The ultimate vegetarian meal, this Buddha Bowl is topped with a delicious cashew cream.
The Buddha Bowl is a mainstay in vegetarian living. It’s the perfect dinner, lunch, or breakfast. There’s no recipe required and you really can’t mess it up. It can be totally planned out or a spur of the moment “throw what I have in a bowl and heat” type of meal. Buddha bowls date back to the 70’s when veganism became mainstream. Traditional Buddha bowls were made with a base of brown rice and then topped with vegetables. Today we are getting a lot more creative with our bowls!
Being the Dietitian that I am, I need a bit more balance to my bowl than just brown rice and vegetables. For one, my bowl is much more veg-heavy than the traditional mix. I always include at least three different vegetables, oftentimes of the cruciferous variety and usually roasted (although I’m just as happy to microwave my veggies if I’m in a rush). I am also more of a lentil/bean gal than I am a brown rice fan. Truth be told, I don’t really like brown rice. If I were to include a grain it would be quinoa, but beans are my preference. I love to include a base of leafy greens in my bowl, typically a bed of baby kale or spinach. A source of fat is also a must! Avocado, walnuts or seasoned pistachios are favorites. And finally, for my sauce it’s either a luxurious cashew cream or just a few shakes of tamari. You’d be surprised how little sauce you actually need. The sage cashew cream I used for this particular bowl is a fall favorite. It’s the perfect blend of creamy, sage-y flavor that goes perfect with any vegetables and really takes your Buddha bowl to the next level.
A good nut-based sauce is another vegan staple. Don’t be intimidated by having to soak the nuts first, I’ve made this sauce with cashews soaked overnight or for just 20 minutes and it’s great either way. Soaking allows the nuts to get soft for a more creamy texture and buttery flavor. Soaking also removes the tannins that make the nuts bitter and makes the nuts more easily digested, giving you more access to the nutrients inside. When I make a batch of this sauce I will use it on anything I can…as a salad dressing, dip, or spread. It’s that good.
Buddha Bowl with Cashew Cream
- 1 handful broccoli florets
- 1 handful Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
- 1 handful cauliflower florets
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- dash of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large handful baby kale or spinach (or both)
- 1 cup cooked lentils (or any bean you love)
- 1/4 avocado sliced
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes or overnight
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 very small garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- dash of sea salt, to taste
- 2-3 fresh sage leaves
- A few drops liquid stevia, optional
- Preheat oven to 425. Place cashews in a glass bowl and cover with water. Prep vegetables and place in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Feel free to use any other seasoning you want here, it can only make it better! Lay vegetables out onto a baking pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until brown and tender. While vegetables are cooking, make cashew cream. Rinse nuts and discard nut water. Place all sauce ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste, as needed.
- To prepare bowl: place raw greens in a large serving bowl. Arrange cooked vegetables and lentils on top of greens. Top with avocado. Drizzle sauce over vegetables and lentils. Sprinkle with hemp seeds. Serve as is, or stir up everything together!