A Bad Ass Buddha Bowl in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by Lewis Robling on

Vegan Buddha Bowls: A Bad Ass Buddha Bowl in 5 Easy Steps

Buddha bowls are the bomb.

If you’re unfamiliar with these epic bowls trending on social media, Buddha bowls are kind of like mega salads for the clean eating set. Vegan-friendly grains, veggies, proteins and fixings are layered in a single bowl then eaten with the mouth and the eyes. That’s because Buddha bowls look as beautiful as they are nutritious.

The name Buddha bowl is a nod to Budai, the 10th-century wondering Chinese monk depicted throughout history as a cheery, broad-bellied Zen master, aka “The Laughing Buddha.”

Vegan Buddha Bowl: Five Step Process

A finely crafted Buddha bowl is like an artistic masterpiece. Fortunately, you don’t need a degree from a top tier design school to put together a vibrant vegan meal that’s deliciously nutritious and Instagram worthy—no filter required!

In fact, we’ve nailed the process for prepping the perfect vegan Buddha bowl in five so-easy-your-dog-could-do-it steps.

Before we begin, you’ll need a generously deep bowl for combining ingredients (Queue the shameless plug!!). Our Cocabana coconut bowls are perfect for this! But, if you don’t have one yet, a large soup bowl, which you may already have in your cupboard, works fine.

1. Lay Down the Grains

Your grain choice serves as the foundation of the Buddha bowl, and the first selection to place in the bowl. Take your pick from a colorful rice—red, black, or brown work nicely, quinoa, millet, or barley.

Or perhaps you want to get creative with winter squash, sweet potatoes, or whole grain pasta.

2. Get Varied with Veggies

Veggies are the next item to go into your Buddha bowl. There’s lots of wiggle room here with veggie prep and selection.

You can go raw in the bowl or cook the veggies to your preference. Our mouths happen to water at the thought of lightly roasted diced veggies with a pinch of seasoning, but you do you!

Imagination is the only limit to what veggies will work in your Buddha bowl. Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, Brussels, cucumbers, onions, avocado, and pumpkin are commonly used. Combinations of these veggies taste amazing while painting a colorful swirl in the bowl.

3. It’s Protein Time

The next step to achieving Buddha bowl nirvana is adding a protein. Proteins round out your Buddha bowl with hearty flavor and hunger-satiating substance.

For vegans, our usual protein sources are all welcome at home in the bowl. Our current winner is Tempeh! It’s sometimes a mission to find here in the UK, and we make the most of it when we do! Or toss in tofu, falafel, edamame, lentils, chickpeas or black beans (any type of legume works really well!). Or feel free to go nuts with pecans, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and the like.

4. Top it Off, Jack!

With your grains, veggies, and protein sitting pretty in the Buddha bowl, it’s time to pop the top with toppings.

Fresh fruit makes a fine garnish. You can’t go wrong with berries, grapes, apple, watermelon, pomegranates, pineapple or mango. Or double up on the veggies.. This is often our most common approach!

Nuts (especially if you’re using a protein layer like tofu or beans) and seeds answer the call with an enlightened crunch for your bowl. We dig sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds or granola.

5. Drizzle a Delightful Dressing

Raise your hand if you love salad dressing? We’ll assume you did because, well…salad dressing! We all have our faves.

As luck would have it, there are many light dressing options that come with all the taste and none of the guilt.

For example, tahini, which is basically sesame paste, lemon juice, and maple syrup, is a flavorful and colorful compliment to just about any Buddha bowl. Carrot ginger dressing accompanied by toasted sesame oil and sea salt is a slightly more complex way to go.

Spice fiends, fire it up with Sriracha. For a cooler approach, toss on your favorite hummus. There’s really no wrong way to dress your bowl.

There’s a Buddha bowl to fit every personal taste and diet philosophy. Our five simple steps make it easy to create dazzling bowls that reflect your personality, draw out your inner da Vinci, and look amazing on social media. And let’s not forget how healthy and delicious these bowls are too!

Finally, here is a Vegan Buddha bowl recipe for you guys to try at home. Feel free to use any of the 5 elements in your cooking!! Let us know what you think, and tag any creations on social media if you can, we appreciate all of the support we can get!

Cocabana: Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe (serves 4-6)

Element 1: Lay down the grains
Wild Rice + Sweet Potato
3 medium Sweet Potatoes
250g Wild Rice
2 Cloves of Garlic
4 Shallots
300g Mushrooms (any kind!)

