I was first introduced to the famous Buddha bowl when dining at one of my favourite restaurants, Fresh. These colourful bowls of fresh vegetables, combined with some sort of protein, grain and a delicious dressing had me hooked right away. While most restaurants can cater to a gluten free diet for breakfast or dinner, lunch can be a challenge beyond your standard green salad. I often find myself leaving a restaurant starving after lunch, as lettuce won’t keep me going for very long. I need some substance to my salad and the Buddha bowl is the answer.
Buddha bowls seem to be relatively new to the foodie world. Often seen as a vegan dish, Buddha bowls have been transformed in all sorts of different ways to cater to any taste and preference. Alexandra Lein, a vegan and popular Instagrammer, eats lots of Buddha bowls (about half of her meals). She describes them as: “a nourishing meal that’s just little bites of everything”. At their core, Lein said, Buddha bowls are about “balancing the different types of food that you eat,” and not eating too much of any one thing.
My go-to Buddha bowl ingredients include quinoa, chia seeds and avocado. I normally cook up a big helping of quinoa for the week and add it to whatever fresh ingredients I have on hand that day. You can also find a lot of delicious dressing recipes online but a standard tahini sauce or vinaigrette usually does the trick.
Buddha did eat from a bowl. He carried the bowl around the area he was visiting and the locals would contribute whatever ingredients they had on hand. While Buddha probably didn’t see any cucumber stars or purple cauliflower rice tossed in his bowl, his dish likely ended up looking pretty healthy with a balance of nutritious food.