top of page

Savor the flavors of Spring with a Fresh Buddha Bowl

Grain Bowls aka Buddha bowls are making the rounds these days on recipe websites. The history I am told of the Buddha bowl is Buddha often traveled all day to see people and along the way, they gave him a food offering which he put in a large bowl. At the end of the day, he would eat the bowl as his meal. I can see where this would be true as the Buddha bowl has bits of different foods in it all at one time.

Today, the Buddha bowl follows a format of starting with grains and then adding other items. Buddha probably started with rice in his bowl, but any grain will work, the more ancient, the better.

Here are the components of a Buddha bowl, but not limited to:

Grains- Rice, quinoa, pasta, couscous, rice noodles, barley, farro, kasha, millet, and wheat berries.

Protein- Tofu, chicken, seafood, meat, seitan, tempeh, beans, nuts, Falafel, cheese and eggs

Vegetables- Sweet potato, tomato, cucumber, celery, carrots, broccoli, avocado, mushrooms, beets, eggplant, Brussels, squash, peppers, peas

Greens- Cabbage, spinach, sauerkraut, romaine, kale, Greenleaf, arugula

Toppings and garnishes- dried and fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, crunchy onion rings, olives, Hummus, fresh herbs, and spices

Dressing- Tahini sesame, carrot, any kind of vinegarette, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, peanut dressing

Buddha bowls are great for picky eaters and special diets because they can be made out of just about anything. They are also known as hippie bowls or macro bowls because of all the macronutrients they are filled with. I like to refer to them as a "nourish bowl" or " power bowl" Or sunshine bowls. You can't really mess up with a Bowl, everything goes but we will work with one recipe today to get you started. Smoothies even show up as bowls.​

Chef's Notes:

-A wide shallow bowl works best for individual servings. For a family, you can make a few different kinds or make one large one on a platter and share.

- Buddha bowls are a great way to pull together a quick meal with items that are on hand for meal prep.

- Don't worry about the bowl looking messy or busy, it's meant for sustenance and nourishment. The beauty is in the combination of flavors that are pulled together with the dressing.

-Now about the essential components you can use to build your bowl. but if you're looking for guidance, InStyle breaks it down as "15 percent lean protein, 25 percent whole grains, 35 percent vegetables, 10 percent sauce, and 30 percent extras, like nuts, seeds, or sprouts.​

To watch me make the recipe on Fox21 online news, click here

Buddha Bowl

This is a template for countless variations. The key ingredients of a Buddha grain bowl are grains, greens, vegetables, proteins, toppings, and dressing. The ingredients are approximate because you really don't need a recipe.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Quinoa cooked according to package directions 2 cups fresh spinach leaves 1/4 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup cooked mushrooms 1/8 cup peeled and chopped cucumbers 1/8 cup shredded carrots 1/2 sliced avocado 1 cup tofu cubes (see the recipe for Sesame Soy Tofu) 2 tablespoons French-fried onions (yep, the ones from a can)

Directions: Warm quinoa and place in the middle of a shallow bowl. Arrange the rest of the ingredients in the bowl. Top with favorite dressing.

Sesame Soy Tofu

I cooked this recipe in the air-fryer however, it can be done in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F. It won’t have the same texture, but the flavor will be the same!


1 pound extra-firm tofu

1/4 cup light soy sauce

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions: 1. Press tofu for 30 minutes in between 2 pans weighted with a heavy weight on top to extract the liquid in tofu. After it is pressed, cube into 1-inch pieces and set aside in a shallow pan to dry.

2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and toasted sesame seeds in a bowl and pour over tofu. Let soak into tofu for a few minutes.

3. Place one layer of tofu in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes or until golden in color on 360F. Take out of the air fryer when cooked and place back into marinade. It can be served hot or cold.

Sesame Tahini Salad Dressing

Excellent as a dipping sauce or dressing. Sesame tahini is available in most grocery stores.

Yield: 1 cup +

Ingredients: 1/4 cup sesame tahini paste 1 each lemon zested and juiced 1 tablespoon white miso 2 each garlic cloves minced 1/8 cup olive oil 1/8 cup light soy sauce 1/3 cup water 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions: Mix all together and whisk until smooth.

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”-Buddha


Featured Posts
Recent Posts