I’ve been doing a lot of running back and forth from yoga class lately and when I’m coming home around dinner time, there is nothing more that I want than a healthy, easy meal. The Buddha Bowl is my new favourite no-brainer! I’m not quite sure where the name came from, but the first time I had a Buddha Bowl was in a vegetarian restaurant and their menu was absolutely packed with wonderful choices! The amazing bowl that I had there inspired me to make some of my own at home! A quick search on Pinterest showed that I wasn’t alone in my love for the simplicity and deliciousness of the meal!
So what is a Buddha Bowl? While I’ll be adding pictures and a recipe for one of my favourites, this post is more of a guide than a real recipe! A Buddha Bowl is any combination of your favourite greens, grains, starches, protein, veggies and toppings! They tend to be vegetarian or vegan, but the beauty of the Buddha Bowl is that you decide what goes in! Don’t like kale? Then use spinach or collard greens instead! Be creative and inspired when making your bowl!
Grab a huge bowl, maybe you have a favourite for soup or salad that would be a good choice for your Buddha Bowl as well.
1. Greens. Throw some greens in your bowl! They can be spinach, kale, arugula, collards… anything your heart desires!
2. Grains and/or starch. Add on a generous scoopful of your favourite grains. Now we’re talking rice, rice noodles, quinoa, millet, etc and once you’re done with that you can also add in some starch if you’d like; sweet potatoes perhaps?
3. Protein. Maybe you immediately think of animal products when you think protein, the Buddha Bowl is a great place for you to try some excellent (and tasty!) sources of plant proteins! Add an abundance of beans, peas, edamame, lentils or if you’d prefer you can go the tofu, tempeh and seitan route! Delicious!
4. Veggies. Pick a bunch of your favourite veggies and add them on top! You can use peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, mushrooms, any veggie you can think of is great and the more colourful your selection, the more colourful your meal! Cook some veggies and eat others raw, this adds different temperatures to your meal and different textures depending which veggies you choose!
5. Toppings and extras. Your final step will be to add on whatever toppings you think would go nicely with your bowl. These can be nuts, seeds or maybe even some slices of fruit! Another great final addition is some dressing. You can drizzle some olive oil and lemon, vinegar or even make your own dressings with tahini or soy sauce! Again, be creative!
The best part of the Buddha Bowl is that it is 100% customizable. Maybe you have some leftover quinoa in the fridge and some veggies that are on the verge of going bad, instead of throwing them away, make a Buddha Bowl! You may discover that you have a favourite combination, but the most exciting and fun part is trying different things each time! Because you make all the choices, your Buddha Bowl can be vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or nut-free without any hassle. If you don’t like one ingredient, you can easily substitute it for another! It would even be a fun meal to make with your kids, if you cut up the veggies beforehand, they can choose their favourites and create a nice, well balanced, healthy meal all by themselves!
Buddha Bowls are great because they promote mindful eating. To immerse yourself in the experience of eating the bowl, it’s fun to use chopsticks and really take the time to enjoy each bite, because each one will be different than the last! As previously mentioned, you can keep some of your ingredients raw, and cook others. In doing this, you will get a variety of different textures in your bowl, making mindful eating much easier and more enjoyable. Instead of scarfing down your meal (which I definitely am guilty of), really pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth!
To give you some inspiration, here is tonight’s Buddha Bowl and tahini dressing recipe!
This bowl was rice noodles, spinach, red pepper, sweet potato, edamame, avocado, tofu and mushrooms.
Raw/Uncooked Ingredients: Spinach, avocado, red bell pepper, mushrooms.
Cooked Ingredients: Edamame (unshelled before adding to bowl), sweet potato, tofu and rice noodles.
Toppings: Sesame seeds and Garlic-Lemon-Tahini Dressing.
After adding all of the ingredients together, my Buddha Bowl looked like this:
To make the Garlic-Lemon-Tahini Dressing, I used four simple ingredients.
Simply mix 1 tbsp olive oil, with 2 tbsp tahini, a clove of garlic (or more depending on taste) and juice from half a lemon. Whisk together the ingredients and adjust according to taste.
Enjoy making your Buddha Bowl!
Once you’ve savoured your creation leave me a comment below letting me know what combination you came up with! I’d love to try it myself!