What is a Buddha Bowl?
A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian meal, served on a single bowl or high-rimmed plate, which consists of small portions of several foods, served cold. These may include whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice, plant proteins such as chickpeas or tofu, and vegetables. The portions are not mixed on the plate or in the bowl, but arranged in an "artful" way. The concept appeared in 2013 and has grown popular since early 2017. Buddha bowls have been compared to Nourish Bowls (a non-vegetarian version) and to Poké Bowls (a Hawaiian raw fish dish).
What is it called Buddha Bowl?
There are several explanations for why the name refers to Buddha. It may originate from presenting a balanced meal, where balance is a key Buddhist concept, from the story of Buddha carrying his food bowl to fill it with whatever bits of vegetarian food villagers would offer him, or from the overstuffed bowl resembling the belly of Budai, a 10th-century Chinese monk often confused with Buddha.
How to Make a Buddha Bowl
The basic formula is to start with the base ingredient of your choice – often grains, leafy greens, or both – and then add a variety of toppings, which usually include diced and sliced vegetables. The final components are a source of protein, like chickpeas, tofu, or lean meat, and a light drizzle of dressing.
Depending on the recipe you choose to follow, the dish can contain a whole rainbow of ingredients and be seasoned in any number of ways, but the basic formula always remains the same. And the best part is, just about every Buddha bowl out there is simple to make and jam-packed with filling nutrients and vitamins that aid weight loss and overall health.