You have probably seen Buddha Bowls on restaurant menus, and some of you have probably tried it already. They boomed back in 2017. Now the hype has subsided and it is more of a staple in our country, I would like to talk about it, because it is awesome for anyone who is working out, or simply wants to eat healthy foods. 

What is a Buddha Bowl?

Buddha Bowl is more like a concept rather than a recipe in itself. It is a clever combination of different ingredients that can be served both hot and cold. It is awesome because once you know the basic rules of it´s creation, you can make an unlimited amount of varied and healthy meals for yourself. It´s like food LEGO! 

The reason I decided to cover this topic today is because it is truly versatile and is perfect for:

  • Everyone 
  • Vegans 
  • Vegetarians 
  • Anyone who wants to eat healthily 
  • Anyone who wants to achieve their fitness goals 
  • All of the above

The basic rules of Buddha Bowl will allow you to create a perfectly balanced meal, without weighing stuff or worrying too much about whether you can eat it or not. 

It has a crazy amount of benefits! Of course, they depend on the ingredients you choose, but in general:

  • It is high in fiber, which will keep your satiety level at bay, and will help digestion. 
  • It is highly hydrating and provides your body with the fluids it requires.
  • It may help you lower your cholesterol levels.
  • It is very high in antioxidants, no matter what you put in it. 
  • It is crazy delicious, and it makes you feel PUMPED! 

Are you getting hungry already? Let´s have a look at how you can make it:

First, prepare a bowl. Make sure it is big enough to fit everything in. 

Always start with a base. The base is normally some form of green leaves, such as lettuce, watercress, leafy greens, spinach, kale, cabbage, radish, collard greens, beet greens, etc. 

Next, you add your carbs, which of course need to be healthy carbs, such as brown rice, sweet potato, pumpkin, barley, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, etc. Depending on your health and fitness goals, you may add more or less of these, as they are high in calories. 

After that, you need to add your fresh vegetables, which include pepper, cucumber, tomato, carrot, broccoli, zucchini, etc. You should include 2-3 types of vegetables in one portion. 

Then you add your protein. Most people use vegetarian options, such as quinoa, tofu, legumes, paneer, sprouts, etc. However, if you are not a vegan – feel free to add some roasted chicken or prawns. 

We are still missing some crunch! So add some seeds or nuts. Not only they will make it tastier, but also will help in creating a complete protein if you went for a vegan option. Complete proteins are crucial for our health. Protein is comprised of 20 amino acids; 11 of these amino acids are produced by the human body. For good health, we must get the other nine amino acids (called “essential amino acids”) from the foods we eat. When a food contains all nine of these amino acids, it is called a “complete protein.”

Optional: Some people like adding something sweet to their Buddha Bowls, such as fruits or berries. You can give it a try and see whether you like it or not. 

Finally, add some sauce. It can be absolutely any sauce. You can simply season with olive oil and lemon juice. You can mix yogurt with chili peppers and paprika, you can make nut butter or tahini with honey and garlic, or you can make cashew cream (to do this, soak cashews in hot water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water, add a little clean water and beat in a blender until the consistency of sour cream).

As you can see, following these rules you can have a million versions of one meal. So what´s the secret? If you can put anything in it, how do you make it taste nice?

Very simple. Think of your favorite flavor combinations, or cuisines and use what you would use in those meals. Here are a few ideas:

  • Tex Mex
  • Falafel 
  • Thai curry 
  • Korean
  • BBQ
  • Italian 
  • Sushi 

So what is a Poke Bowl? 

I would say that Poke Bowl is a variety of Buddha Bowls. It typically contains fish, mostly tuna, edamame beans, and a specific dressing flavor. Poke bowls are Hawaiian in origin. Whereas Buddha Bowls came to us from Asia.