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
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
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
Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl | Cookie and Kate
Grilled Corn, Black Beans and Quinoa with Cilantro Lime Dressing | Flourishing Foodie
Vegan BBQ Lentils with Millet Polenta | The First Mess
Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils | Turntable Kitchen
And a few more shots from Ashlae’s pad…
The morning pour-over. We’ll keep doing it even when it’s not trendy (and our grandchildren will laugh).
There were Justin’s PB cups on the nightstand when we arrived. Best.host.ever.
About the Authors
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.
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.