‘Buddha Bowls’ have become incredibly popular and for good reason I say! Essentially this is a bowl of whatever you feel like chucking in there to give you a healthy, well-balanced, nutrient dense, simple meal in one bowl.
Originally, when Buddha and his monks would walk through the streets with their alms bowl and collect food from the lay people there would be a variety of foods offered, however it wouldn’t always be nutritious depending on the season…
Luckily we have so much choice of what to put in our Buddha Bowls so below is a bit of a formula to start building your own!
Step 1: Grab yourself a bowl
Depending on your appetite go for a medium sized bowl and not too large as you will end up filling it up!
Step 2: Make your base with Greens & Veggies
I suggest at least 2 cups of greens and make this the substantial part of your bowl.
You can add fresh spinach or kale, fresh or steamed broccoli or green beans, plus I like to add in other salad vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, sprouts etc. Lots of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants in this lot!
Step 3: Build it up with some Protein
About 1/2 a cup of protein should be enough but maybe more if you’ve been active. Great options for this include lentils, beans, chickpeas, eggs, fish or meat (if you eat it).
You could try my simple spiced chickpea recipe:
- Sautee half an onion and 1 clove garlic in a heavy based pan over medium heat with coconut oil
- Add in 1/2 tsp each of Turmeric, Ginger and Cumin
- Add a cup of cooked chickpeas
- Cook in spices for around 10 minutes until fully coated and hot
Step 4: Optional carbs for a bit more substance
Add some healthy carbs such as quinoa, brown rice or sweet potato if you like – 1/4 – 1/2 cup should be plenty.
Step 5: Add in your healthy fats
Avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, goats cheese or eggs can be added in if your salad needs a little more fat for energy. Aim for about 1/4 – 1/2 cup in total.
Step 6: Dress it up
The most important bit of the Buddha Bowl for me is the dressing on top! You can choose from either a simple vinaigrette (Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil are sooo good together), an Asian Inspired chilli, tamari sauce or perhaps try the Tangy Tahini Dressing adapted from The Natural Nutritionist (yes – I love Tahini!)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- The juice of ½ a lemon
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- A dash of water
* Put all ingredients together in a small jar, tighten the lid and shake to mix!
Grab a fork and enjoy your thrown together delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner. And then get creative… You can use left overs galore for these bowls and also theme them around a cuisine such as Indian, Mexican, Thai, Moroccan, the possibilities are endless once you have the formula. I always like to mix up the textures and make sure there is a variety of crunchy, smooth, soft, creamy. And for some extra gut support add some Sauerkraut in the mix too.
Let me know your own creative ideas in the comments below…