This healthy vegan Glow Bowl is packed with incredible skin nutrients to help us glow from the inside out. Made with fresh berries, veggies, black barley, walnuts and a delicious citrus dressing.  

Vegan Glow Bowl- a healthy, hearty salad loaded with fruits and vegetables that make the most impact on your skin, giving you a healthy glow! Vegan and delicious! |

In this vegan Glow Bowl, sweet-tart blueberries (or any other seasonal berry), Black Nile barley (or another whole grain), spicy watercress, fresh fennel bulb, tangy oranges, creamy avocado and crunchy walnuts – all work together to give our skin a burst of nutrients and a youthful, healthy glow.

A compliment of flavors and textures, it’s dressed with a heavenly citrus vinaigrette made with fresh orange juice and optional bee pollen (not vegan, but amazing none the less).

This vegan Glow Bowl is hearty enough for dinner, or makes an energizing lunch, leaving you feeling vibrant and full of energy. Each ingredient is especially selected for the skin, (see below) and eating this way – simple plant-based foods, over time, will naturally improve the condition of our skin giving us a youthful vibrance. Here’s what sold me.

A healthy, vegan "Glow Bowl", designed to give your skin a burst of anti-oxidants and skin glowing nutrients. A simple, tasty plant based recipe |

One summer , several years ago, my dad decided to go totally vegan for health reasons. My father had been diabetic for years, and he and my mom went to a week-long Diabetes Retreat where he learned that he could stabilize his diabetes by changing his diet. So, he did.  At the time, I lived here in Washington, and they still lived in Los Angeles. Over the phone they would tell me what they were eating and what it was like. About 3 months into the vegan diet I was finally able to go visit them.

I was astounded!

My father looked 15 years younger. I’m not kidding. His skin glowed, when before it seemed sallow and dull.

He had a youthfulness about him I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. His eyes looked bright and clear; he looked so much healthier and seemed so much more energetic. I was honestly totally shocked even though at the time I had a vegetarian restaurant and knew “logically”,  that a plant-based diet was healthy – but, somehow, to see this transformation with own eyes, with my own dad, really made an impact on me.

Now… I’m not telling you this to convince you to become vegan, because, you all know, I’m not vegan!  With our catering work, and being married to Brian, it would be pretty difficult at this point. But what is possible, is to not eat meat and dairy at every single meal, or even every day.

I simply want to inspire you to eat more plants, and to be aware of their profound impact on our bodies, inside and out, and on our psyche.

Plants are alive! When we eat them, our bodies become alive with their aliveness. Our skin glows! We can feel their beautiful energy!

Summer Glow Bowl- a healthy, hearty salad loaded with fruits and vegetables that make the most impact on your skin, giving you a healthy glow! Vegan and delicious! |

Blueberries are an easy sell. We love them, don’t we! They find their way easily and generously into our breakfasts…tossed into our morning bowls of granola, pancakes, yogurt and smoothies. For a few short weeks in summer, they are grown here locally in the Northwest.

During the winter months, when blueberries are not in season, feel free to use frozen organic berries or even dehydrated berries.

Seek out the low bush varieties, available at local farmers markets. You will know them by their size. These are the smaller-sized berries –not the huge big plump ones we commonly see in most grocery stores–and these are prized for their true blueberry flavor, they most closely related to a real wild blueberry. The big blueberries you find at the grocery stores, called high bush berries, have been hybridized to be sweeter and bigger, yes still tasty,  but lacking real blueberry flavor.

Health Benefits of the Glow Bowl

  • Blueberries are ranked at the top of the list, packed with antioxidants that prevent premature skin aging.
  • Barley, especially the black variety, has properties that may make it an effective treatment for a number of skin problems. It is rich in azelaic acid, a proven anti-acne compound and tyrosine inhibitor, and might therefore provide benefits for people suffering from acne-prone skin or hyper-pigmentation and age spots. The high levels of anthocyanins found in purple or black barley may also help slow down aging of the skin and prevent wrinkles.
  • Fennel Bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C.  Collagen, the skin’s support system relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent wrinkles and damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke. Vitamin C also promotes collagen’s ability to smooth out wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
  • Avocados are a great source of antioxidant carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. These free radical quenching compounds protect your skin from the environmental damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.
  • Walnuts have healthy Omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage skin cells. These healthy fats also reduce skin inflammation.
  • Oranges are extremely high in antioxidants. These help brighten the skin. Their vitamin C content helps prevent skin inflammation ( breakouts). It helps improve the absorption of Vitamin E and iron in the body, and this, in turn, gives you a radiant complexion. Many skincare products have orange extract in them.
  • Watercress is a rich source of beta carotene and Vitamin C needed to quench free radicals, which can cause damage to skin cells. In addition, watercress contains Vitamin E.  It is this powerhouse of nutrients and the chain reaction in which they all three work together that impacts the skin and helps keep it youthful and healthy. Gram for gram, watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges, four times more beta-carotene and vitamin A than apples, tomatoes and broccoli, more vitamin E than broccoli, more calcium than whole milk and more iron than spinach.
  • Bee pollen is a skin soother. It is often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations like psoriasis or eczema. The amino acids, vitamins and minerals ( like copper) protect the skin and aid the regeneration of skin cells. Yes, I realize it is not vegan- but I felt it must be included as an option.


