A nourishing bowl of black rice, pea shoots, pickled carrots & spiced chick peas.
You can find a lot of theories as to the origin of the Buddha Bowl. Everything from a story of the monks walking door to door with a bowl collecting food to the resemblance a heaping mound of grains and veggies has to the belly of a buddha. My theory? People simply love alliteration. Buddha is already a fun word to say. Pair it with “bowl” and you have marketing gold.
No matter what the bad story really is, the words Buddha Bowl just kind of warm my insides. Buddha Bowl. Buddha Bowl. It sounds like a hug.
I made these particular bowls up one morning in anticipation of hosting a close friend and her son for the afternoon. My Mister will tell you I have THE most diverse group of friends spanning vast breadth along the personality spectrum. It is quite true. They are each precious to me at different levels and in different ways. Much like the foods I eat, I am grateful for the role they fill at various times in my life. And I think – I know – I am a better mom, wife, friend and human spirit as a result.
For this particular lunch date, a Buddha bowl matched my dear friend quite perfectly. She not only adds sunshine and beauty at the surface, but she is good for my soul. After time spent with her, I know I have done my spirit a true service. I enjoy every minute of our time together PLUS I know what I will take away from our visit will serve me well going forward. Just like our bowl – tastes great AND is good for you.
While there is a recipe below, the best thing about these nourishing bowls of goodness is they are incredibly versatile. There really are no rules, just a basic formula.
Pretty Bowl + Grain + Vegetable + Bean-y Protein + Leafy Green + Awesome Sauce = Buddha Bowl
In the spirit of the bowl, I would keep it vegetarian and heaping full of clean, whole foods. I have made them with couscous, quinoa and even some really chewy wild rice grains. There are a lot of bowls that tend to feature a more substantial starch like sweet potato which I think would be brilliant and serve as a pretty hearty dinner. The crunch of the chick peas and the sprouts in this bowl were quite pleasing. (My first attempt was with butter beans was a mushy disaster.) Like most salads, the secret is always in the sauce and tahini is a great peanut-y flavoured dressing that provides brings all the components together.
So invite a dear friend, make them this bowl and nourish your body AND soul.
- 1 cup cooked black rice (prepare according to package instructions
- 4 medium carrots, spiralized
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil (coconut, olive or canola)
- ⅔ cup of canned chick peas
- 1 teaspoon five spice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon orange juice (or lemon or lime)
- half english cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 - 5 radishes, thinly sliced
- ½ head green leafy lettuce
- 1 cup pea shoots
- Prepare black rice (or substitute with couscous, quinoa, white rice) as per package instructions. Set aside and let cool.
- In a small bowl add carrots, water, vinegar, sugar and salt and let stand 4 hours to overnight to pickle. The shorter they soak, the less potent the pickle but still good.
- In a heavy skillet or cast iron frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat. In a small bowl toss chick peas with spices to coat. Add to frying pan for about five - seven minutes, tossing frequently. You want to achieve a nice char so the skins split and they get crunchy. When done, remove from heat.
- For the dressing, combine the tahini, maple syrup, tamari, sesame oil, orange juice and whisk to combine. Add a small amount of hot water to thin if necessary.
- To assemble one bowl, make a bed with the green lettuce. Add ½ cup of rice to the middle. Surround with rice with chick peas, cucumber, radish, carrots (reserve liquid) and shoots. Spoon a couple teaspoons of vinegar mixture over rice and drizzle bowl with tahini dressing.