What in the world is a Buddha bowl?? Well, it seems the jury is out on the exact difinition. It was first described to me as a bowl so full of goodness it resembled Buddha’s belly. Ok, but basically it’s a meal in a bowl chock full of good food and healthy veggie options. It’s pretty much what I eat for at least one meal every day.
Buddha bowls are a great way to utilize leftovers. Yesterday’s salad or rice can start the game then add all the veggie bits and pieces left in the fridge. I usually always have Tahini and fresh lemons so the sauce is easy to throw together.
You can spin your bowl dozens of ways with different dressings. Try Green Goddess, Mediterranean, Southwest, Asian change up your sauces or seasonings to make your favorite flavor profile.
Make sure you start with your favorite bowl. Choosing a bowl is personal and important, eating mindfully is the best way to eat. I’m trying to adopt this practice. Not dieting! Instead, listen to your body. Eat when your hungry. Eat for rational reasons not emotional reasons. Stop eating when you’re full. I’m of the “clean your plate” generation. Plate your food mindfully. If you crave abundance a Buddha bowl is perfect for you because a lot of vegetables and good nutrients never hurt anyone.
ANATOMY OF BUDDHA BOWL
- Choose a special bowl It is important, like having a favorite coffee mug.
- Start with a Base Layer of Greens and grains
- Add a Variety of Veggies & Beans complex starch and protein.
- Top with Nuts & Seeds.
- Dress with Your Favorite Sauce/Dressing. FYI, it’s all about the sauce.
- Eat mindfully enjoying all the flavors and textures.
- Enjoy how good food makes your body feel and use the extra brain power for good.
MORE IDEAS FOR BUDDHA BOWLS
- Greens: kale, spinach, arugala
- Veggies: squash, broccoli, carrots, peppers, roasted eggplant, brussels sprouts, beets, grilled or roasted veggies
- Grains: quinoa, brown rice, wheat berries, farro
- Protein: tofu (here pictured I’ve used white tofu noodles), tempeh, chickpeas, beans, edamame
- Healthy Fats: avocado, cashews, almonds, nut butters, sunflower seeds, pepitas
A recipe just in case you need one…obviously this recipe is a starting point. Feel free to add, subtract and substitute. There are no hard and fast rules.
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water + 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 4 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets (about 2 large crowns)
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and large pieces torn in half
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- garlic powder to taste
- cumin to taste
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
- 1 avocado, sliced
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- 3 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- a dash of maple syrup to taste
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup water *see note*
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F) and place broccoli or cauliflower florets on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure the broccoli/cauliflower is well coated but not soaked. Sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- While that is roasting, put kale into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and massage until well combined, then sprinkle with salt. Add the kale to the same pan of broccoli/cauliflower and bake for another 5-7 minutes.
- On another cookie sheet place the rinsed chick peas. Drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and cumin. Add to the oven with the other vegetables. These just need to be cooked long enough to allow them to toast. Check after a five minutes, shake the pan to move chick peas around. Check again in two minutes. Taste to test.
- While vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa by heating a medium saucepan over high heat. Once hot, add quinoa, water, and vegetable bouillon cube and bring to a boil, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to low (simmer), cover, and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water has completely absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Prepare the dressing by adding tahini, lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and maple syrup into a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add water a little at a time until it forms a pourable sauce.
- To serve, divide the quinoa, chickpeas, roasted veggies, and purple cabbage between serving bowls. Top each bowl with avocado slices and drizzle with tahini sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bit more flavor.
*Amount of water needed may vary. Sometimes I only need 1/4 cup, other times I need about 1/2 cup. Start slow and add more until you achieve your desired consistency.
*Leftovers may be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It is best if the tahini dressing is stored separately.
About the Author
Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. Her Blog, Table and Dish is a website devoted to celebrating and curating the many ways that food binds us. Sally hopes that her recipes and images will inspire you to gather your friends and family in the kitchen to make memories, use the time to connect with busy kids, chat over mixing bowls, get messy, laugh, sing, set the table, clear the table, pass the salt, debate the days topics and pray. You can follow her here as a weekly contributor to 365Barrington and Heinen’s as well as via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at TableAndDish.com.
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