Buddha bowls should be filled with vegetables, sprouts, grains and protein, either a variety of seeds or legumes. Although it is originally a vegan dish, less strict variants with boiled eggs, cheese or even meat are also possible. After all, it is not a traditional dish with a philosophical touch. The concept originated in the nineties of the last century, apparently in Australia.
Although of course there is some inspiration from Asian cultures. According to a Zen priest Dan Zigmond the name Buddha bowl may derive from the fact that the Buddha ate from the bowl: “Every morning he would wake up before dawn and carry his bowl along the roads or paths wherever he was. Local people would put food in a bowl as a gift and he would end up eating whatever he got.” he told the American gourmet portal Epicurious. “This was the original Buddha bowl: a large bowl of food that villagers had available and could afford to share.“
Buddha bowl vs. poke bowl
You may have already encountered the term poke bowl – both dishes were created at the same time and the difference between them was clear at first glance.
While in the case of a Buddha bowl it was a vegetarian or vegan meal with lots of vegetables, seeds, nuts or legumes, a poke bowl always included tuna or shrimp and other seafood, as well as rice. Today you can also come across a version with chicken and the like.
After all, it doesn’t matter exactly what you put in the food and what you call it, the advantage is that you can tailor it to your taste and what you have in the fridge or pantry.
More is better
If the Buddha Bowl had to be summed up in one word, it would be diversity. The more vegetables and seeds, the better. In addition to salads and fresh vegetables, boiled or roasted vegetables are excellent. The main thing is that the bowl plays with all the colors from green to orange to brown and yellow.
It is important to balance and combine proteins with vegetables, which should dominate the meal
How to prepare
In addition to the perfect symbiosis of all the necessary nutrients, the buddha bowl has another advantage, which is its easy packaging and the fact that the food does not have to stay warm. So it’s great as a lunch for work or on the go, where there are no limits to your imagination, so you can prepare something a little different every day.
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Food is served in bowls made ideally from coconut shells. The reason is aesthetic and, of course, emotional – the bowls are usually made without the use of chemical or synthetic substances.
Vegetables in many ways
There should be a representative of the salad in each bowl. Whether it’s fresh spinach, bugle, arugula, chicory or any other. Lettuce must be washed, dried and chopped by hand.
Fresh vegetables are not always easy to digest. Cutting into small pieces, noodles or grating will help. It can be, for example, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage — for everyone’s taste.
You can supplement fresh vegetables with boiled or baked sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini or broccoli. Again for everyone’s taste and imagination. In order to preserve the nutritional value, steaming is suitable. You don’t need a special pot for this, just put the vegetables on a steamer for cooking or steaming, which in Czech cuisine is mainly used to heat dumplings. In addition to vitamins, the rich color of vegetables will be preserved.
Another important component of the meal is grains, be it spelled, buckwheat, bulgur or rice. A slightly nutty flavor is given by quinoa, which is excellent in combination with e.g. with caramelized onions, and from time to time we could also use semolina, which was a pillar in the kitchen of our ancestors.
Foods with high protein content
An indispensable component of the buddha bowl are foods with a high protein content, which play a key role in the growth of muscle mass or tissue formation and quality. In a normal diet, we should have 12 to 15 percent protein. “The body needs 0.8 g of protein in the diet per kilogram of ideal weight so that we do not lose muscle mass. If you exercise, the body already needs 1.4 g of protein/kg body weight for muscle regeneration. explains Katerina Šimkovánutritionist for healthy eating.
Proteins are very versatile and can easily be adapted to all tastes and dietary restrictions. We find them mainly in meat, dairy products and eggs. Legumes are a significant source of vegetable protein. Ideally beans, peas, chickpeas or all types of lentils.
Tofu, tempeh, robi and other vegan dishes also contain protein.
What makes the Buddha bowl so special is the variety of “splashes”. At the end, sprinkle the bowl with whole seeds (sunflower, pumpkin…), nuts (cashew, pine…), herbs and sprouts. You can sprout almost anything – lentils, mustard seeds, but also rocket, chickpeas or even broccoli. Sprouted seeds contain a range of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes.
Finally, it is possible, but far from necessary, to cover the dish with dressing. Of course, given its content. If you have roasted vegetables in it that are already soaked in olive oil, you probably won’t need any dressing.
In the same way, if you took care in preparing the beans, the subsequent topping could overpower the taste.
In other cases, the dish can be topped with dressing. The combination of honey, cashews, honey, olive oil and a few drops of lime juice works great.