Buddha Bowls: Tasty And Healthy

A colourful food bowl bursting with proteins, vitamins and other vital nutrients is the new trend. Presented neatly for an Instagram diet story picture, who wouldn’t want to sign up for this?

By Shiny Lizia M

Buddha Bowls: Tasty And Healthy
A colourful Buddha bowl

Amidst the various healthy diet regimens advocated, Buddha bowls seem to be easy, light yet healthy option for many. Buddha bowls, nourish bowls, rainbow bowls, hippie bowls, macro bowls, yoga bowls, and so on are the many names that this recent popular diet goes by. Tracing its origin, the concept of Buddha bowls may have originated from presenting a balanced meal, wherein balance is a key Buddhist notion.

These interesting colourful bowls make a balanced meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are simple to make, beautiful to look at, nourishing and absolutely kid-friendly.

What goes into a Buddha bowl?

Here are the five major ingredients that a Buddha bowl is comprised of:

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Protein
  • Dressing
  • ‘Sprinkles’ such as nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts or spices

Loaded with vegetables, grains and proteins, Buddha bowls are highly versatile and easy to tailor to all tastes and dietary preferences. They are easy to pack and hence a great lunch box option. They offer many benefits!

Also read: Bento Box lunch ideas

Buddha Bowls: Tasty And Healthy
A yummy Buddha bowl bursting with nutrition

Benefits of a Buddha bowl:

  • Highly nutritious: It is packed with nutrition because of the balanced proportions of food groups in it. Further, it is antioxidant rich, because of the various coloured veggies and greens that are used. And, because very minimal cooking is involved, it conserves the loss of nutrients.
  • Aids weight loss: Its high fibre and protein-rich content contribute to active weight loss.
  • Reduces food wastage: It helps in managing food waste and leftovers, as anything available in your kitchen and refrigerator can be creatively included in a Buddha bowl.
  • Kid-friendly: Your little ones will be fascinated by these colourful Buddha bowls and enjoy prepping one of their very own. And, they will dig right into the bowl and eat it all up as they were involved in preparing it.

There's no perfect recipe to prepare a Buddha Bowl, and that's its speciality. Play around with different types of spices, herbs and dressing to find the combination that works best for you. Buddha bowls are mostly vegetarian, maybe even vegan; however, you can add meat according to your or your family’s preference.

To get you started, here are two healthy and tasty recipes to make Buddha bowls at home:

1. Broken wheat peanut Buddha bowl

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh salad greens (celery/lettuce/mint/coriander)
  • 1 cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 medium-sized carrot (julienned)
  • 1 cup boiled or roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cooked broken wheat
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • ¾ tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp sesame or olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Wash the salad greens and soak it in ice cold water before plating the bowl. Bed the bowl with the lush salad greens.
  2. Mix the cut vegetables and place them on the greens.
  3. Place the peanuts and broken wheat, layer by layer.
  4. Now add the oil, lemon juice, chaat masala, sugar and seasoning, and toss the bowl.
  5. Top the bowl with sesame seeds and serve.

2. Whole wheat pasta with veg fritters Buddha bowl

Serves: 3

Preparation time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta (boiled)
  • ½ carrot (julienned)
  • ½ capsicum (julienned)
  • 1 tbsp chopped, pickled olives / jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sesame or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

For fritters

  • 3 sweet potatoes or potatoes or a quarter pumpkin (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • ½ cup boiled green peas or cowpeas or rajma
  • ¾ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Boil the green peas with salt until tender and set aside.
  2. Boil the potatoes, peel and mash well.
  3. Add the boiled peas, ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, salt and coriander leaves to the mashed potatoes and knead well.
  4. Pat it and make small flat fritters and set aside.
  5. Mix the cornflour with water and make into a paste.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan. Coat each fritter with the cornflour paste and then the bread crumbs.
  7. Fry the fritters and set them aside.
  8. Boil the pasta until cooked and run it in cold water. Drain it completely.
  9. In a bowl, add the pasta, cut vegetables, seasoning and mayonnaise. Serve with the fritters in each bowl.

Note: You can replace deep-fried fritters with shallow-fried cutlets or falafels to make the dish more nutritious.

How to make a vegan Buddha bowl?

The term vegan denotes a pure vegetarian diet, devoid of animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy. In order to prepare a vegan Buddha bowl, make sure the protein you choose is either legume, pulse, nut or soy. Ensure the dressing you choose is devoid of dairy.

Some of the alternatives you could choose to prepare a vegan Buddha bowl are:

  • Tofu instead of meat, egg and paneer
  • Soy, almond or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk
  • Homemade mayonnaise, using vegetarian sources, instead of store-bought ones

Buddha bowls seem exciting, don’t they? So, if these colourful bowls are your latest attempt at weight loss or to improve your child’s nutritional requirements, start prepping with basic ingredients right from your kitchen shelf.

All you need to do is just remember the formula for the bowl:

Whole grains + protein + vegetables + dressing + sprinkles = Buddha bowl

So, go ahead and make a super Buddha bowl and surprise your family at mealtime today!

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