Have a healthy and delicious week… and feed your skin!



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Glow Bowl- vegan, gluten free and full of healthy vibrant ingredients that will leave you feeling energized and glowing!

Healthy Vegan Summer Glow Bowl

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A nutritious  and tasty Summer Glow bowl- low fat, vegan and full of healthy  anti-oxidants that will not only energize you but leave you will a glow.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup black barley – or grain of your choice (uncooked)
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 Fennel bulb, shaved thinly
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 Orange, peeled and segmented, or sliced
  • 1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 C walnuts

Citrus  Dressing

  • 1/2 C fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T maple, agave or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen (optional)


  1. Place black barley in a medium pot with 4 Cups water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer one hour, until cooked al-dente. Drain and chill.
  2. Prep all the veggies, taking care to thinly slice the fennel bulb and red onion. ( I often use a sharp vegetable peeler or mandolin.)
  3. Divide Black Barley among 4 bowls.
  4. Divide the rest of the ingredients- blueberries, fennel bulb, red onion, watercress, avocado, orange slices and walnuts – among the bowls.
  5. Make the dressing -stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. Divide the dressing among the bowls, drizzling over all the ingredients. Enjoy!


The honey and bee pollen in the dressing, are not vegan- but both are optional.

If using another whole grain-cook according to package directions.



  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 422
  • Sugar: 16.8 g
  • Sodium: 181.5 mg
  • Fat: 15.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 68.2 g
  • Fiber: 15.9 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. This is on repeat at our house. It’s delicious and eating it makes you feel energized and terrific. Plus we get to use some of the oranges from our tree!

  2. I’ve tried most of these…I can’t decide which is my FAVORITE! They’re all terrific! You’re FAB!!

  3. Thank you for your consistently delicious recipes that I am so grateful for. Yesterday I googled “Low Acid food” and this site came up. Are all these recipes low acid or is this a Vegan site?

    1. Ullrike- thanks so much. Interesting that we came up as low acid- I guess plant-based foods are low acid. The site is not all vegan or plant-based but a high proportion is. Thanks for being here!

  4. Thank you for yet another delicious dinner idea, Sylvia! I am one of those people who follow recipes to the T. For the longest time I wanted to eat more plant-based meals, but either found them too bland or too spicy (and I have a very low tolerance to hot food). Not to mention that my partner is craving more meat like your Brian. Your blog makes veggie synonymous with flavourful. Also thank you for your inspiring personal stories.

  5. Marhaba Sylvia
    Thank you so much for sharing your Food for the belly and food for thought. Just started doing the 7 day detox and not am I only loving it but even my meat-loving-partner got intrigued and hooked 🙂
    Wishing you a beautiful day from south of France .

  6. This was really great. I used Farro as the grain, subbed pecans for the nuts (what I had at the time) and threw some shredded carrots in the mix. I just finished a huge bowl and it was absolutely delish. Definitely will make this again.

  7. I didn’t expect to love this, but I was intrigued enough to try. Oh my GOODNESS the flavors and textures together are just incredible! And my husband and I felt so satisfied and energized afterwards. I couldn’t find watercress or black barley, but regular barley and spinach were great substitutes. Also, this vinaigrette is going to be a new regular!

  8. This was SO yummy!! I loved every last bit of it and have been sharing with friends. Your recipes are super duper flavorful!

  9. Really cool article. I read your posts pretty regularly and
    you always do a good job explaining the whatever topic you’re blogging about.

    Btw, I shared this on Facebook and my followers loved it.
    Keep up the great work!

  10. I love your recipe, as a veggie for 30 yrs I support your enthusiasm. However having been diagnosed with Celiac Disease a couple of yrs ago I,m surprised you list salad containing barley as GF. Is purple barley different? I think I,ll substitute quinoa just to be on the safe side.

  11. Wow!! I love this! So healthy and colorful. Nothing is better than fresh produce. Inspiring story about your father too!

  12. What a gorgeous bowl! I love it when the plate looks as pretty as it tastes delicious! Well done!
    xx Sydney

  13. So many healthy ingredients in one bowl. So healthy and beautifully photographed.
    PINNED – I am making this on the weekend.

  14. Such vibrant colours in that bowl! I love blueberries in anything! I sprinkle dried blueberries on my porridge every morning but nothing can beat the real thing. Growing up in Finland I remember eating them straight off the vine. Devine! I had never heard of using bee pollen! Full of goodness!

  15. I love this, it looks delicious. I also had a shock seeing somebody about half a year after she started eating vegan. I could hardly recognize the girl I used to know, I had to see her father standing next to her to really realize who that was.

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