A Buddha Bowl is a way to approach dinner that ensures that you will be eating a meal that is yummy, satisfying, nutritionally sound and quick to throw together. In fact, you can prep a week’s worth of dinners in under an hour using this approach.
Basically a “Buddha Bowl” is a vegetarian meal that is composed of the following ingredients:
- a grain (quinoa is my favorite but try brown rice, millet, barley, farro, white rice, amaranth, wheat berries, buckwheat, etc…)
- a protein (usually a legume, like black beans, garbanzos, lentils, mung beans, etc… but can also include seitan, tofu or tempeh)
- vegetables, raw or cooked-this is where you get to really have endless variety throughout the year with seasonal produce. Think winter squash, brussels sprouts rutabaga, broccoli and sweet potato in the winter, and in summer asparagus, tomato and cucumber.)
- greens (I know that greens are a vegetable, but I think it’s important to have some at every meal, so I like to think of them in a category of their own. They should preferable be raw, but it’s nice to have some lightly sautéed chard or kale every so often. My favorite greens are baby kale, spinach, arugula and lettuces.)
- a healthy fat (my favorites additions in this category are avocado, nuts and seeds sprinted on top
- a sauce, to keep things interesting! In addition to the super easy Cashew Yogurt sauce in this recipe some of my other favorites are chimichurri, salsa, tomato pepper sauce, vegan cheese sauce, lemon tahini sauce, Thai almond chili sauce, pesto, etc…)
Because beans and grains take a while to cook, those are great to batch cook ahead so they are ready when you want a quick meal. Make a few sauces while they’re cooking and you will be able to throw together a delicious healthy meal in 10 minutes after a busy day. All you have to do is steam, roast or sauté your veggies if you’re cooking them.
Beans and grains are also good items to freeze after they’ve been cooked, if you have more than you think you can eat in 5 days, or you really want to save some time. And who doesn’t want to do that??
- 1 cup cashews soaked
- 2 lemons juiced
- ¼ cup of water + more as needed when blending
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb multicolored carrots
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon harissa paste
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- pinch salt
- ½ cup black lentils
- 1½ cups water.
- pinch salt
- Blend everything until smooth, adding water little by little as needed.
- Toss carrots with coconut oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Place the carrots on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes of until tender. Stir the carrots halfway through the baking time.
- Remove the carrots from the oven and toss in a large mixing bow with the harissa paste until the carrots are well coated.
- Rinse off the quinoa in a sieve. Put the water and quinoa in a sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed.
- Turn off the heat when the quinoa is fluffy and the water is all absorbed. Allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the black lentils.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, adding water as needed.
- In a bowl, start with about ½ cup of cooked quinoa.
- Arrange on the of the quinoa half of the roasted carrots, ¼ avocado (chopped or sliced), a handful of your favorite greens, and ½ cup of the cooked black lentils.
- Drizzle some of the Cashew Yogurt on top and garnish with lime, walnuts and some chopped parsley or cilantro and sprouts.