What’s the story behind the Buddha bowl? There seem to be many theories as to its origins. Healthy, weight-loss, and vegan or vegetarian are the words that are always associated with Buddha bowl recipes. This should be of no surprise since the first precept of Buddhism is to avoid harming any living thing, including yourself. In addition to being very colorful, it’s packed with plant-based protein and fiber, which is the reason for its increasing popularity around the world.
Making Buddha bowl recipes can be lots of fun, fool-proof, and quick. Legumes, whole grains, and veggies are all the basic ingredients you need. The incredible versatility of these nourishing bowls allows you to be as creative as you want. Add different texture, colors, and dressings. You decide. While searching through my refrigerator the other day, I found many colorful veggies. I suddenly thought, “hey, it’s time to make a colorful and appealing Buddha bowl for lunch.”
Because the thought came to me just before lunch, I didn’t have time to soak any beans. I also don’t stock any canned beans. With this being the situation, I relied on my stash of lentil beans to save the day. After a good rinse, I boiled a cup of lentils in a pot while I cooked some quinoa and got the veggies prepared. If you are going to cook the lentils in a pressure cooker, it would be faster yet.
Now, it’s time to pile the veggies up. Spiralized beets, lightly steamed kale, yellow bell pepper, avocado, and thin sliced radish, all surround the quinoa and lentils. I poured on some of my ginger lime tahini dressing that I made recently. To add more refreshing flavor, I squeezed some lime juice on top of the quinoa and lentils. A quick and healthy lunch is ready to enjoy.
If you didn’t use up all the lentils and quinoa, all the leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and used for the same recipe for another quick lunch. If you’re out of canned beans for a Buddha bowl, making this quinoa lentil Buddha bowl will save the day.
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, red, white, or both
- 6 radishes, thin sliced
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 small beet, spiralized or shredded
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup lightly steamed kale, stem removed
- (optional) 1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
- If you have cooked lentils and cooked quinoa, skip down to step 3. Measure the approximately ½ cup of lentils into a strainer, pick over and remove any stones. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Transfer rinsed lentils to a saucepan, add 1-1/2 cup of water to lentils. On a stove top, bring the water to a boil then set the heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain and lightly rinse the cooked lentils. Set aside.
- While the lentils are cooking, place ½ cup uncooked quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for 15 seconds. Drain well. Transfer the quinoa into a 1-quart saucepan and then add 1 cup of water. Follow the package instructions and cook the quinoa on the stove. Approximately 17 minutes. It will yield approximately 1½ cups of cooked quinoa. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature.
- Place the kale leaves into a saucepan. Add ¼ cup of water to the saucepan. Cover the saucepan and heat it over high heat. Steam for approximately 1 minute after the water is boiling. Quickly drain and rinse the steamed kale leaves with cold water to prevent any further cooking. Briefly chop the leaves into bite-size pieces.
- Arrange the cooked lentils, quinoa, and vegetables into a bowl. Serve with ginger lime tahini dressing. Garnish with cilantro leaves.