2016: The Year of the Bowl?

© Alissa Wagner

By F&W Editors Posted January 14, 2016

Plates are so 2015. 

There are plenty of innovative new dining trends to get excited about in 2016—high-octane cocktails, vegetables pickled in Kool-Aid, desserts made with bee pollen. But the dark-horse candidate of this year's trend forecast is a slightly more traditional item: the bowl.  

According to the Wall Street Journal, the use of bowls among American diners is on the rise. The tableware company Fiesta reported a 17 percent jump in bowl sales last year, which account for a third of the company's overall business. “People are eating from them, not serving from them,” Rich Brinkman, VP of sales and marketing at The Homer Laughlin China Co., which owns Fiesta, told the WSJ. 

It makes sense: Healthy bowl dishes are having a moment in the U.S.—both at restaurants and with diners at home. NYC's vegetable-driven restaurant Dimes has a whole section of its menu dedicated to healthy grain bowls, and L.A.'s Rice Bar, a Filipino rice bowl joint, specializes in the genre. Meanwhile, the rising popularity of slow-cookers in American kitchens has alerted home cooks to the beauty that is throwing a bunch of great ingredients to a pot, letting them stew for a while, and then piling a heaping scoop of what results onto your plate. Scratch that—into your bowl. 

Trends are fickle. Some of us remain haunted by that overpriced bottle of truffle oil that sits, untouched and dust-covered, in the back of our cupboards. But bowls, barring some sort of cataclysmic trend event, will never go out of style. This year, embrace the bowl.

To get you started, we've rounded up five of our favorite one-bowl recipes:

Rye Berries, Frisée, Sunchokes, Watermelon Radish, Brussels Sprouts and Cucumber Bowl with Rosemary-Date Vinaigrette
A great bowl for when you're in the mood for something that's simultaneously fresh, light and super-nourishing. 

Black Lentil Bowl with Fennel Celery Slaw, Sweet Potatoes, Romanesco, Turmeric Tahini, and Pistachios
This bowl is packed with vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and cholesterol-reducing lentils. Bonus: The turmeric adds natural anti-inflammatory properties. 

Quinoa and Berry Breakfast Bowl
Fresh seasonal berries are the perfect topping for this creamy quinoa breakfast.

Crispy Tofu Bibimbap with Mustard Greens & Zucchini
Michael Natkin’s version of the Korean dish bibimbap—rice topped with a mix of pickled and cooked vegetables—forgoes the usual runny fried egg on top to be a delicious vegan dish.

Salmon Rice Bowl with Ginger-Lime Sauce
In Vietnam, palate-cleansing ginger is typically served with rich foods like duck. Here, a pungent ginger dipping sauce is paired with salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.

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