Now that you’ve read about all the sex you could ever want to hear about from our BVT Mom bloggers, let’s move on to something we can really get jazzed about…food. Last week for lunch I fried up some frozen vegetable dumplings. Both Trader Joes and Costco sell these, and they are minimally processed. As if the heaping plate of fried dumplings (because who steams them?) wasn’t enough, I was still hungry. I proceeded to decimate a ¼ bag of tortilla chips and a half jar of salsa. AS IF that STILL wasn’t enough to give my body nourishment, I horked down two homemade chocolate chip cookies that my mother in law had made us. I washed it all down with a big glass of unfiltered city water and still felt like I was missing something. So I ate a bag of my kid’s gummy fruit snacks to just top off the meal.
I was like the human version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar up in here.
No, I’m not pregnant. PMS-ing…likely. Either way, I ate entirely too much food and had a belly ache to keep me company the rest of the day.
Then while wasting time doing some research on Instagram I came across a health nut showing off her daily workouts. I was impressed by her stamina and felt immediately inadequate, but that’s social media for you. I did however notice her meal plan: Buddha bowls. I had not heard of these meals but was of course drooling (yes even though I was still full) over the colors and textures of the food she was eating for lunch. I needed to get on this trend.
Essentially a Buddha bowl is a large bowl filled with various types of healthy food, all from different food groups.
The food is supposedly piled high in the bowl and resembles the belly of a Buddha…or the belly of say, this writer who has binged entirely too much lately. Typically you want to have a grain, some veggies, and a form of protein to round out the meal. All of this is topped with a dressing if you wish. It’s like a big salad but better or a healthy rice bowl. I don’t know about you but after I have a basic salad, I feel smug and happy that I’ve done something good for my body. But my soul feels neglected and eventually I cave in and eat a bag of Doritos just to give my soul some much needed nourishment. But when I eat a salad that is well rounded (i.e. all food groups represented)…life is complete. So let’s move on to an example of a Buddha bowl meal. Keep in mind a few things…you really can do anything here; this is just one example that I made the other day.
Indian Spiced Buddha Bowl (Because I could eat Indian food every day)
Quinoa (you can use another kind of grain to your liking…brown rice?)
1 can Chickpeas (again, you can use any kind of bean you like)
1 handful of cherry tomatoes or any tomatoes you have around
1 Onion diced and divided
4 cloves garlic minced and divided
1 small knob of fresh ginger minced
Curry powder and/or Garam Masala
Handful of Kale or other dark green
Mixed fresh veggies of your choice: diced cucumber, shredded carrots, chopped scallions, diced tomatoes
Dollop of plain yogurt
Lemon and Olive Oil
Make the quinoa—sauté half the onions and half garlic in a little oil in a saucepan. When translucent, add in the quinoa and cook for a few minutes, toasting it lightly. Add some salt. Add some turmeric. Add the water and cook according to the package directions. If you want a richer tasting quinoa, use vegetable stock. Set aside. Once cooked, the quinoa can be stored like this for a few days in the fridge.
Make the chickpeas—open a can of chickpeas, drain and rinse. In a sauce pan with lid, fry up the remaining onions and garlic, and ginger. Add in some curry powder and some garam masala spice and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in chickpeas and a handful of cherry tomatoes. Let this cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. You’ll want the cherry tomatoes to become mushy and “melt” into a sauce with the chickpeas. Set aside. Again you can make this ahead of time and reheat.
Assembling your Buddha bowl:
Find a big a** bowl. Nothing bothers me more than having to eat in a too small for the meal kinda plate/bowl. Add in about ½ cup each of quinoa and chickpeas and a handful of kale. I salted the kale lightly. Put in the microwave to heat for 1 minute. Again, these are just my measurements, use your judgment. Once you’ve heated this, you can then add in your fresh cool veggies. I also topped mine with a dollop of plain yogurt for some extra richness. If you’d like a dressing you can add in your favorite or you can squeeze in a bit of lemon and a little olive oil. I’ve seen some recipes use tahini dressing and many others.
Other option add-ins:
Tofu, cheese, roasted vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, and or meat. Although I believe Buddha was a vegetarian, so if you add meat, you probably don’t want to call it a Buddha bowl. Maybe just call it…um…meat bowl? That sounds gross. Don’t do that. Just skip the meat.
I love the textures in the Indian Spiced Buddha bowl meal. You’ve got the mushiness of the quinoa and chickpeas with the crunch of fresh veggies. I also like that some part of the meal is warm and it’s topped with cooler veggies. If you don’t like your food touching, this meal is NOT for you.
But if you’d like your mouth to have an orgasm of taste sensation (whoops, the sex posts were last week), then this meal is definitely one to add to your weekly rotation.
Also, gentle readers, with these types of posts, I’m always worried that you might think I have nothing better to do than just whip up new recipes. I’m worried you think I’m a health nut, and my house is perfect with just the right amount of pottery barn class and my children play with nothing but wooden hipster block toys. Tis not true. My toddler peed on the couch last week and my six year old’s fish tank is emitting an odor reminiscent of a stagnant pond. We’re far from perfect over here. This is the state of my laundry (only about ½ of it), and my kitchen. The struggle is real people. Now, go ignore everything, except the toddler playing with scissors, and make a Buddha bowl.