A bowl of goodness

February 2, 2018 08:31 AM The Week Bureau

Buddha bowls have taken over the internet by storm. Every food blogger, fitness guru and even Oprah and Martha Stewart are giving out the recipes of their own versions of Buddha bowls.

Defined as the ideal one bowl dish with whole grains, plant proteins, and vegetables, it is more of a formula than a hard fast recipe, something that can be customized according to your cravings, requirements, and lifestyle. Its not-so-ambiguous name comes from Gautama Buddha’s bowl that he carried with him everywhere and on which he accepted food as alms and that was what he would eat at the end of the day.

Here, The Week offers some pointers in making your own Buddha bowl and also provides you some basic recipes to get you started. 

Build your own Buddha bowl

Making your own Buddha bowl is really easy, mainly because there isn’t a strict rule that you need to follow. You can customize your own bowl and fill it with anything you fancy eating as long as it’s healthy (or not, sometimes). 

Start with the base for the bowl. This should be the heaviest and the most filling item in your bowl. You can use any kind of filling carbohydrates. Rice, quinoa, oats noodles, spaghetti, squash and zucchini noodles are options you can choose from to make the base. Fill one third of your bowl with it.

Once the base is done, make three to four (or more, if you want to) layers with chopped fruits or vegetables and healthy fats like nuts and dry fruits. Steam or boil your vegetables before you toss them in. Then season it with some spices like chili, pepper and salt, sprinkle some toppings of your choice or garnish it with your favorite dressing. And your Buddha bowl is ready.

A little tip: Set aside a large bowl to use as your Buddha bowl dish. We prefer glass bowls because that way you can see what all you have put in it and then enjoy the colors of all the fruits and veggies as well. It looks quite lovely and that makes it all the more savory. 


Thai coconut quinoa bowl
This Buddha bowl is just right for those times when you want something heavy and filling. It can be an ideal lunch option. 

    Coconut quinoa
    Peanut butter
    Soy sauce
    Ginger, garlic
    Vinegar
    Hot sauce
    Lime
    Vegetable oil
    Sweet potato
    Carrot
    Bell pepper
    Salt
    Pepper

Start by cooking your quinoa. Add water in the quinoa and leave it over the stove or in the microwave until it is thoroughly cooked.
Now prepare the Thai dressing. Blend peanut butter, ginger and garlic into a paste. Pour a little oil in a pan over medium heat and add in the paste, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar and water. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
Keep on adding water till the paste is of the consistency you want.
Chop up the sweet potato, carrot and bell pepper. Pour some oil on a pan over low heat and add some minced garlic and ginger.
Immediately, add the chopped sweet potato and carrot and salt and pepper into the pan and stir it.
Roast the vegetables for about 20 minutes.
Now simply add everything into your bowl starting with the quinoa, then the roasted vegetables and the bell pepper and lastly the sauce.

Fruits and chocolate oats bowl
We think this is an ideal breakfast option or a pre- or post-workout meal. 
    Rolled oats
    Nutella, choco chips, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup or chocolate bars (Basically any chocolate you can find)
    Fresh fruits – at least three types of fruits
    Nuts and raisins

Add water (or milk) to oats and place it over the stove or in the microwave to cook.
Chop the fruits into little bite-sized pieces.
Prepare the chocolate syrup. If you have chocolate bars or chocolate chips then let it melt in the stove or the microwave. If you have cocoa powder then add it to hot water or milk and sugar and whisk them together until everything dissolves. If you have nutella, add hot water or milk to it until you have a runny syrup.
Now place the oats in the bottom of your bowl and add in the fruits. Drizzle the chocolate syrup over it and then add in nuts and raisins. And your chocolate infused Buddha bowl is ready. 

Chicken salad with lemon rice bowl
Non-vegetarians, be warned: This Buddha bowl is what you will want for lunch every day. It also has the right mix of carbs, protein, and fiber, making it the ideal meal to keep you powering through the day. 

    Rice 
    Salt
    Lemon
    Vegetable/chicken stock
    Garlic
    Chicken – chopped
    Vinegar
    Ginger
    Tomatoes
    Mushroom
    Olives
    Vegetable oil

Pour chicken or vegetable stock in a pot over medium heat.
Add in rice and salt and cook thoroughly.
Once cooked, squeeze juice of a single full lemon on top and stir the rice.
Add chicken, vinegar, salt, vegetable oil, minced garlic and ginger in a pan and cook until the chicken looks brown and crispy.
Chop the mushroom and tomatoes and then boil the mushrooms.
Add rice to your bowl and add in the tomatoes, olives, and mushroom. Lastly, add in your chicken curry and serve hot.

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