Recipes, Uncategorized

Balanced Buddha Bowl

I think that a good Buddha bowl should be a combo of several different whole food’s portions that, all together, will create a delicious nourishing meal – we’ve spoken before about the bowl concept here. It should provide balance, comfort and health to the body and soul. Some say that the term came from the tale of Buddha caring his bowl to be filled by whatever vegetarian foods villagers would offer.

Balance can be difficult to achieve. We tend to float up and down, like a roller coaster. Our journey towards balance, however, can start with small steps: improving our sleep hygiene, follow our principles, meditation, connect with people, or even minding our diet. Eating well can be seen under very scientific perspective, but it can also be incredibly simple.

Whilst completing the Nutrition course, I came across the “The Eat Well Guide” (Department of Health, 2007). It breaks down the idea of a well-balanced and healthy diet into 5 food groups. It is a very simple, adaptable and accessible guide/method, based on servings (relative amounts) of each food group. Each group can be adapted to each person’s food options: there are alternatives for animal’s products, dairy and animal’s by-products, which are the ones I adopt. Our food consumption should, according to this guideline, be split in:

  • Bread, cereals and potatoes: 33%
  • Fruits and vegetables: 33%
  • Pulses, beans and  lentils: 12%
  • Plant-based milk (soy or nuts): 15%
  • Fats and sugars (plant-based and wholefood): 8%

The “Eat well Guide” can be very helpful: it is adaptable to every age, it is very flexible (can be tailored to each one’s needs), gives a clear message that not only you need variety for a balanced diet (no food has got all necessary nutrients), but also you don’t need to cut out some foods altogether: it’s all about proportion.

I do not measure every single meal I eat, but when I look at my plate I like to see that balance in it. Today’s Buddha bowl is a good example of how I try to apply the “Eat Well Guidance”: it has a bigger percentage of veggies, (dried) fruit and cereals, followed by the beans (protein element), the seeds and nuts (provide healthy fats and rich in nutrients and minerals such as iron, calcium and selenium). This recipe also has a good balance of macronutrients, such as complex sugars (carbs), protein, good fats, and fibre, as well as a boost of vitamins and minerals.

Spices can be nutrient-rich! We tend to not include them on our nutrition equation, but the truth is that they can do wonders to our health. They provide us with a lot of minerals and many other nutrients that will make our bodies happy.

The recipe

Gather all your ingredients. This selection of ingredients will be used for every portion of different foods that will compose the Buddha bowl.

Wholegrain

Cook the barley and once ready top it with a dash of olive oil and some Italian herbs mix (thyme, sage and oregano).

The veggies

To cook the squash, cut it in irregular thumbnail size pieces. Place them on a tray with olive oil and salt, and then cook it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Golden sliced spring onion with a dash of olive oil in a frying pan. Chop all the veggies and add them to the frying pan along with the spices and water. You don’t need to use exactly the same ingredients that I did for this recipe. Explore your fridge and adapt the recipe according to what you have!

Cook all in medium-high heat for 20 minutes. Once ready, add the sunflower seeds and mix all.

Note: leave 1/3 of the carrot to use it in the beans.

The beans

Golden finely sliced onion in a frying pan with a dash of olive oil.

Then add the chopped tomatoes, sliced carrot and ½ cup of water, with three bay leaves (burn slightly the edge of each leaf to intensify the flavour) and let all cook for 10 minutes. Finally, add the beans and let it cook for 5 minutes more.

Prepare dressing

Prepare the dressing by blending together all the ingredients (cashew, sage, garlic, salt, squeezed lemon juice, water) until it gets a homogeneous creamy consistency.

Now just prepare your bowl by serving portions of the different foods into a bowl and topping all with the sauce.

Bon appetite!

Balance BUDDHA BOWL

Lactose-free, soy-free, plant-based (vegan)

2-3 servings

Level of difficulty: medium

Preparation time: 45-50 min

Ingredients:

Ingredients for the wholegrain:

  • 120g of barley
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs mix (thyme, oregano and sage)

Ingredients for the veggies:

  • 4 spring onion
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2/3 of a big carrot
  • 5 stem broccoli
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 3 tbsp of raisins
  • 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of sunflower seeds
  • olive oil
  • salt

Ingredients for the beans:

  • 75g of tomatoes
  • 1/3 of carrot
  • 100g of kidney beans
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 100g cashews
  • 120 ml of water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 full tsp of ground dry sage
  • Salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Directions:

The barley
  1. Cook the barley with 3 cups of water for 30 to 40 minutes and then turn off the fire and leave the lid on for 5 to 10 minutes without draining the water.
  2. Once ready, top it with a dash of olive oil and some Italian herbs mix and stir it.
The veggies:
  1. The squash: cut it in half lengthways, peel the skin, remove the seeds and chop it in irregular thumbnail size pieces. Put them on a tray, drizzle it with olive oil and salt and stir with your hands to spread it evenly.
  2. Pre-heat the oven in 190 °C for 5 minutes and then place the tray in the oven and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  3. The veggies: slice the spring onions and golden them with a dash of olive oil in a frying pan for 2 minutes in medium heat.
  4. Then chop all the veggies and add them, along with the raisins and 1 glass of water to the frying pan. Add the spices: 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of cumin.
  5. Cook all in medium-high heat for 20 minutes. Once ready, add the sunflower seeds and mix all

Note: leave 1/3 of the carrot to use it in the beans.

The beans:
  1. Finely slice an onion and let it golden in a frying pan with a dash of olive oil for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Then add the chopped tomatoes, sliced carrots and ½ cup of water, with three bay-leaves (urn slightly the edge of each leaf to intensify the flavour) and let all cook for around 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and cook them for 5 minutes more.
Prepare the dressing
  1. Prepare the sauce by blending together all the ingredients (cashew, sage, garlic, salt, squeezed lemon juice) until it gets a homogenous creamy consistency. Add gently the water when needed, in order to help to blend.

Serve the portions of the different foods into a bowl and top them with the dressing.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and you feel the balance and comfort that a veg bowl can give!

If you liked the recipe, please share it on social media! Thank you.

Rita

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