Handful of Spinach
Vegetable stock cube
Olive oil (for the pan)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Element 2: Get varied with veggies
Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice
1 Broccoli Crown
1 Large head of Cauliflower
1 Clove of Garlic
Olive oil (for the pan)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Element 3: It’s Protein time
Marinated Sliced Tempeh
1 Pack of Tempeh (around 300g)
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp of maple syrup
1 Tbsp of soy sauce
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Element 4: Top it off, Jack!
Purple Slaw
1 Head of Purple Cabbage
20g of Creamed Coconut Paste
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Element 5: Drizzle the Dressing
Avocado Hummus
1/2 a Large Avocado
1 Tin of Canned Chickpeas (400g tin)
1 clove of Garlic
1 Tbsp of Olive oil
50ml of Water (more or less depending on how thick you want the hummus)
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)

The first thing you’re going to do is prep your ingredients, which should take around 20 minutes or so. I’m not the best multitasker so having to chop while frying at the same time never goes well… but again you can do you! Once everything has been chopped, sliced and diced, you’re ready to start cooking (Hint: my most recent birthday, I received a Zyliss chopper, you can tell I’m getting on a bit now, but I’m not joking…. It’s a game changer. Highly recommend it).

Step 1: Marinate the Tempeh
Slice the tempeh however you’d like it
Place it in a large bowl
Pour over the balsamic, maple syrup and soy and forget about it for a while. Let the tempeh soak in the flavours.

Step 2: Cook the rice
Add the rice to a pot, pour over the vegetable stock and cook according to the packet instructions. (Wild rice usually takes a tad longer so do this first)

Step 3: Sweet Potato
Throw your sweet potato, sliced mushrooms, shallots and a splash of olive oil to a frying pan
Cook away on a medium heat until you’re able to pierce the sweet potato with a fork

Step 4: Combine the Sweet Potato and the Rice
Once the rice has cooked, remove the pot from the heat and throw the spinach to the pot and cover until the spinach has wilted
Once wilted, add the rice and spinach to the pan with the sweet potato and mix together on a low heat for around 2 minutes, not forgetting to season the dish!
Pour the rice and sweet potato into a bowl and set aside, keep the pan handy because we’re using this again (saving you from extra washing up)

Step 5: Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice
Add some olive oil and garlic to the pan, keep to a medium heat for 2 minutes
Pour in the finely chopped broccoli and cauliflower rice
Cook away for around 5 minutes, continually stirring ensuring the flavour of the garlic is spreading evenly
Once the time is up, season and set aside in a bowl next to the rice and sweet potato (feel free to cover them to retain their heat)

Step 6: Purple Slaw
Using the same pan again, this time throw in the sliced cabbage
Add some extra oil if it needs it, if not then crack on
Fry the cabbage on a medium heat for a few minutes
Add the coconut cream, as it melts ensure all of the cabbage is covered with it
Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then squeeze your lime and season it, done.
Set aside along with everything else, keep the pan at hand.

Step 7: Tempeh
Please don’t burn the tempeh, it’s so easy to cook it too much and it ruins the flavour.
We think 3-4 minutes each side on a medium heat is about right.
Place the marinated tempeh to the pan (the smell should be fantastic at this point)
Cook it on both sides for 3-4 minutes and there you go.
Set the tempeh aside with everything else.

You’re almost there….

Step 8: Avocado Hummus
Grab your blender
Throw everything in (don’t forget to drain the chickpeas)
Blitz it until you have your desired consistency.

There you go, you’re ready to build your masterpiece!!

We hope your Vegan Buddha Bowl was worth the time and effort, we realise it’s a long process.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to eat it all at once. We usually get about 4-6 portions out of this and enjoy it cold the day after and the day after that! Smart cooking… hopefully.

If you’re happy with your creation, please tag us on social media with a picture of your bowl! We’re all about creating a community of like minded people that love health, food and most importantly… Coconuts.

Thanks again guys!

Stay coconuts,

Team Cocabana

Bad ass Buddha Bowl

This was our first attempt at this... granted, we have work to do on our presentation!!! But the flavours were absolutely incredible! Give it a try! 

Instagram: @shopcocabana 


Cocabana Coconut Bowls Recipes Vegan Buddha Bowls Vegan Recipes

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