Where did the name ‘Buddha Bowl’ come from, anyway? If you’ve been on Instagram in the last 5 years, chances are you’ve seen these colorful bowls, packed with plant-based goodness like grains, legumes, steamed and raw veggies, and flavorful sauces.
Before we started calling these colorful bowls “Buddha Bowls,” I knew them as macro bowls. When we lived in Austin, I headed to a macrobiotic restaurant called Casa de Luz whenever I needed a bit of a recharge. Instead of having a fixed menu, Casa de Luz offered one rotating meal per day. It would always be some type of buddha bowl, with a grain, a legume, blanched leafy greens, steamed vegetables, a pickled vegetable, and a delicious sauce. It may sound limiting, but I’ve honestly had some of the best sauce and vegetable pairings of my life there. Since I can’t visit Casa de Luz regularly now that we live in Chicago, I used their basic template to build my own buddha bowl recipe.
My Buddha Bowl Recipe Ingredients
To make a homemade version of a Caza de Luz macro bowl, I used one item from each of these categories:
- A delicious sauce – I made a vibrant turmeric tahini sauce. It’s my favorite type of creamy sauce in that it doesn’t require a blender, so you can stir it together in no time. And if you have leftovers, you’re in luck! This colorful sauce tastes great on everything.
- Cooked vegetables – Roasted sweet potatoes were my pick.
- Raw vegetables – Watermelon radish, rainbow carrots, and red cabbage give this buddha bowl recipe a huge pop of color!
- Leafy greens – Bring on the kale.
- A legume – I chose my go-to plant-based protein: chickpeas!
- A grain – I used brown rice, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to substitute white rice.
- A pickled vegetable – Sauerkraut! I love Bubbies.
These components all keep nicely in the fridge if you want to meal prep this recipe for lunch during the week. Find my best meal prep tips here and more of my favorite healthy lunch recipes here!
Prep Time: 15 minsCook Time: 20 minsTotal Time: 35 minsServes 4
Prep these simple components ahead of time to pack this healthy buddha bowl for lunch, or make it for an easy weeknight dinner! Vegan and gluten-free.
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 watermelon radish or 2 red radishes
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- Squeeze of lemon
- 8 kale leaves, chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas or cooked lentils
- ¾ cup sauerkraut or other fermented veggie
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds
- Turmeric Tahini Sauce, for serving
- Microgreens, optional
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread onto the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Thinly slice the radish into rounds (this is best done on a mandoline), and use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots into ribbons.
- Toss the radish slices, carrots, and shredded cabbage with a squeeze of lemon. Set aside.
- Place the kale leaves into a large bowl and toss with a squeeze of lemon and a few pinches of salt. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they become soft and wilted and reduce in the bowl by about half.
- Assemble individual bowls with the brown rice, chickpeas, kale, carrots, radishes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, sesame seeds, and microgreens, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the Turmeric Tahini Sauce.