How to Make a Buddha Bowl

Jul 22, 2016 @ Project Juice

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier than ever with the help of a Buddha Bowl! Think of it as the reframing of your dinner plate. 

Sometimes known as abundance bowls, macro bowls, hippie bowls or rainbow bowls, a “Buddha Bowl” is a bowl full of fresh, healthy, ingredients that are thrown together to create a delicious and nutritious meal that looks rounded at the top like “a Buddah belly” (hence the name).

The beauty of these meals are that they are incredibly simple to make and can be suited to fit any dietary lifestyle/restriction/preference while boasting the benefits of being colorful and surging with nutrition.

Now, where to get started?

You can either create a one-time “themed” feast or, better yet, batch prepare and cook a bunch of delicious components that can be thrown together throughout the week for quick, healthy meals.

Think washed + cut raw or roasted vegetables, boiled grains, cooked beans or proteins, homemade dressings in mason jars, etc. Also, opt for seasonal, local ingredients when possible. This will help create variety in your bowls while also treating your body to the best quality produce that nature has to offer during the season, not to mention it supports local farmers!

Follow along to see the basic components of a buddha bowl and ideas for a successful meal. Challenge yourself to include as many colors as possible in your bowl. Varied colors = elevated nutrition from many different sources, ensuring your body receives enough protein, vitamins, and minerals. Aim to create a rainbow with your meals!

What are the components of a Buddha Bowl?

STEP 1: Add in the Veggies

Veggies should make up the majority of your bowl since they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and enzymes that will keep Experiment with adding many different types, lightly cooked in different ways (raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, etc.) to create texture and maximize nutrition in one meal!

Try any combination of: RAW massaged kale, arugula, spinach, romaine, carrots, radish, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers; LIGHTLY COOKED broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, brussel sprouts, peas, corn, mushrooms, etc.

STEP 2: Choose a Starch

Starches are wonderful to add during colder months or when you’re simply feeling the need for a heartier dish. Starchy vegetables and whole grains can help stabilize blood sugar levels and control appetite.

Try: sweet potato, squash, quinoa, brown rice, oats, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, farro, soba noodles, etc. 

STEP 3: Pick a Protein

Proteins help produce and manage enzymes within the body and keep your metabolism running smoothly. Adding mostly plant-based protein to your buddah bowl will help keep you fuller longer. 

Try: chickpeas, beans, lentils, edamame, tempeh, organic tofu, poached or fried eggs, wild-caught fish, responsibly-sourced lean meats, etc.

STEP 4: Add a Healthy Fat

Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are wonderful for heart health and weight maintenance. Including these healthy fats into your bowl will keep you satiated.

Try: avocado, nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans), seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds), coconut shreds.

STEP 5: Dress It Up

Depending on your ingredients choices, your dressing could be as simple as lemon juice + olive oil, or something more complex like tahini sauce with garlic + orange juice + sesame oil.

If you’re using leftovers, you may not need dressing at all since your ingredients are likely already seasoned. Use your judgment on whether your bowl would benefit from a specialty sauce or if the flavors already speak for themselves. Keep reading for more ideas on themed bowls below!

OPITIONAL: Stack on the “Toppers”

Again, depending on the direction you’re taking your bowl, adding some extras on top can boost nutrition and taste! Try: hummus, guacamole, sea vegetables, sprouts, raw sauerkraut or kimchi, nutritional yeast, spice mixes, fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, mint, chives).

Pro tip: Want to make your own sauerkraut? Try our Cumin-Garlic Sauerkraut blend. 

Build your Buddha Bowl: Ideas
  • Asian Inspired, Repurposed Breakfast: steel cut oats, coconut oil, kale, adzuki beans, kimchi, pea shoots, garlic and flax. Find directions and full recipe for this easy to make Buddha Bowl.

Try our Asian-inspired, savory oatmeal buddha bowl!

  • Southwestern: a bed of shredded romaine lettuce, topped with carrots, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, quinoa, black beans, salsa, guacamole, and lime juice.’
  • Mediterranean: spinach, red onion, cucumber, tomato, grilled eggplant, farro, chickpeas, sesame seeds, hummus, parsley + mint, and a tahini + garlic + lemon + olive oil dressing.
  • Super simple: arugula, shredded carrot + beet + zucchini, millet, chickpeas, avocado, walnuts, sprouts, and a simple lemon + olive oil + dijon dressing. 

There are truly endless possibilities when it comes to creating a Buddah Bowl. Simply throw together your favorite go-to staples, or branch out by trying a new dressing or combination of ingredients.

The true beauty of bowl meals are their flexibility in varied flavors, textures, temperatures, and colors that lead to a yummy, satisfying, and truly healthful meal!

Author: Marra St. Clair

Co-Founder of Project Juice, Marra also holds a certification from Long Beach Dance Conditioning as a Pilates instructor, and is also a certified personal trainer from the Academy of Sports Medicine, a certified Gyrotonic instructor, a certified nutritional consultant and a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner. When she is not coaching people through Project Juice, she is a highly recommended personal trainer and Pilates instructor.