Have you met my husband? We affectionately call him Mr. Sweet Spot around here, because he suggested the term “Sweet Spot Nutrition” for good-for-you food that you actually enjoy eating, something he didn’t think possible before I came into his life.
Mr. Sweet Spot is a communications guy who likes to come up with creative ways to get a point across. His latest food term is “Bowl Bottom Boost.” (He loves alliterations.)
A “Bowl Bottom Boost” is when you add a vegetable to the bowl before adding your leftovers to reheat for lunch. We usually do it with pre-washed greens like spinach, but you can also use other vegetables too. (See below.) Reheating the food wilts the spinach perfectly, and voila, bonus serving of vegetables.
You can use this with leftover pasta, chili, curries, soup, and more. If eating more vegetables is on your heart-health priority list, see below how easy this is.
More than just spinach
You can also use other dark green leafy vegetables, like pre-washed arugula, baby kale or chard. If the leaves are a bit big, just chop them with kitchen shears. (Faster than pulling out a cutting board.)
But as I wrote about a few weeks ago, those pre-washed leafy vegetables are among the most expensive vegetable options. Still not a bad idea if it means you actually use them, but if trimming your food bill is a priority, you can certainly use non-pre-washed bunches of kale, spinach, and chard for this.
You just have to be organized and clean and trim them, ideally well before hunger strikes! (Also, depending on the green, these may take a bit more time in the microwave to wilt.)
Other quick-cooking vegetables are good for this too, for those who aren’t keen on the dark green leafy stuff: Try chopped tomatoes, shredded or spiralized zucchini, or grated carrots, for example.
Another inexpensive and convenient option is frozen Bowl Bottom Boosts! Reheating frozen vegetables along with leftovers usually cooks them nicely too.
For frozen dark green veggies, try frozen chopped kale, spinach, or broccoli. (Again, the kitchen shears will come in handy if your broccoli is bigger than bite-sized. Chop after warming up your bowl.)
But really just about any frozen vegetable you like will work here, from the ubiquitous peas and carrots to cauliflower, and even butternut squash!
More veggies, made simple
So before you reheat leftovers for lunch, see if you have any green leafy or frozen vegetable that you could toss in the bottom of the bowl first. Easy peasy.
I’d love your see your Bowl Bottom Boosts! Share a picture in our free Sweet Spot Heart-Healthy Cooking Club Facebook group.
(We’re going to make this delicious (and heart-healthy!) pasta with peanut sauce for our upcoming community cook-along, May 26. Details to come if you’re on my email list. Sign up here if you don’t already get the weekly-ish emails.)