Six Weeks of Bowl Meals: Italian Broth Bowl

Um, what the heck is a broth bowl and how is it not soup? is the question I asked myself around a year ago at this time.  It seems the foodie term is trending at the moment—thanks to Panera Bread, but likely existed long ago and was derived from asian cuisine or soup containing mainly flavor-intense broth. Regardless of where it truly came from, and what sets it apart from soup, this week I chose to create my own version in hopes to improve upon the lack-luster dining experience I’ve had with it thus far. A broth bowl appears to be a balanced plate of food added to a bowl with broth ladled over top. I’ll go with it!

One of the core concepts of holistic health is the need to feed the human desire to be creatively expressive. I can’t help but applaud the individual who came up with the term “broth bowl”, which gets me thinking…As children we develop an internal belief system based on our experiences and influences in our lives. Much like many of the clients I work with, at the age of five, I can remember adding “not an artist”, “not creative” to my exponentially long and growing list of beliefs. My mom went to art school and my sister was following in her footsteps. Based on comparison, I wasn’t an artist or creative.

So what do you do when you crave creativity but believe you are not creative?

Just about a decade ago, I wrote down all the beliefs I had about myself—the limiting ones holding me back from living a joy-filled and authentic life. I burned the list then stepped into the kitchen. Yup, burned it. To hell with “I’m not creative” and the crap that followed…

It took four trials of creative expression to share this recipe today. Six if you count writing about it. It’s really good. My version of a broth bowl is not soup, but you may call it that or something different—whatever makes the most sense. My husband, Levi, has become my go-to judge for the majority of the dishes I come up with. His opinion serves to spark my creative process even when it’s what he calls “constructive criticism”. He loved the final two versions pictured, which happen to be extremely quick and simple to prepare—a balanced meal with broth ladled over top—or not if you haven’t embraced the trend quite yet.

My hope is mass amounts of people hit the kitchen to create this recipe all while burning the limiting beliefs on their list. By the time the cauliflower is done steaming, the whole process could be finished[write. burn. release. start over].

Italian Broth Bowl

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

Serves 4-6

For the veggies fat and protein

-1 pound Italian sausage(know your farmer)

-1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

-2 heads cauliflower florets, sliced

-2 cups kale leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped

-1/2 Tbls avocado oil or ghee

-Kalamata olives, sliced (optional garnish)

for the carbs and flavor

-1 tsp Italian seasoning

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-Sea salt, a few pinches

-Fresh ground black pepper to taste

-2 cups cooked rice noodles, potatoes or brown rice (optional)

-1 batch chicken bone broth or two cartons chicken broth heated

-Green onion, sliced(optional garnish)

In a large non-stick saute pan with a lid add sausage and begin to brown over med. heat. Add oil, peppers, and cauliflower after a few minutes. Stir frequently and brown over med. heat. Add the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir together then add lid. Turn heat to low then simmer and steam for 10-15 min.(preferred doneness). Heat chicken broth. Remove lid from large saute pan then add kale and garlic. Turn heat to med-high and stir and saute until garlic is fragrant—1-2 min. Remove from heat and dish into bowls. Pour warmed broth over each serving and garnish with olives and green onion(optional).

Cruciferous Coconut Curry

Nothing beats having a plan when it comes to eating healthy:  Fail to plan, plan to fail, yes?  If you've just begun your journey to wellness, you've probably quickly discovered, living life on auto pilot(aka, without a plan) does not lead to success the majority of the time.  If you want to lose weight, heal your body, fight illness, and prevent disease, a new approach to how daily life is lived is the only way to go!  When a strategy is not in place, the food in sight and on-hand, ready to eat, becomes the only option, which makes you a victim of your circumstance.  As your health coach, it's my mission to help you help yourself ditch that victim and take charge in creating lasting, life-long, healthy habits possible to execute in your specific life situations!! 

I love the organization part of coaching along with creating realistic recipes fit for the crazy busy person or family.  It's my mission every day to make insanely satisfying (pleasurable, sexy, lovely, delicious, scrumptious, and oh so glorious) real food, which takes only a little thought in conjunction with a stocked pantry and fridge.  This Cruciferous Coconut Curry recipe (demo'ed at Grand Rapids Veg Fest 2016) is a staple in my home.  If I were to write a cookbook this would fall under the category of "Quick Sautéed Weekly Staples".  Curry is sweet, versatile, a little savory and free of the top allergens(diary, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat and soy).  Green beans and cauliflower were chosen for their crowd appeal, but any veggie or animal/non-animal protein can easily be swapped or added in with the same tasty results.  After playing around with this recipe for months, I finally decided using the Thai coconut milk from the can is the only option for the stellar results VegFest attendees experienced first-hand.  

Cruciferous Coconut Curry

By Audrey Byker, Health Coach

-Vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free and only 30 min. to prepare

-Serves 4

8 oz. brown rice or buckwheat noodles

2 Tbls. coconut oil

1 Head of cauliflower (med.-lg.), chopped

12 oz. Green beans, ends trimmed

2 Green onions, biased-sliced into 1/4in. pieces

1 14 oz. Can unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk (Thai brand)

4 tsp. Bottled curry paste

2 tsp. Coconut sugar

Sea salt and pepper to-taste

2 Tbls. Lime juice


  1. Cook noodles according to package while getting started on step 2. Set a timer! Set aside when cooked and add a little bit of prepared sauce as soon as possible to break up the noodles.

  2. Add 1 Tbls. of oil to large, 10 inch (or larger) non-stick skillet with a lid on med. heat. Add green beans. Cook for a few minutes with lid on pan while prepping cauliflower.

  3. Add the remaining oil and then cauliflower. Toss around and sauté for a few more minutes to brown, then add lid and set heat to low. Allow veggies to cook/steam for 5-10 min. depending on desired texture, then remove lid and add green onions, coconut milk, curry paste, and coconut sugar.

  4. Simmer on low for 2-5 min. depending on desired doneness. For crisp, tender results, cook for less time. Stir in lime juice just before removing from stove and serve over hot noodles.