What is a Buddha Bowl?

by Miriam Hahn

If you spend any time scrolling food blogger feeds on Instagram or Facebook, you know that a popular food trend is Buddha Bowls! 

What are they, and why the hype? Buddha bowls are a delicious meal balanced with protein, fat and fiber making them super filling and satisfying, along with packing in a variety of produce making them very nutrient dense! Plus, using beautiful and colorful produce makes them so visually appealing!

Why are they called Buddha bowls? Some say buddha bowls originated 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.

There a few key ingredients to include when making a satisfying buddha bowl:

  • Greens, layered as your base
  • Protein source like beans, tofu or falafel
  • Roasted veggies
  • Raw veggies
  • Dressing

I like to prep a few of the items on the weekend which makes these quick to throw together for lunch or dinner. 

Here are 3 of my favorite combinations:

Tofu Buddha Bowl

  • Greens 
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Yellow pepper
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets (raw)
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado 
  • Spicy Tofu
  • Cilantro Ranch Dressing (plant-based)

Spicy Tofu

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Press out tofu to remove excess water by taking it out of the package and putting it in a wide shallow bowl, placing a flat plate on top of that and then adding something heavy like a cast iron skillet. Let it sit like this for about 30 minutes and then pour out the excess water.
  2. Cut tofu into large chunks, spray with avocado oil and toss with store bought sauce like spicy Szechuan or Teriyaki.
  3. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway.
  4. When done put in a bowl and toss with more sauce. Then add to your bowl!

Cilantro Ranch dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp water (more if needed)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Add all ingredients to a mini food processor or blender and mix until smooth. 

Mediterranean Bowl

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Kalamata olives
  • Sesame seeds
  • Arugula
  • Olive Oil, vinegar, salt & pepper for dressing

Falafel Bowl

  • Arugula
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Roasted garbanzo beans
  • Raw carrots
  • Falafel
  • Hummus

Falafel recipe

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour (sold at Whole Foods in a small package)
  • 1/2 tsp each:  coriander, pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup cooked peas
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put beans, onion, garlic, parsley, carrot, lemon juice, flour & spices in a food processor. Blend until fairly smooth and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Stir in peas
  4. Form into 8-10 patties and cook 15 minutes on each side

For other buddha bowl ideas scroll my Instagram here

Miriam Hahn is the owner of YouCare-SelfCare a private wellness practice, specializing in plant-based lifestyle and disease prevention. She is a certified wellness coach and a graduate of the Cornell University Plant-Based Nutrition Program.

Her services include online wellness and cooking courses, virtual boot camp programs and plant-based cooking classes/ group wellness classes held in Phoenix.


Follow along on Instagram & Facebook for hundreds of plant-based recipes! https://www.instagram.com/youcare.selfcare/?hl=en 


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