3 Steps to the Best Buddha Bowl

Sarah Heckler, MS, RDN/LDN, CISSN

Buddha Bowls are the new trend in the foodie world that I am 100% supportive of. Buddha bowl is a fancy name for a bowl full of plants. Typically these bowls consist of vegetables, plant proteins and sometimes eggs.

Why do I love this trend so much? It’s getting people to eat more vegetables and plant proteins, which are lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD). There are many benefits to eating a plant based diet including; diabetes prevention, weight loss, heart health and hypertension control. The Harvard School of Public Health suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure as well as lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Buddha bowls may seem intimidating at first, but following these steps will help you make nutritious buddha bowls in no time!

Start With A Protein

Choosing your protein first will ensure that each bowl will have a good protein source, remember protein aids in keeping us full, building muscle and plays an important role in immunity. Some buddha bowls include eggs as the source of protein however, many focus on plant proteins such as;

  • Almonds and Almond butter
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Cashews and Cashew butter
  • Chia Seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Fava beans
  • Flaxseeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts and Peanut butter
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pinto beans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Soy and Soybeans (edamame)
  • Tofu
  • Walnuts

Load Up With Veggies

Once you have selected your protein, add on as many veggies as you’d like. You can also add in your favorite grain however, I would choose the colorful carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, first. The more color in your bowl the more nutrients you will be consuming.

Plus, it will make for one gorgeous looking bowl of food! Remember, we experience food with all of our senses. Our eyes are the first to encounter food and if it does not look appealing to us we are less likely to eat it. Indulge your eyesight and create beautiful dishes.

Here is a list of vegetables divided by color to help in planning your buddha bowl:

  • Red: kidney beans, beets, bell pepper, onions, tomatoes
  • Orange: bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, yams
  • Yellow: bell peppers, summer squash
  • Green: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, bean sprouts, bell pepper, Bok choy, broccoli, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, green beans, leafy greens, okra, peas, zucchini
  • Purple: cabbage, eggplant, potatoes
  • White/tan: cauliflower, mushrooms
  • Grains: brown rice, quinoa, barley, amaranth

Make Meal Prep a Cinch

Choose 2-3 proteins and a handful of vegetables to roast/cook ahead of time. Having all of your ingredients cooked ahead of time will allow you to mix and match ingredients to create endless possibilities of meals throughout the week with little effort.

Cooking and meal prep can be a family affair. Your kids can help in picking, washing and peeling the vegetables. Expert Jamie Oliver has some tips on how to get children involved in cooking. Getting kids more involved in cooking may have an impact on the foods they choose. Research suggests that getting kids involved in cooking positively influences their food preferences and behaviors leading them to choose healthier options. They are also more likely to eat the food they helped to prepare.

Have you tried this trend? We would love to hear about your buddha bowl creation. Share your recipe below or snap a picture, post it on social media and tag us!