mel @ The Refreshanista
    June 3, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    This looks like so much fun! What a great idea for a relaxed but delicious dinner. Can’t wait to try some of these bowl recipes!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

    This is so excellent! I’m looking at a bunch of the bowl recipes right now. Thanks!

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