When food is arranged on a plate, the likelihood that one or more portions will be off-balance is far greater than if it's in a bowl. Plates have centers and edges to be filled. Plus, not only are they getting bigger, up 36% since 1960, but they also have a center, or focal point, which often falls to meat. A bowl, however, "demands another way of eating," says Michael Anthony, executive chef of New York's Gramercy Tavern and author of V Is for Vegetables. "You can't cut a big steak in a bowl. Instead, grains can become the stage for so many delicious vegetables: stews of beans, piles of greens, and roasted roots, sparkled by zingy pickles and relishes." Bowls encourage mixing ingredients, no matter how motley they may be, and instantly transform your meal into a stack, allowing you to build texture and flavor with layers. And quite simply, bowls hold less food than plates.

Ready to build one? Start with our Bowl-Building Blueprint.

Next, build one of these quick, tasty combos, and enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.