This is an ode to my love for Buddha Bowls. They have become a staple for my family during this time at home. Why do I love them so much? There are a multitude of reasons. Some being:
The Base. The base is going to be made up of some sort of grain. This is where I encourage you to have fun and be adventurous. I use all sorts of grains, such as:
The Protein. I'm a vegetarian, so this one is definitely very important to make sure I get good amounts of protein. What I've used so far:
Sautéed Veggies. A portion of my veggies I sauté. Generally, this is where I incorporate my leafy greens (chard, kale, spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens...you get the picture), onions, cabbages, green beans, etc. Things that sauté well. I just want to make a point here that the combination of veggies does. not. matter. Your seasoning will bring it all together. Trust me on this one. My method is pretty simple. Warm some oil in a pan (my go-to lately has been sunflower or avocado). Cook onions and garlic first i you're incorporating them. Crunch veggies go next--such as your cabbages, green beans, asparagus. Leafy greens are the last part to get incorporated, because they take the least amount of time to cook. The key here is to not overcook your veggies. You will notice a point in time where the colors of your veggies become this beautiful bright, vivid, vibrant color. Stop here. Turn the stove off. Add in your seasonings. Harissa, Curry, Garlic, Adobo...whatever is speaking to you that day.
Roasted Veggies. The next component is some sort of roasted veggies. Think chunky and starchy. Potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower. This part is simple. Coat with oil. Salt and pepper only. If you're going for Asian flavors, use Soy Sauce or Tamari. Other than that, nothing else. Roast on 350 until the veggies are cooked and still have a little crunch to them.
Raw Ingredients. This is the fun part. The toppings. Think seeds, nuts, microgreens, sprouts, avocado, beets, etc.
The Sauce. This is where the flavor comes together. Toss in your favorite sauce, dressing, salsa, etc. Sriracha, Hoisin Sauce, a vinaigrette, whatever you are feeling that day. I recommend tying in the flavors. If your dish is Asian-inspired, go for a peanut sauce. Middle-Eastern? Tahini-based. Mexican? Maybe an avocado lime situation. You get the picture. You can search "buddha bowl sauce" and get about a million hits. You can't go wrong.
Building your bowl. This is the fun part. You're going to layer things in. Start with the base, the grain. Then add in protein, both veggies, toppings, and drizzle over the top your sauce and maybe some olive oil for extra smoothness. I always like some cracked black pepper at the very end. Don't ask me why, but it really completes it for me. (A random side note--start with smaller portions. It is surprising how big your layering can get, and then all of a sudden you literally have a mountain of food that you will feel like you can never get through).
THEN YOU DIG IN! Now do you see why this is the perfect meal? Prep ahead, and all it will take you the day of is 20 minutes max.
I hope this inspired you to create and build your own bowls. I post a ton of my bowls on my instagram. Feel free to pop over and check them out!