NOURISHING BUDDHA BOWLS

In Articles by G.I. Lean

A new craze known as Buddha Bowls or Macrobiotic Bowls has hit the fitness world. If you’re wondering what this is; a Buddha Bowl is simply a well-rounded meal, eaten out of a bowl. Aside from looking gorgeous and tasting delicious, the reason behind creating these edible works of art is portion control and a way of eating which balances the body and the mind.

The foundation is a combination of grains, proteins (like beans or fish) and vegetables, along with fermented foods. One of these bowls can give you your daily allowance of protein, grains, and veggies. You can make them sweet too, by having your smoothie in a bowl, rather than a glass or bottle and topping it with fruit, grains, nuts or seeds.

Here are the basics for setting up your own delicious, well-rounded bowl:

  1. Start building your bowl with a wholegrain that takes up 30-40% of your plate. Good examples are quinoa, couscous or brown rice.
  1. Vegetables should make up 40-60% of your bowl, with these three categories included: round vegetables (such as onions or squash), leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale, and root vegetables such as sweet potatoes or carrots. Do not fry them, rather steam or stew your vegetables to bring out the most nutrients.
  1. Soy protein and beans should make up 5-10% of your bowl – think tempeh or tofu. Chickpeas are a great choice as are high in protein and antioxidants. Lentils, kidney beans and black beans are also good choices, as they contain B Vitamins, iron and are high in fibre.
  1. Including fermented foods increases the nutritional value of your bowl, but make sure they are naturally fermented as brined pickles contain less health value. Sauerkraut is a delicious, naturally fermented food which you can include, along with kimchi, which is fermented and curried cabbage.
  1. Soup can also be added to your bowl, which makes for tasty winter meals. Add miso soup or homemade vegetable broth and instead of wholegrains, add rice noodles or soba noodles.

To create your beautiful meal, combine the ingredients you have chosen in a bowl, starting with the cooked ingredients – such as the grains – and ending with the cold ingredients, such as the fermented foods or raw vegetables. For extra zing, drizzle over a sauce such as tahini, a Thai inspired peanut dressing or a balsamic dressing.