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The formula you need to make a perfect vegan Buddha Bowl every time

Quick Take 

Although people have been making one bowl vegetarian meals cross-culturally for centuries, they gained popularity in the United States in 2013 when the term “Buddha Bowl” was coined. Buddha Bowls often consist of grains and vegetables aesthetically arranged in one bowl, drizzled with a sauce or dressing. Here's how to make the perfect buddha bowl recipe at home (pro tip: start with the MamaSezz Buddha Bowl base). 

On this page

The Buddha Bowl base

The plant-based protein

The veggies

The Buddha Bowl sauce (oil-free)

Bonus vegan Buddha Bowl toppings

1. The Buddha Bowl base

Use 1-2 cups of 1 or more of any of the following grains or starch:

Rice:

  • Brown Rice
  • Red Rice 
  • Wild Rice
  • Black Rice 

Quinoa

  • White Quinoa 
  • Red Quinoa 
  • Black Quinoa

Grain-free raw buddha bowl base options:

  • Riced Cauliflower 
  • Leafy Greens

Pre-cooked Buddha Bowl grain base options:

Or make things really simple and choose one of these MamaSezz ready-made Buddha Bowl base options!

2. The plant-based protein

beans

Your plant-based protein will make up about 1/4 of your total Buddha Bowl.

Beans and legumes

  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) 
  • White beans 
  • Black beans 
  • Lentils 
  • Edamame beans 
  • Lima beans

Other plant-based protein options

  • Diced, seasoned, and baked tofu
  • Baked tempeh 

3. The veggies

 

 


Choose as many veggies as you like! Traditionally there are 3-5 different veggies, including plant-based protein sources like beans or tofu (listed above).  

Raw veggies

  • Shredded carrots
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Shredded or small diced beets
  • Sliced or diced cucumber
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced or diced red pepper
  • Thinly sliced or diced red onion
  • Sliced or diced avocado
  • Chopped celery
  • Shaved fennel
  • Shaved radishes
  • Greens
  • Snow peas 

Roasted veggies

Splash any of the below roasted veggie options with a little Tamari and garlic powder, or lemon juice and garlic powder. Roast on a nonstick pan or parchment paper in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until soft. Feel free to roast any of the veggies listed under “raw” as well, except for greens, shaved radishes, cucumber, or avocado. 

  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Diced onions
  • Diced sweet potatoes
  • Sliced or diced zucchini
  • Diced squash
  • Chopped leeks
  • Fiddleheads
  • Sliced brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Falafel 

4. The Buddha Bowl sauce

The sauce is by far the most important aspect to a perfect vegan Buddha Bowl. 

Keep it simple

Oil-free dressing and sauce recipes:

Lemon Garlic Dressing

Ingredients

2 lemons, juiced

1 teaspoon of lemon rind 

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1/4 a cup of soaked cashews

a dash of black pepper

2 teaspoons of mustard

2 dates

1 teaspoon of parsley water for blending  

1 Tablespoon of chia seeds

Instructions

1. Blend All ingredients except for chia seeds until creamy.

2. Stir in the chia seeds and set aside for 10 minutes

3. Pour over your salad and enjoy

Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients

1/4 cup of water

3 TBSP of tahini

2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar

2 dates

1 clove of garlic

1 small pinch of sea salt

1/2 a lemon, juiced

1/2 cup of fresh parsley

1/2 cup of arugula  

Instructions

Blend together until smooth

Sesame Lemon Dressing

Ingredients

2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar

2 TBSP of water

½ a lemon

2 TBSP of tahini

1 TBSP Dijon

1 TBS of honey

2 cloves of garlic, minced

A few TBSP of fresh parsley

A dash of sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

Blend ingredients until smooth

Creamy Garlic Dressing

Ingredients

1 teaspoon tahini

1 clove of garlic

1 lemon (juice)

½ avocado

½ teaspoon of maple syrup or agave or date syrup

½ cup water

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Blend together until smooth.

Cilantro Lime Aioli

Ingredients

½ cup of soaked and drained cashews

the juice from 1 lime

1 tsp of maple or date syrup 

1 tsp of chopped shallots

1/3 clove of garlic a dash of sea salt

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro

A little less than a cup of water

Instructions

Blend together until creamy 

Chipotle Aioli

Ingredients

1 cup of raw, soaked cashews*

½ cup water

1 chipotle pepper (large for more heat, small for less heat)

½ lime (juice)

½ lemon (juice)

1 TBSP of maple syrup or agave

½ tsp garlic powder

Sea salt, and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Blend ingredients until smooth

Bonus vegan Buddha Bowl toppings

Add texture and additional nutrients with these delicious vegan toppings.

  • Roasted or raw seeds (pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds…)
  • Roasted or raw nuts (cashews, peanuts, almond slices, walnuts, pecans…)
  • Chia seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chopped green onions
  • Small diced red onion
  • Shaved radish
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Chopped fresh herbs
  • Sprouts

Key Takeaways 

A Buddha Bowl is a healthy vegan lunch that will fill you up until dinner time. Make the perfect Buddha Bowl by following these steps.

  • Start with a base of fiber packed grains, like the ready-made MamaSezz Buddha Bowl base
  • Add your plant-based protein: beans, tofu, tempeh, etc.
  • Load on the veggies - raw or roasted both work great!
  • Drizzle on your favorite oil-free sauce. We love MamaSezz vegan ranch dressing
  • Add texture and extra flavor with fun plant-based toppings like sprouts, fresh herbs, chopped seeds or nuts, green onions, and more! 

 

By Caroline DiNicola Fawley

Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

What you should do now

  1. We have been where you are and we’ve helped thousands of people (just like you) transition to eating a plant based diet. If you are looking for a guide that can help you with some of the big questions, and dramatically reduce your stress, this FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating is a great place to start.
  2. If you're interested in Weight Loss, Download this fantastic FREE guide Ultimate (little) Guide to weight loss
  3. If you’d like to learn about plant-based living go to our MamaSezz Blog where you can read hundreds of “How To” articles. If you’d like to learn about plant-based cooking go to our Recipes Section for easy step by step favorites.
  4. If you enjoyed this article, then so will your friends, so why not share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Email




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