A Buddha bowl is all sorts of healthful goodness piled in abundance in a single bowl. They tend to be very beautiful, and have an ability to make people more appreciative of a meal than usual. Perhaps it's because of the care that is often taken in their preparation and presentation? I'm not sure, but there is something about a bowl like this that re-frames the food at hand, and reminds us just how beneficial, miraculous, and powerful each ingredient we use can be. I think of them as being generally balancing, centering, restorative - vegetarian or vegan. And, I've always thought the term Buddha bowl derived from the the idea that eating out of a single bowl, as I understand the Buddha did -- or, like some of the monks I've seen at dawn gathering food for their daily meals in Thailand and Sri Lanka -- is special.
I've highlighted a favorite Buddha Bowl here. It's strong on a number of points. Green, filing, and fast to pull together, particularly if you have cooked quinoa on hand already. It's a bowl on green overdrive - doubling up on broccoli by using it in a coconut curry pesto and using the florets on their own as well. You toss it all with a quinoa base, and top with whatever else you have around - avocado, micro greens. The base ingredient list is, literally, seven ingredients long, and there is a lot of room for flexibility - part of the charm of a bowl like this. :)
I'm posting a video of the process here, you can see me pull it together, and you can find the recipe down below as well.
You can certainly do a version of this bowl any number of different ways. I can imagine a yellow curry version with cauliflower and brown rice (or millet) in place of the broccoli. Or a non-curried version with a more traditional pesto.
Vibrant Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl
3 cups cooked quinoa*
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
1 tablespoon green curry paste
2 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
Optional toppings: microgreens, hot sauce, sliced avocado
Heat the quinoa and set aside.
Cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, curry paste, garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, salt, lemon juice, and coconut milk in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with about 1/2 of the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want to add more of the pesto a bit at a time, or you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds, and any other toppings you like - some slices avocado, greens or sprouts, and/or hot sauce are all good fits.
Serves 4 - 6.
*To cook quinoa: rinse one cup of quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa, two cups of water (or broth if you like), and a few big pinches of salt until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside.
Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes