Buddha bowls are an amazing post-workout meal that can be packed full of the protein, veg and carbs necessary to refuel, recover and nourish your body.
Buddha bowls can be so versatile, and you can’t go wrong as long as you stick to these building blocks:
The Carb Base:
This could be anything from brown rice (red, black or golden rice are also wonderful whole-grains), quinoa, buckwheat groats or sweet potato.
Absolutely any kind of protein you like! Whether you’re keeping things plant based and go for something like tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, black beans or lentils or, you’re going for a meat or fish option such as salmon, tuna, chicken, beef steak or pork loin (I tend to stick to these as they don’t take long to cook and can be pan-fried in just a few minutes).
Choose some of your favourites veggies, try to make sure you get at least two colours of veg in there and a cruciferous vegetable such as, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower or watercress, (they contain cancer-fighting compounds, reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar through their high fibre content, are linked to reductions in heart disease, and contain oestrogen balancing compounds, so yeah… they’re pretty awesome!).
Make sure to add some monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs) if your bowl is lacking them. Oily fish, like salmon, is a great healthy fat source that contains omega-3 fatty acids (a type of PUFA) in the form of DHAs and EPAs. However, if you’re lacking healthy fats add some seeds and nuts like sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, flax seeds and hemp hearts, chia seeds, or some avocado! (The satay sauce I make for my buddha bowl also contains some healthy fats from the rapeseed oil and peanuts).
This is what is going to turn this bowl of blah into something incredible!! It will bind the flavours together and make the whole thing much more enjoyable! Don’t feel you need to limit yourself to just one either; sweet chilli and satay sauce are a fabulous combo! Some of my favourites include: Teriyaki, satay, creamy tahini, katsu curry and sweet chilli (Recipes coming soon!).
Satay Sauce Recipe:
One red onion chopped fine
3-4 tbsp Crunchy peanut butter (I use this one from Aldi as it’s 100% nuts and no palm oil!)
1 ½ tsp rapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 small red chilli or 1tsp chilli flakes
A thumb sized piece of ginger
Approx. 4 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp miso paste
The juice of a whole lime
½ – 1 tsp fish sauce (omit this if you’re keeping things plant-based)
- Fry the garlic, onion, ginger and chilli in the rapeseed oil until fragrant and golden (around 2-3 minutes).
- Add the peanut butter and coconut milk followed by all the other ingredients and whisk to combine. Cook for around 4-6 minutes until the sauce reaches the desires consistency (I like mine quite thick).
Pictured Buddha Bowl Recipe:
1 cup of cooked Quinoa
½ cup of braised red cabbage (you could also finely grate the red cabbage and have it raw)
Firm Tofu (I buy the tofu co. naked tofu)
Half an avocado
Sesame seed garnish
Satay sauce (see recipe above)
- Cut your tofu into long rectangles and whip up a quick marinade with the around 2tbsp of soy and a sprinkle of chilli flakes (leave to rest for at least 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, lightly steam the broccoli and asparagus for around 5-7 minutes then blanch them in some cold water to stop them getting overly soft and make your satay sauce (alternatively prepare some sauce ahead of time and keep it in a jar or container in the fridge).
- Fry your tofu into a large pan with a splash of oil until golden on both sides (sesame oil adds a great flavour). Remove the tofu from the pan and fry the asparagus and broccoli until cooked to your liking (splash over with the remaining marinade from the tofu for extra flavour and seasoning).
- Now it’s time to assemble your bowl! Quinoa at the bottom followed by a layering of tofu your greens, the braised red cabbage and some avocado. Don’t forget a good dollop of the satay sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and chilli flakes.