Vegetarian Zen Archive (Episodes 201 - 300)
What are Buddha Bowls?
Larissa and I are busy people, as are most of the folks in our community. Full-time jobs, kids, pets, and finding time for friends and family can make it challenging for anyone to plan meals, much less plan healthy meals. The siren song of Grubhub beckons all too often when we realize, after working, that we forgot to take a lunch break and failed to plan for dinner.
You can listen to us discuss Buddha Bowls here or read on for a quick summary:
Enter the Buddha Bowl…
I follow a LOT of vegan and vegetarian accounts on social media so I definitely see my share of Buddha bowl pictures. If you follow the same type of accounts I guarantee you’ve seen them too, even if you didn’t know what they were called.
Buddha bowls, sometimes called power, nourish, hippie, sunshine, or macro bowls, are bowls filled with vibrant, healthy food. While they are typically plant-based (and dairy-free), I have seen some variations that include fish or meat.
Why Are They Called “Buddha Bowls”?
I’ve read several explanations of why these delicious meals are called “Buddha Bowls”:
The shape of the bowl signifies Buddha’s belly
It’s “balanced”, just like the Buddha
It’s what the Buddha himself ate
While there’s no single definitive explanation regarding the name, one thing for sure is that these have absolutely helped us solve a few challenges we’ve faced with respect to our own eating and nutrition.
3 Reasons You Need Buddha Bowls in Your Life
When I really started researching Buddha bowls, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with them. They seem like the perfect solution to several food-related issues Larissa and I face with as two very busy people.
* Meal Planning. While we certainly have moments when our meal planning is on point, things can get pretty crazy. A Buddha bowl is a super easy, healthy meal to create on the fly. While some ingredients you choose may require advanced preparation (grains, noodles, etc.), there are many ingredients that won’t take much time at all. Once you have your ingredients prepped, you’re pretty much ready to go. The only thing you need to do is assemble them! While you can assemble ingredients ahead of time, some foods will keep better kept separately until you’re ready to eat them (dressings and sauces, for example).
* Variety. Many of the folks in our community have households made up of both omnivore and plant-based family members. This can make it tough to plan a meal that is healthy and versatile enough to accommodate everyone’s needs and tastes. By including Buddha bowls in your meal rotation, you can easily meet your vegan requirements and satisfy your gluten-free omnivore spouse or kids as well. Ingredients can be tailored in a way that pleases everyone.
* Meeting Nutritional Needs. Once you understand the basic components of a Buddha bowl (which we’ll discuss in the next section), you’ll realize how completely these amazing meals can fulfill all of most of our basic nutrition requirements. Your body is rewarded nutritionally by your creativity!
The Anatomy of an Amazing Buddha Bowl
Buddha bowls typically have five ingredients, though not just any five. The key components are:
Veggies and/or fruits
Nuts and/or seeds
The reason these specific components are important is that the combination of fiber, starch, protein, and grains provides you with a burst of energy and enables you to feel full longer.
The ratio of ingredients can vary, but the majority of the bowl should consist of vegetables (35-40%). This certainly isn’t set in stone,