Plates are so last year.
ck-15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Credit: Photography: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Anna Hampton; Prop Styling: Thom Driver.

There are a few guiding principles that I live my life by, and one that I like to emphasize is that you should never trust a person who takes issue with their food touching. That is absurd. The desire to keep all of the components of your meal carefully separated so that the juice of a veggie dish doesn’t run into a grain salad or the edge of a piece of meat doesn’t brisk a starchy side is simply preposterous. The beauty of a fulfilling, exciting meal is watching the various elements of said meal come together in holy matrimony, creating a beautiful union of unexpected flavors and ingredients. It is for this exact reason that I eat all of my meals out of a bowl.

Seriously, I’m not exaggerating—there is no place for a plate in my humble home kitchen. Unless I’m having guests over and want to exude that I am a cultured civilian who does things like put my food on a plate before I consume it, then the heinous plate collection that I currently own does nothing aside from acquire dust. My bowl fetish has gotten to such a point that when I am faced with the misfortune of eating off of a plate at a restaurant or a friend’s house, it is a noticeably uncomfortable eating experience for me. My strategic eating method is interrupted and the overall taste of my food is somewhat lacking. It might sound insane, but I would argue that everything is better when enjoyed out of a high-rimmed bowl.

Look, I get it. In order to eat all of your meals out of a bowl, it definitely requires a certain kind of eater—one who unabashedly mixes and folds all components together and doesn’t bat an eye when different components are all up in each others’ business (what I coincidence, I am the perfect candidate!). That is the beauty of the bowl-eating lifestyle. Rather than having the different building blocks of your meal all hiding in their separate corners, they’re able to mesh together in a bowl, enhancing one another’s flavor. From Mexican-inspired taco bowls, to curry and rice bowls, to sautéed veggies topped with a runny egg, to Greek-inspired salads, there is no shortage of bowl-ready meals. I like to toss all of my components (whether they all strike me as cohesive components or not) in a glug of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili flakes, and then top it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, for good measure. There is NO combination that I’m not willing to try.

If you are totally opposed to the idea of ditching the plate forever, allow me to offer the fact that the Internet definitely agrees with this life choice. I mean, have you scrolled through Instagram lately? If you didn’t ‘gram your meal in a bowl, you might as well go bury your face in a dark place and vow to never share your opinion online again. Grain bowls, salads, pastas, smoothie bowls, breakfast hashes, and soups (well...obviously) would never been seen tucked away on a plate. That’s just foolish.

If you’re a stranger to the #BowlLife, I eagerly encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, and throw all the components of your next meal into a bowl just to see what happens. Who knows? You might stumble upon a flavor combo that completely rocks your world. Ultimately, your eating experience is what you make of it, and if the Type-A, border-heavy plate arrangement is what gets you going in the morning, then sure, do that. But if you need me, I’ll be lobbing whatever it is I can scrounge up for me next meal in a bowl, giving it a light toss, and going to town.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane