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  • Writer's pictureOC Edwards Co

Buddha Belly? Then 'Buddha Bowl'

The idea of an 'all vegetable' bowl, common today as a 'Buddha Bowl' - takes its moniker from none other than Martha Stewart. Observing Buddhist monks in her book, Meatless, monks she was observing were easily satisfied to receive anything that donors were willing to provide them in their bowls. In the process, a novelty of straight-on mixing anything and everything became a glorious happenstance - such is the way of the Buddha, not ironically enough.

The idea of mixing vegetables like this is not new - however the recent (Western) craze of receiving a meal in a single bowl is a bit of a novelty. The practice of such a bowl can be found quite easily with the Korean bibimbap or the Hawaiian (via Japan) poke bowl are first cousins of the Buddha.

What distinguishes the Buddha Bowl, and why we endeavored our own, is that it's novelty lies within it being strictly vegan. According to what we've read - it should have a layer of brown or wild rice, or a tofu base, then layer on the vegetables according to what you may have or by preference.

That said, in the variety of ones we made, there is a bit of an art. We do not recommend just throwing what you have in your bowl. Finding complementary acids, sweets and sours is not to be done haphazardly - in fact, it could ruin the bowl. Although we only list the one recipe below, there are infinite combinations. We recommend capturing which ones work and what do not. Keep in mind you can create tasting bowls with the ingredients until a satisfying whole is found.

The good news is, because of the 'grain' base and the choice of dressing, you will hardly go wrong. We do warn a lot of prep is involved, and a bit more than we were expecting!

Yet, considering the time spent in pandemic, we were happy to discover this bowl now - it has been helpful to shed some pounds. We also like the ideals of Buddhist mindfulness that one can pause and reflect upon when eating a truly guilt-free dish.

In our recipe, our based was brown rice and on top we placed thinly sliced red cabbage, halved cherry tomatoes, green onions, avocado, steamed broccoli, edamame, garbanzo beans (canned), sautéed (olive oil, garlic, vinegar) Portobello mushrooms, mini bell peppers, firm tofu, pickled red cabbage and kale. We topped it off with Alfalfa sprouts and a generous helping of a homemade carrot and ginger dressing, then some sesame seeds for additional crunch.

An additional component of this meal is that you can place all of your choices out on the table and allow the family to build it as they prefer. They were able to omit, layer or get extra to make their own bowl unique.

Considering the ingredients, we were happily surprised we were more than satisfied and feeling awake and alive. The ingredients keep well and we easily had a meal the next day.

How will you make your Buddha Bowl? We can't wait to see!

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