Buddha Bowls: Appealing to the Eyes and the Gut

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I have to admit: the first time I heard the words “Buddha Bowl”, I asked myself what on earth it was. It turns out that its synonym is “grain bowl”. I know you carnivores out there still have no idea what I’m talking about! As a hard-core-carnivore myself, I had to Google it. Basically, Buddha Bowls, aka grain bowls, are very simply bowls filled with nutritious food like greens, grains, healthy fats, seeds, etc.

My research on Google didn’t glean too much as to why it’s called Buddha Bowl, but there is an interesting article explaining its possible origin here , if you’re interested. A quick trip to Pinterest will offer some mouth-watering pics of various Buddha’s Bowls. Oprah has given her thumbs up with recipes here, and if you want some “Weight Loss Buddha Bowls,”, you can find them here. If you didn’t catch it, these bowls are meat-free. So it take it from the Hard Core Carnivore (that’s me!), that these mouthwatering recipes from Buzzfeed will encourage you to make that leap to have at least one meat-free meal for the day. I won’t tell if you add meat, though 😉

Here’s a delicious recipe for two to get you started, from Lazy Cat Kitchen:

**I’m editing the recipe from the original author’s website for those of us in the US**

Ingredients

-½ cup uncooked couscous or quinoa (for GF version)
-½ cup cooked chickpeas
-20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
-1 medium cucumber, diced
-1 small zucchini, sliced thickly
-1 small eggplant, sliced thickly
-15 black olives
-handful of fresh mint, chopped thinnly
-¼ pomegranate, seeds only
-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
-salt & pepper
-3 tbsp olive oil
-½ tsp chilli
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp sweet paprika
-a few slices of preserved lemons, store-bought or as per the recipe below

QUICK-PRESERVED LEMONS (optional) – make at least a day ahead
-3 small organic lemons
-1.5oz lemon juice
-1 garlic clove, crushed with the knife edge
-½ chilli, chopped (optional)
-2 tsp sea salt
-1 oz sugar  (maybe honey would be better here? Sugar is tasty, but cancer-causing)

Method
1. Prepare the couscous or quinoa. Set aside for10 minutes.

2. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small pan on medium heat. Saute garlic until soft and fragrant. Add tomatoes in, season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté them gently until they start releasing their juices, but take them off the heat before they start falling apart.

3. Brush eggplant and zucchini slices with a little bit of oil and grill them on a griddle pan until cooked on both sides. Sprinkle with salt, cumin, paprika and a touch of chilli afterwards.

4. Fluff up cooked couscous with a fork, mix it with chickpeas, pomegranate seeds and freshly cut mint.

Season with salt to taste.

5. Divide olives, grilled veg, raw cucumber, couscous and sautéed tomatoes between two bowls. Use garlicky oil and tomato juice as a dressing. Serve with a few slices of finely chopped lemon.

QUICK-PRESERVED LEMONS
1. Cut lemons in half lengthwise and then into very thin slices, as thin as you can.
2. Pound 1 tsp of salt and chilli in a pestle and mortar until you get a thick paste.
3. Place chilli paste, the rest of the salt, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Add lemon slices and rub the sugarsalt (or honeysalt) mixture into them. Stick crushed garlic clove into the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day prior to using.

Writer Bio: CJ Heath

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