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Build Your Own Buddha Bowl: A Hearty, Healthy Work Lunch Idea

Unless you’ve had one before, you probably don’t know what a Buddha Bowl is off of the top of your head.

If you guess it’s some sort of harmonious gathering off foods, you’d be on the right track. You might also think that it’s some sort of a meat-free creation. Ding-ding-ding! It’s also pretty obvious that, whatever it is, it comes in a bowl.

A Buddha Bowl is a hearty meal comprised of different vegetarian elements. The dish can be hot and cold, depending on your preferences. A swirl of tahini sauce or dressing tops it all off for a flavorful combination of foods that are both good for your body and pretty darn good for your taste buds, too.

Here’s how to build one all on your own:

1. Choose a Base

Typically a Buddha Bowl’s base is comprised of greens, like spinach, arugula, romaine or kale. Grab a handful for the bottom layer of your Bowl.

2. Add Veggies

Add a combination of cooked and raw veggies to your leafy base. You can use the recipes below to inspire your selection, or make a decision based on what’s in season at the moment.

3. …and Vegetarian Proteins

A Buddha Bowl wouldn’t be complete — or filling — without a hearty helping of vegetarian protein. Try garbanzo beans, sliced tempeh or even a crumbled-up veggie burger in your next bowl. If you aren’t a vegetarian, some Buddha Bowl creators sneak chicken or other meats into their creations.

4. Scoop on Healthy Grains

You’ll get a bit more heartiness from the addition of a hearty grain. A scoopful of barley, quinoa or millet, for example, will do the trick.

5. Sprinkle Nuts and Seeds

Now, it’s time for a bit of healthy fat in the form of nuts and seeds.

6. Top it off With Dressing

Again, let your own tastes determine how to top off your Buddha Bowl. It could just be some oil and vinegar that ties everything together, though you might want something bolder, like a flavored dressing. Go with your gut — and your cravings at the moment. You won’t be disappointed.  

If you’re not feeling up to kitchen creativity, here are five Buddha Bowl Recipes to get you started:

  1. Rawmazing’s Buddha Bowl

Build Your Own Buddha Bowl: A Hearty, Healthy Work Lunch Idea

There’s no heat required in making this Buddha Bowl, which mixes one cup of quinoa with raw corn, avocado and olives. The creator suggests substituting cauliflower rice for quinoa if you want a completely veg-centric experience.

  1. Fit Foodie Finds’ Vegetarian Brown Rice Bowl

Build Your Own Buddha Bowl: A Hearty, Healthy Work Lunch Idea

Another meat-free recipe that incorporates brown rice, red-pepper hummus and hemp seeds.

  1. Emilie Eats’ Greek Quinoa Bowl

Build Your Own Buddha Bowl: A Hearty, Healthy Work Lunch Idea

This bowl incorporates hummus as well, but that’s about all it shares with the Fit Foodie’s Buddha Bowl. Instead, you’ll get all of the flavors of Greece: chickpeas, cucumber, parsley and lemon included.

  1. The Healthful Ideas’ Black Rice Bowl

Build Your Own Buddha Bowl: A Hearty, Healthy Work Lunch Idea

With antioxidant-packed black rice as its base, this Buddha Bowl is healthy and super tasty. A squeeze of homemade tahini tops it all off.

  1. The Fitchen’s Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls

Build Your Own Buddha Bowl: A Hearty, Healthy Work Lunch Idea

The roasted cauliflower, broccoli and sweet potatoes in this bowl might just make this your go-to winter meal.

What are your favorite Buddha Bowl combinations? Let us know in the comments section below.

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