Liven Up Your Lunch With Buddha Bowls

You may have noticed Buddha Bowls (BB) popping up all over the place. And for a good reason – Buddha Bowls are a triple threat: they look beautiful, they’re customisable and easy to make, and they taste tremendous.

These rainbow-coloured offerings, which also go by ‘Macro’ or ‘Hippy’ bowls, are beautifully balanced meals; big bowls featuring grains and veggies. Instead of buying your BB, get creative and design your own by experimenting with outside-the-square ingredients, as well as flavours, herbs and spices that all hit your hunger spot. Then, top off your creation with your favourite dressing to pack a punch.

When you set out to DIY your BB, the only rule is – the more colour and texture, the better. For a meal maxed-out with fibre and vitamins, go by these guidelines:

Get going with whole raw, sautéed or roasted grains. Use just one, or a combo of the following to make up about ⅓ of your bowl

  • Rice: brown, black, red or wild
  • Quinoa: tri coloured, white or red
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Farro
  • Couscous: plain or pearled

Next, whack in two or three different roasted, raw, grilled or steamed veggies; enough to make up about ⅔ of your bowl. Have a forage in your fridge to make the most of what you’ve got in stock. Here are some ideas:

  • Carrot
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet potato
  • Mushrooms
  • Pumpkin
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Capsicum
  • Daikon
  • Baby Spinach
  • Kale: massaged
  • Salad mix
  • Rocket
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli or broccolini
  • Bok choy: steamed or fried
  • Cauliflower

Next, whack in two or three different roasted, raw, grilled or steamed veggies; enough to make up about ⅔ of your bowl. Have a forage in your fridge to make the most of what you’ve got in stock. Here are some ideas:

  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Tofu: marinated
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Beans: any kind
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas: baked or raw
  • Falafel or lentil patties
  • Broccoli

Use any dressing that adds flavour flair and makes your ingredients sing. If you’re sticking to tradition, try adding a couple of flakes of nutritional yeast to your dressing. It’s a sensational source of vitamin B and is available at your health food store. Tie your bowl together with one of these delicious dressings:

  • Tahini Plain: 1 tbsp unhulled tahini, juice of half a lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water, season to taste
  • Sumptuous Satay: 1 tbsp peanut butter, juice of ½ a lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water, season to taste
  • Hot Stuff: mustard, olive oil and vinegar
  • Asian Savour: 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, season to taste
  • Honey Honey: ½ cup fresh or frozen peeled mango, ¼ cup coconut aminos, 1-2 cloves garlic, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Tahini Plus: as above, add lemon juice, maple syrup, season to tas
  • Mayo Magic: mix a bit of water, salt and oil with 2 tbsp of mayo
  • Big Yum: 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 7 tbsp mixed omega-3 oil or flax oil, 6 tbsp Balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp date or maple syrup, 1 clove sliced garlic, season to taste
  • Avo Ace: 1 avocado, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, ¼ cup fresh coriander or parsley, juice of 2 limes

Next, whack in two or three different roasted, raw, grilled or steamed veggies; enough to make up about ⅔ of your bowl. Have a forage in your fridge to make the most of what you’ve got in stock. Here are some ideas:

  • Seeds: toasted sesame or Nigella
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Pickled ginger
  • Micro-greens
  • Fresh herbs
  • Edible flowers
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Pickled radish
  • Tamari seeds: mix sunflower seeds and roasted pepitas in a frying pan, then add tamari to coat
  • Sprouts: mung bean, lentil, chickpea, alfalfa and beans

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