I'm sure you've seen them everywhere, there's no denying that buddha bowls are popular! You can find them all over social media and they've been making their way onto cafe menus. All for a good reason too, they're one of our favourite easy weeknight meals since they're so customisable; perfect for throwing together leftover ingredients into a delicious dinner. We love them because they're super tasty, super simple and often super healthy too.
You may be wondering what I'm talking about when I say they're simple and easy, some of the photos you see on social media look like they've been served up straight from a gourmet kitchen, but in reality there are a few easy elements that make up a great buddha bowl: the theme, the base, the protein, the greens/veggies, and the toppings.
Finding your buddha bowl inspiration is always the hardest part. Our favourite way is to look at what we have left in the cupboards and think about what cuisine it would work best for. For instance, if we have half a block of tofu left the natural thing is for us to make an Asian themed bowl. If we find ourselves with some black beans, we'd probably look towards making something more Mexican. Another great way to find inspiration is to look on Instagram. You only have to search for "#buddhabowls" and you'll find so many amazing looking meals to get your tummy grumbling!
This is often what makes up the bulk of the bowl. We tend to look for things that are quite high in carbs, things like regular potatoes and sweet potato. We also like to use different grains as a base. Quinoa and rice are the two most popular in our kitchen, but you could try something else like bulgar wheat or couscous. The idea is to find something filling that goes with your theme, so if we decided to make an Asian tofu bowl we'd normally use some kind of rice, long grain and wild rice are a personal favourite of mine.
The next step is to make sure you're getting all the healthy good stuff in. As vegans, we have to be thinking about where our protein is coming from with most meals. We've even made a whole post about it which you can check out here! Our favourite proteins would have to be tofu or some sort of beans like chickpeas, we also love black beans, seitan and tempeh. With our Asian example, tofu would be our main source of protein.
The greens & Veggies:
Now it's time for everyone's favourite bit, the veggies! We usually like to use a mix of colours to ensure we're getting a well-balanced diet. Mixing some salad greens with some tomatoes and roasted veg (like courgette and aubergine) would be perfect for a Mediterranean bowl. For our Asian bowl, I would use typical Asian ingredients such as pak choi, thinly chopped carrots, edamame beans, red pepper and maybe some kimchi. A Buddha bowl is the perfect opportunity to get creative with ingredients and flavours.
This is my favourite part since you can really have fun with flavours. A great topping would be any kind of dressing or even something as simple as a squeeze of lemon or lime. For the Asian bowl, I would try adding on top some Sriracha mayo, chopped spring onion, chopped radish, nuts or sesame seeds.
Do you have a favourite buddha bowl? We’d love to hear what you think. Leave us a comment, like, or share this post with your friends.