Millennial bowls


Eating out of a bowl is nothing new.  Asian cuisine and many others, have been served out of bowls for centuries. In 2017, bowls have become a cultural and gastronomic moment. If you’ve ever eaten a bowl of ramen, or a burrito bowl at Chipotle, you’ve had a bowl.

The millennials appropriated bowls into a lifestyle. It turns out millennials don’t want to sit at a table and use a knife and fork. They want easy, attractive, fork food that you can pick up and carry to the couch and watch Netflix, or to the computer and keep working or Skyping.

Millenials started the whole photographing your food thing. If you look on Instagram you’ll note that bowls are the new food porn. Why? Photographers agree that food in bowls is more dramatic and stylish than on a flat plate. It’s three dimensional and the styling creates brio.

Mary Portas in her BBC series, “What Britain Buys” reports that bowl sales are higher than flat plate sales. Whilst she laments the demise of sitting down at a dinner table and making conversation over plates, she learns that one company alone is making 32 shapes of bowls in its line of tableware.

In spite of all the “death of civilization” and “loss of good table manners” — I have to say I’m adoring my bowls.  I don’t think I’d serve bowls to my guests (but I never say never!). Turns out the millennial bowl is the perfect solution for those of us who live alone and want to eat beautiful food. It’s a composed, portion controlled meal that looks like a masterpiece.

If I put a portion of rice on a plate, a scoop of steamed veg next to that and a piece of grilled salmon, it looks normal boring.

But, if I fill the bottom of a pretty bowl with “ancestral grains,” lay some steamed kale over the rice, place a hunk of grilled salmon over that, garnish with a spoon of homemade mayo, a drizzle of soy, some dots of siriacha, and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds — it looks like a party. A very pretty and very delicious party.

You can create bowls for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Buddha bowl, chili bowl, pasta bowl, smoothie bowl, salad bowl, fruit bowl, breakfast bowl, rice bowl, you name it, it can be put in a bowl.

Bowls are a perfect use of leftovers. Arrange whatever you’ve got creatively over a base of pasta or grains. Garnish with what you find in the fridge and add a slice or two of avocado for that real millennial touch. At breakfast I compose oatmeal bowls with the bananas and strawberries placed just so, the milk floating on top, a streak of honey and a dab of jam. It’s about different flavors with each bite. I like to supercharge a simple packet of ramen with half a hard boiled egg, sauteed spinach and mushrooms, beansprouts, scallion strips, drips and dabs of sauces — all arranged elegantly in the ramen tradition.

I’m a believer in “change or die.”  It’s all about evolution baby. Don’t want to be a grouchy old lady.  If an idea’s good, I’ll have it!

xo Liza

P.S.  I can just hear my serious foodie friends groaning. Certainly the top restaurants are not going to start serving food in bowls…but do try it at home and have some fun!


Hello my lovelies.  Talk to me, to us!  Have you ever had a burrito bowl at Chipotle? Divine, right? Are you bowl cooking at home?  Do you think you’d like it? The comments box is waiting below.  We’re a community of stylishly intelligent women, “livin’ it and lovin’ it,” going with the flow, adopting what’s good. If you’re a member of this tribe, enter your email in the box above so you don’t miss a thing.



17 thoughts on “Millennial bowls

  1. This is a great idea! Change is good and keeps boredom at bay. It will be fun to shop for a few new bowls too….I don’t have any cute bowls, only those that came with my “set” of dishes.
    And it’s snowing here, so a nice hot bowl of something sounds delicious!
    Thanks Liza!

    1. Have fun shopping for some cute bowls, Kathleen. You can buy individual pieces at stores like Pier One or Pottery Barn. “A nice hot bowl of something” does sound alluring. Carry on!

  2. Love*love*love this quote!
    I’m a believer in “change or die.” It’s all about evolution baby. Don’t want to be a grouchy old lady. If an idea’s good, I’ll have it!

    I want to try to live by it more!

    1. Hi Gail, thanks for writing. So glad that the ending of the post resonated with you. I remind myself every day. I guess it’s about living in the present moment, and that’s always changing. Carry on!

  3. Lisa,
    I’m a serious foodie and adore my bowls! I can’t pass up a new set that are interesting. I usually buy 4 because I don’t use them for large parties and storage can be problematic. I live alone and bowls seem to be perfect for me. Also, bowls are right for controlled portions. I have all kinds, expensive to the dollar store variety, but my favorites are the hand made ones. I am a potter so I also make them..big and small. For me, they must be both aesthetic and just feel right in your hand. I am never without garnishes for my home made soups.
    Karen.age 76

    1. Karen!!!!! Thanks for writing and for your enthusiasm. You have reminded me how much I love handmade pottery, and inspired me to start buying one here and there when I go to a craft fair. Carry on! You’ve got your bowl game on!

  4. Isn’t it funny that things that were old are new again, just in a slightly different form? I’m thinking of capri’s that have morphed into a fashion statement and gone by so many different names– remember when they were ‘peddle pushers?’ Bowls strike me as that as well. Now it’s timely to put it all in a bowl and make it pretty. Asians have been doing it for years… for a culture! For those of us singleton’s, it makes perfect sense! Even if I do put a placemat down and actually sit at a table, I might do a plate just for the beauty of having all the food separate, but that is rare and bowl dining rules! I, too, will sit and watch something with my bowl dinner! It’s all about perspective in life, shift it a little and voila! We are current and hip! Liza, I like how you get us thinking about everyday things…

  5. Hi Kate, Thanks for writing. I like all ways of dining, and certainly won’t do away with plates. I think staying current and picking and choosing what suits us is the way to age beautifully. Let’s keep it fun! Carry on Kate.

  6. Yucatecan bowl eating: Frijol con puerco: In the bottom of the bowl, a bit of black rice made from the broth of the black bean stew. Next, you shred a couple of chunks of the pork and spread it on top of the rice. After that, sprinkle chopped radish all over and cover that with a generous dollop of chiltomate (braised, mashed tomatoes, chopped cilantro and chopped fresh hot peppers, if you like such things). Conclude with a nice little pile of cubed avocado. This is amazingly colorful and satisfying as well as nutritious. Enjoy!

    1. Chloe, that sounds delicious! I am going to try and make that. I do have a set of beautiful red bowls I could use.
      Thank you!

  7. I’ve been “bowling” so long so glad it’s now trendy. I like one pot soups, casseroles or veggies layered over rice, beans or noodles. Top with a dollop of sour cream, cheeses or nuts and what’s not to like? More portable than a plated meal!

  8. We’ve been ‘bowling’ for quite a number of years and apparently we’ve been quite fashionable. Love the easiness of it – a bit of this, a bit of that and you have a feast!

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