The Buddha bowl, wellness bowl, power bowl. What ever you like to call it you know its packed full of life giving nutrients and a pretty good "fad" if you ask me.
Isn't it interesting when a whole food meal is named a fad. Everyone is that confused about what is best to eat today, what is missing is that what is good for YOU to eat is as individual to you as your fingerprint.
The fad of the Buddha bowl is thought to go back to when Buddha collected donations in the form of food in his bowl he carried with him through the villages, not so much a fad at all i don't think, just a mish mash of what would have been whole grains, root vegetables, preserves and fresh produce.
The great thing about this magical bowl is that you can customize it to what ever you know to be good for YOUR body.
Confession: I don't like to cook. This is something my boss (who I love), loves to give me stick for "A nutritionist that doesn't like to cook ?" Yes, that's me!
The thing is that like many others in my generation and before I come from a home that served only over cooked vegetables as a child and if you stayed with the grandparents the degree of how dead the poor vegetable was, was 3 fold.
This put me off vegies as a kid. Boiled cabbage and spinach? Gag! I did love salads though, and fresh peas out of the garden, who doesn't? They taste so alive and nutritious strait from the pod.
Fast forward to today and I still love to eat food that has "energy" in it. I love smoothies and smoothie bowls as you can pack as much fresh nutrients in as you like and on the occasions when my husband is away I will have one for dinner. When he is home however and now I have a wee on of my own the Buddha bowl is my thang.
The only cooking required is a bit of boiling or baking of your starch and perhaps a bit of sauteing. Its so easy and you can add whatever you have in the fridge, literally cramming as many different nutritious items in your little Buddha bowl as you desire, you know you are getting 5x the nutrients and antioxidants you would get in any other standard dinner meal.
Below are my tips on how to build a great Buddha bowl, make it perfect by making it yours.
- Start with a bed of greens→ They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. I always start my bowl with a base of greens. I like arugula, spinach, or kale to get as many nutrients into my body as I can. i love to finley chop my greens and massage my chosen dressing in to them and let them sit while i prep the other items.
- Add a starch→ Starches, like yams, pumpkin, quinoa, brown rice, etc. are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates to fuel your cells. These foods give us lasting energy to power our muscles, brains and more.
- Load on the veggies → We should all be aiming to eat the rainbow every day. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t. We need a variety of colors to get various phytonutrients, minerals, anti-inflammatory, and cancer fighting compounds into our bodies. From broccoli, to tomatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, there’s got to be something out there you will enjoy. Play around with shapes and textures here, i like to very finly shred my carrots and beetroot but cube and saute the zucchini.
- Pick a protein→ While the protein obsession these days is a bit crazy, protein is an absolutely essential macronutrient that is crucial for enzyme production, hormone production, oxygen transport, muscle development, and so much more. There are nine essential amino acids, all of which you can get from plants! Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine. Some of my other favorite plant proteins include tempeh, beans, and lentils.
- Add the healthy fats→ The healthy fats in buddha bowls are what will keep you satiated for longer. Fats slow gastric emptying (how long it takes food to leave your stomach), so they keep you full for longer. Additionally, they also contain essential fatty acids to soften your skin from the inside out and give you a golden glow! think avocado, olive oil (lime or garlic infused is amazing) or flaxseed oil, nuts if you want a bit of crunch.
- Spice it up→ The key to eating more veggies is to make sure they actually taste good! Don’t be afraid to load on the herbs and spices, or healthy dressings and little pops of flavour like olives, goji berries or even pickled ginger.