Mindful Eating Challenge Day 18: Buddha Bowls

Day 18 – Buddha Bowls 

The concept of the “Buddha bowl” brings together many of the healthy  eating habits we’ve already explored.  Buddha bowls, sometimes call macrobiotic bowls, are one-bowl meals made of an assortment of cooked and/or raw vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and sauces.  They build upon macrobiotic principles such as eating seasonal vegetables, balancing flavors, and consuming foods in moderation.  The beauty of a Buddha bowl is they are incredibly versatile, nourishing, delicious, and easy to prepare.  They are a go-to recipe almost daily. 

Practice of the Day — Make a Whole Food Superfast Healthy Bowl

The idea of the is to make a meal in a bowl, starting with a simple base, using whatever ingredients you have on hand, and then adding toppings, condiments or a sauce.  Here is the basic framework for the bowl:

A) Pick a base by selecting a whole grain, starch or salad blend.
You could use sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, farro or any other whole grain that you have prepared.  Short on time? Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both sell precooked bags of whole grains.   You could use a salad as your base but it may not be as filling.  When I make salad-based bowl, I use a HUGE bowl. 😉 

B) Pick a bean, legume, tofu or tempeh.
I like to cook a batch of beans on the weekends so that I have ingredients for my bowls.  If you’re short on time you can go for canned beans but look for no/low sodium. Other options: crumbled veggies burger or lentils which are much quicker cooking than most beans.

C) Pick your vegetables.
Use any combination of vegetables that you enjoy.  To maximize nutrition I always incorporate a dark leafy green like kale, collard, baby spinach or beet greens (my personal favorite).  Salad greens like arugula and lettuce work great too.  For the other vegetables I try to use whatever is local and seasonal.  Lately I’ve been using fresh organic corn (so sweet right off the cob without cooking!), zucchini, and sautéed onions.  When I don’t have a lot of other fresh ingredients around I will thaw a bag of organic mixed vegetables.  Just be sure to look for no added salt or other “added” ingredients.

D) Pick your sauce and or condiments.
Most bowls are going to be relatively plain before this final step, so pick your “flavor bomb.”  You can use any sauce, salsa, or dressing that you enjoy. I try to use homemade oil-free sauces. If using prepared sauces, try to opt for SOS (sugar, oil, salt)-free.  Two favorites of mine are oil-free hummus from Whole Foods and the Lemon or Herbed Tahini sauce from Trader Joe’s. Salsa, a dash of hot sauce or sriracha can also jazz up a simple bowl.  A spoonful or two of these sauces will go a long way to add flavor to your bowls.

E) Finally pick any additional whole food toppings like toasted seeds, nuts, or fruit.  I also like to add fresh sprouts, avocado, microgreens, sauerkraut or kimchi, and nutritional yeast.

Today’s Recipe Ideas: Here are some great vegan bowl ideas to get you started: 

55-Vegan Dinner Bowls
These 8 Buddha Bowls look amazing!
14-Buddha Bowl Recipes to Satisfy Any Craving 



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