Like many of my favorite food bloggers, I have an affection for a hearty bowl loaded with a grain, veggies, & a creamy sauce. This kind of creation commonly goes by the name of the “Buddha Bowl.” Why? I’m really not sure, but I have a few ideas…
It is said that the Buddha embodies “grace, balance, compassion, wisdom, determination & courage.” So, how can I liken that to a bowl of veggies & grains? Well, for starters, I think those principals apply to many who are exploring the path of ethical veganism. It certainly applies to what I am trying to cultivate & practice in my own life. I’m not saying that the consumption of said bowl is a one way ticket to enlightenment, but I think the popularity of the “Buddha Bowl” in vegan culinary circles speaks to the kind of gentle message of well-being that we are trying to convey through our thoughtful plant based diets. And I know I certainly feel more graceful & balanced when I consume a meal that is composed of organic, locally grown vegetables, whole grains, & plant based protein.
It also reminds me of the Buddhist & yogic principal of “Ahimsa.” Ahimsa means kindness & non-violence towards ALL living things; it respects living beings as a unity, & the belief that all living things are connected. Ahimsa is something we practice daily when we refrain from consuming animal products. Not only are we not causing harm to animals, by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, we are not causing harm to our own bodies. We are what we eat, & when our diets are clean, balanced & compassionate, we are giving prana to that gentle spirit within us. Or, perhaps I’m getting a bit esoteric here, & maybe the name simply comes from, as Angela points out, the little “Buddha Belly” one will be rockin’ after consuming all of this goodness!
So, I guess I should get to the recipe, yes? Even though it hardly feels like winter around here, I’ve been craving comfort food! But, I’m also trying to consume lots of nourishing foods, & as ‘tis the season for flus, coughs & colds, I want to arm myself with healthy goodness to ensure winter wellness. When I received my latest delivery from Naturally to Your Door, I was instantly inspired by all of the brightly colored winter veggies that appeared before my loving eyes – purple cauliflower, chioggia beets, carrots, baby turnips & kale. Since my last roasted vegetable dish was so well received, it was only natural that I would strive to impress with another one. In the building of this “bowl,” I decided to use quinoa as my grain base (yes, yes, I know it’s actually a seed!), & included some steamed kale & sweet potato to serve along side the roasted veggies.
For a bit of extra protein, I tossed in some chickpeas. The dish was then drizzled with my absolute favorite “crack sauce” that was created by my good buddy, chef Katie. Seriously, this sauce. I can put it on EVERYTHING. I am also guilty of eating it straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Oh, yes, & for a final bit of goodness, I added a generous shake of gomashio.
- Roasted Winter Vegetables -
- 1 small cauliflower crown, cut into florets
- 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
- 1 bunch baby turnips, peeled & cut into rounds
- 2 medium chioggia beets, peeled & quartered
- 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
- pinch of Himalayan pink, or sea salt
- Seasoned Quinoa -
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 2 cups pure water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable
- “Better Than Bouillon”
- Lemon-Garlic Tahini Sauce (courtesy of Katie’s Healing Kitchen) -
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink, or sea salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- Additional add-ins:
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed & steamed until tender
- ½ bunch of kale, de-stemmed, chopped & steamed
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line one cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, carrots, turnips & beets, drizzle with oil & add a pinch of salt, mix well to coat. Place mixture on rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring once in between.
- While vegetables are roasting, add quinoa & water to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Add bouillon paste, & turn heat down to low. Cover & cook for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed & quinoa is fluffy. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining tahini, lemon juice, oil, salt, & water in a blender, or shake together in a jar.
- Serve roasted vegetables on top of quinoa, then add kale, chickpeas, & sweet potato & generous drizzle of sauce on top. Add some gomashio if desired.
I am so thrilled with how beautifully this bowl turned out! I think it is my most favorite recipe creation to date. I could eat this, or any variation of this, everyday. So hearty, wholesome & satisfying. Who says vegans only eat grass, twigs, & berries. Not in this house!
I’d love to know what your favorite “Buddha Bowl” variations are, & if you try this one, please let me know how you enjoyed it!