The Daily Beet

21 Aug Rip’s Big Bowl…Perfect Breakfast, Snack, and Beyond

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I’ve lived in Philadelphia for more than half my life.  And I came here for a man.  Not just any man, but Rocky Balboa.  Yes, I came here because I became smitten with the city of Philadelphia while watching the Sylvester Stallone film “Rocky” in a remote village when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer.  In my mind, a remake today would have Rocky living a plant-strong life, winning fights, but most of all, starting his day with “Rip’s Big Bowl (RBB).”

The RBB could make it into any movie, and think about how much better a fighter Rocky would have been if he was plant-strong.  Not only would he be having a bowl for breakfast, talking to his turtles, “Cuff and Link,” but it would have become a training food.  He’d pop some into a container, and save it for a replenishment snack after his 8.3 mile run around the River.  The RBB is the easiest thing to make, it’s very cost effective, tastes great, and what really happens is that people say, “Hey, what are you eating?” And the next thing you know, your breakfast is g-o-n-e because they have eaten your generous sample.

It’s time to move away from the sugary cereals, and devote some time to creating the Big Bowl as your breakfast mainstay.  At first, it might seem like a lot of work, but with practice, you realize that you can cut corners and make this easy-peasy.  I create my cereal in bulk.  I gather my food items, then assemble them in a huge container, mix it all up, date the top of the container (date that I made it), and each morning, grab a cup, pour it into a bowl, and add some unsweetened vanilla almond milk (my personal fav).  I add some fresh fruit, too.  I recently traveled to the remote interior of Honduras, and packed a bag of the Big Bowl in my luggage, and ate like a queen every day.  Forgot to pack almond milk, so I used hot water, and it was just as good…especially with freshly picked mangoes on top.

So, here’s what I do, and I hope you follow suit, because even without time in the morning, your breakfast will always be waiting for you.

You’ll Need:

One Cup each of Old-fashioned Oats, Grape Nuts (I use Ezekiel brand instead), bite-sized shredded wheat, and Uncle Sam Cereal.  Put into a mixing bowl, and mix well with your hands.

Add, if you wish, one-half cup of raisins, and a few pieces of walnuts.

Mix well and place into a storage container (about two quart size).  Date the container, just so that you remember when you made it, etc.  Not sure why I do that, but I do.

When you are ready to indulge in the RBB, grab a cup or more, put it into a bowl,  sprinkle one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal on top of your cereal, fresh fruit, and non-dairy milk of your choice.  You are good to go.

Sometimes, when I meet friends for breakfast, I take RBB with me in a small container, ask the food server for hot water, and when my friends are discussing what they’ll have for breakfast, I am well situated, because I have the Big Bowl.  It is delicious, tastes great, and it doesn’t add any commotion to my day, because it sets me in the right direction on my plant-strong path.

The recipe can be found on page 150-151 in The Engine 2 Diet.  And once you find the way you like the cereal, you are good to go.  But, keep in mind, that this simple cereal will excite your creativity.

Someday, you’ll be able to sit at your breakfast table reading from an actual box of Rip’s Big Bowl, but in the meantime, get going with your own Big Bowl, creating the best breakfast there is.

Oh, and in the magical remake of “Rocky” (the one in my head), when Rocky is screaming “Yo, Adrian,” at the end of the film?  His next line is, “Let’s grab a Big Bowl.”  It could be an example of epic plant-strong living.  Yo…

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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Debbi
    Posted at 09:01h, 21 August

    Oh Char you make me laugh. I have this in the summer instead of my usual oatmeal, a really fast way to pack my breakfast for work. I don’t always combine everything but, think I will now. Thanks for sharing. Best part is deciding what fruit to add to the top – very seasonal.

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 10:05h, 21 August

    Hey Char – I hear you on the Rocky steps! Actually, I workout OUT on the Rocky steps so I fully appreciate yoursentiments :-). As for cold cereal, I’m a big fan and have it sometimes as dessert! As a matter of fact, I need to be judicious about bowls of cereal because it’s easy to pack in a bunch of concentrated calories with these dry, crunchy, tasty nuggets. I could eat ’em by the box. Thanks as always for the great humor with which you write!

  • Peter
    Posted at 14:30h, 21 August

    Still waiting to hear why I’ve been censored from making Facebook comments

  • Sharee
    Posted at 07:52h, 22 August

    LOVE the cereal! I make this for my husband every morning. I add 4 types of cereal all with 0 fat on the label. So I do the oats, the mini wheats, fiber, grapenuts and great grains. Since they all say 0 I hope I am not cheating. :). Then I measure out one cup…add blueberries and strawberries and pour almond milk over it! THE BEST! Thanks!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 13:46h, 22 August

    I love the idea of Rip’s big bowl being sold with all the other cereals! I know they have the individual cups of it at WF but I wold rather make it myself. It is the greatest most satisfying breakfast!

  • Maureen
    Posted at 08:02h, 25 August

    We are so addicted to RBB at the office! Every morning
    before work we sit down to a bowl of oats, WW shredded wheat, Kashi Heart to
    Heart, and Go Lean Crunch. We add raisins, blueberries, kiwi, banana, and flax
    and pumpkin seed topped off with almond milk. My friend and coworker had to
    come in late yesterday, so I made us each a bowl and waited for her to get
    there so we could eat together. When she walked in I asked if she was hungry
    and she said, with big wide eyes, “Is there cereal?” I laughed and pointed to
    the bowls awaiting us! Yup, we’re addicted!

  • Kirsten
    Posted at 20:46h, 26 August

    Thank you for this…I have been preparing this a bowl full at a time…now I’ve got a supply to last about two weeks (I doubled the measurements). I love this cereal!

  • Hollis NP
    Posted at 16:13h, 14 October

    I was amazed to find an ready mixed box of RBB at My Whole foods. But it is cheaper to buy all the ingredients and make is yourself

  • Kathryn Polster
    Posted at 14:50h, 26 February

    I stopped at whole foods the other day before snowboarding and they had everything out to make a RBB. I was full for HOURS and HOURS. Usually I’m starving 1/2 way through the day but not this time!

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