Book review: Whole Bowls by Allison Day

Allison-Day-Cookbook-Whole-Bowls on eatlivetravelwrite.comToday, I’m excited to be sharing a beautiful new book authored by Allison Day of Yummy Beet blog.  I knew I would be a fan of this concept because I’ve been on the #wholebowls kick for many years (albeit not necessarily gluten-free or entirely vegetarian!). Eating food in bowls is something I choose to do, especially when I am creating something from leftovers (so, quite often, rice features heavily) and quite often I will simply serve food in a bowl because it’s easier to eat. The other night, for example, we had tacos and I ditched the shells/ tortillas entirely and served the taco fixings atop a scoop of plain white rice. Perfect and so much easier to eat than taco shells which I inevitably overfill and end up spilling everywhere.  Granola and yoghurt bowls with fresh fruit feature in my summer breakfast repertoire too. So yeah, I’m all over the #wholebowls thing!

Allison is not just a blogger but also a nutritionist so her meal-sized bowl recipes showcase her philosophy of eating beautiful, seasonal and delicious ingredients you can feel good about.  The book contains more than 50 full-meal (vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free) recipes and dozens of mini recipes-within-recipes.

The book includes Allison’s Vegetarian Pantry Guide where she outlines her ingredient essentials including oils and fats, gluten-free whole grains, beans and legumes, tofu and soy products, vinegar and acids, salt, spices and dried herbs, condiments and canned goods, nuts and seeds and sweeteners. If you’re just starting out stocking your pantry (or stocking your pantry with these types of ingredients), take her advice and don’t be overwhelmed – buy a few ingredients at a time as you need them and your pantry will soon be fully stocked.  There’s also a useful How to Cook from this Book section outlining tips for successfully recreating the bowls in the book (includes preparation as well as cooking/ organisational tips) and The Whole Bowls Formula (the correct ratios of grains, protein, vegetables, condiments, garnish and cheese) which will help you build your own bowls for quick and easy everyday meals.

The book includes recipes for Breakfast, Salad, Main Course and Dessert bowls as well as a whole chapter of Homemade Extras and Basics (think nut butters, mayonnaise, dips and spreads and sauces).  The recipes include lots of titles that make you mark the page “to make soon” (she’s aiming for recipes that “ignite an immediacy to make [them] right this second” 😉 ) – Southern Cheddar Grits with Tomatoes, Kale and Black Beans, Eat your Greens Salad with Chickpea Croutons and Green Goddess Dressing, Black Beans with Butternut Squash, Black Rice and Chimchurri, Holiday Bowls with Stuffing, Sweet Potato Latkes, Brussels Sprouts and Balsamic Glaze, Anytime Peach Buckwheat Crisp and Big Bowl of Cookie Dough, just to name a few…

The one recipe I followed to a T so far was Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs and Goat Cheese.

Whole Bowls Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Fried Eggs and Goat Cheese on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt was very good, the recipe clear and easy to follow and – bonus – it’s exactly the way I like to eat! I’ve been flipping through the book marking recipes I’d like to make soon and I love that it’s giving me so much inspiration – for what to do with that handful of vegetables hanging around (roast ’em!), that little bit of cheese that’s too small to use but too big to throw out (grate in on top of the bowl) etc… As well as being a wonderful resource for planning ahead, this will give you ideas for what to do with small amounts of produce you have leftover and the confidence to carry it out. When in doubt, put it in a bowl!

In short, this is a book for everyone but I’d definitely recommend it for people who are perhaps dipping their toes into vegetarianism/ vegan diets and it is most certainly a great guide to eating gluten-free without feeling deprived and feeling like you are making “special” meals – it just feels like you are making dinner! It’s also a solid blueprint for those who wonder how to get a healthy meal on the table after a busy work day (there are all sorts of tips about prepping ingredients in advance which sets you up ready to make a wonderful meal, even if you don’t have a lot of time) or those who are prepared to do a little food prep on the weekend so they have a week full of healthy eats for lunches. And once you get in the groove of eating like this, it becomes really easy to concoct delicious bowls of goodness to enjoy at any time of day.

This week a few of my favourite Canadian food bloggers are getting together to celebrate Allison’s book. Don’t forget to stop by their sites and say hi!

Aimée (Simple Bites)
Charmian (The Messy Baker)
Louisa (Living Lou)

Allison-Day-Cookbook-Whole-Bowls on

Buy Whole Bowls on Amazon (this should bring you to the Amazon store nearest you) on for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

Please note: The product links from Amazon and The Book Depository are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!




Disclosure: I received a copy of Whole Bowls from the author/publisher for review purposes. I am not being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 


8 thoughts on “Book review: Whole Bowls by Allison Day”

  1. Mardi, love this post, but could you possibly add the recipe. I think, I have all the ingredients and I love roasted veggies… can hardly wait to eat this springy bowl.
    However, based on the pictrure I can not reverse-engineer the recipe:-)

    Thank you so much!!
    Greetings frm Europe!

    • Hi there, thanks for he kind words but I do not have permission to reproduce the recipe. It’s basically grains (I used wheatberries), vegetables, tomatoes, goat cheese. But perhaps check out the Yummy Beet blog and she might have a similar bowl recipe…

  2. Mardi, clear, thank you. I completely understand. Will use my imagination to complement the list:-)
    I wrote you just because I noticed that the other blogging ladies added a recipe.
    All the best!

    • The other bloggers chose to adapt/ modify a recipe which means they have the permission to post. I stuck to the recipe 100% which means it is copyright! I am sure you can figure it out – her philosophy is “use what you have an be creative!” 🙂

  3. I love how versatile these recipes are. I want to try more of the book’s recipes, but know there will be a few “kitchen sink” (or more like “empty the fridge”) bowl dinners in my future. Maybe with an egg on top!

  4. I just purchased your book whole bowls and am enjoying it very much. I tried banquet bowls with cauliflower hazelnut peel off the other night and followed your directions to the letter. My question is my dry red lentils we’re not at all the color or the consistency that is in your picture. They have a lot of flavor but are quite solid. Could you please tell me what I did wrong?

    • Hello Evelyn, This is simply a review of Whole Bowls, I did not write it. I suggest you contact the author, Allison Day, with any questions. Her site is linked in the post above.


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