Is it just us, or is there something incredibly comforting about a meal filled with beans, rice, greens, and a flavorful sauce?
Inspired by a bowl from Prasad in Portland, we made a delicious gluten-free and plant-based Buddha bowl from simple ingredients.
How to Make a Buddha Bowl
It’s not clear where the term Buddha Bowl originated, and there doesn’t seem to be any strict set of rules for how to make one. But it seems to be roughly defined as a bowl with an assortment of small portions of different foods (especially grains & veggies).
Some say the concept is thought to emulate the way buddhist monks would walk around with a bowl, accepting small portions from other people (source). While others claim that Buddha bowls refer to a healthy, balanced, but overloaded bowl resembling the rounded belly of the Laughing Buddha (source). Either way, Buddha bowls are one of our absolute favorite meals.
We like to craft our nourishing Buddha bowls with 5 main components:
- Protein – we like to use beans such as black beans or chickpeas
- Grain or starch – such as brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato
- Vegetables – such as greens, onion, and/or peppers
- Superfoods (optional) – such as probiotic-rich sauerkraut or kimchi, nutrient-rich seaweed, and/or avocado for some healthy fats
- Sauce – we love tahini-based sauces because they are versatile, flavorful, and rich in calcium & iron
Let’s do this!
This bowl starts with making beans and rice. Our preference is to make the black beans in an Instant Pot (Instant Pot Black Beans) and the brown rice on the stovetop (How to Make Brown Rice).
In a hurry? Canned beans and quick rice can also be used in a pinch. Welcome to the judgment-free zone.
Next, the Gingery Lemon Tahini Sauce is made by whisking together 5 simple ingredients for a zingy, tart-sweet sauce.
And if you made our recent recipe for Gingery Apple Cabbage Sauerkraut, you’ll definitely want to dig that out of the fridge for this bowl! Otherwise, your favorite store-bought kimchi or sauerkraut will do.
Just prior to serving, the kale is gently steamed. We recommend cooking until wilted but still a vibrant green color. This helps maintain the heat-sensitive nutrients while warming it up and making it easier to digest.
Once the components are ready, it’s time to assemble! To each bowl, add grains, beans, sliced avocado, green onion, sauerkraut or kimchi, and sea vegetables, and drizzle with sauce.
We hope you LOVE this bowl! It’s:
& So delicious!
This would be perfect for meal prep if you prepare the components in advance (cook beans, cook rice, chop kale, make sauce) and then assemble for easy weeknight meals!
More Nourishing Bowl Recipes
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Harvest Bowl
- Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Black Bean Buddha Bowl with Gingery Lemon Tahini Sauce
GRAINS + BEANS
- 1 cup dry black beans (or sub 2 15-oz. cans black beans // amount as recipe is written — adjust as needed)
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (~3 cups cooked rice // amount as recipe is written — adjust as needed)
- 1 small bundle kale, chopped, large stems removed
- 1 batch Gingery Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 3/4 cup Cabbage Apple Sauerkraut (or sub Carrot Beet Sauerkraut, Kimchi, or store-bought)
- 1 small bundle green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 4 Tbsp sea vegetable of choice (optional // we prefer dulse or nori, crumbled or chopped)
- 4 tsp sesame seeds, divided (optional)
- Prepare brown rice using either the Instant Pot method or the Perfect Brown Rice method (which doesn’t require an Instant Pot). Set aside. Prepare black beans using either the Instant Pot method or the Black Beans from scratch method (which doesn’t require an Instant Pot). Set aside. (I would recommend making the black beans in the Instant Pot — if you have one — and the brown rice on the stovetop so they can cook simultaneously).
- Prepare 1 batch of our Gingery Lemon Tahini Sauce (or our 3-ingredient Tahini Sauce or Quick Ginger Miso Tahini Dressing). Set aside.
- Steam kale for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted but vibrant green. Set aside.
- To serve, divide grains and beans between serving bowls and top with steamed kale, 3 Tbsp each sauerkraut or kimchi, sliced green onion, avocado, sea vegetables (optional), and sesame seeds (optional).
- Best when fresh. Store leftovers (sauce separate) in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Kale is best when steamed fresh. Grains and beans are freezer friendly, the rest is best when fresh.
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