AAAAAAAAND we’re back! Back from the land of long lunches, incredible scenery, ridiculous architecture, and all the pasta*. We return six pounds heavier and grossly jet-lagged – but also so, so happy to have had such a fun and beautiful adventure. So what now? What happens when a two week European vacation comes to an end? Well in our case a shameless binge on Netflix and all the comforts of home. Think big fluffy pancakes, greasy Chinese food, and spicy Buffalo wings. You’d think we’d been exiled for years.
But honestly after all is said and done and eaten, what I really want is a damn vegetable. Not that there weren’t any veggies to be had in Italy – but honestly it was more about the carbs and cheese, with the occasional interjection from a delicious, cured meat (don’t mind if I do). So my body says enough already. Gimme some broccoli for Christ’s sake. And with that I give you probably the most virtuous recipe to ever appear on this blog (to date that is) – Vegan Buddha Bowls.
What the heck fire is a Buddha bowl?
Well really it’s just a trendy AF name for a bowl packed to the brim with healthy things. Usually there is some sort of grain involved, lots of veggies, and a dressing to bring the whole mess together. So really it’s just a big, old grain salad with a Pinteresty moniker. But despite its insane trendiness it does deliver where all the happy, healthy, feel-good stuff is concerned, and right now that’s just what I need.
So what’s the deal with this particular vegan Buddha bowl?
I designed this to be fast, accessible, and delicious enough that you’ll actually WANT to eat it. How’d I do that? Well roasting a vegetable goes a long way in the flavor department for one. Also you’ve got some good crunchy elements that keep things interesting. And thirdly there is this spicy almond butter dressing situation that JUST WON’T QUIT. Seriously it’s a solid ten. If making a Buddha bowl is so far off your radar that you think I’m just the nuttiest nut in the nuthouse (which would be pretty nutty), that’s totally cool – vegan Buddha bowls are definitely not for everyone. But PLEASE don’t skip the dressing! It’s a nutty, creamy, spicy, concoction of love that deserves to be drizzled on all the things. Salads, noodles, chicken, fish, burgers, French fries…seriously it would be GREAT on all of those things.
As with any of my recipes, feel free to take what works for you and leave whatever doesn’t. But don’t sleep on that dressing, man – it’s a game changer. And if you’ve engaged in some major gluttony as of late and need a recharge, well the whole damn bowl is pretty stellar, if a little #basic. But who isn’t a little bit of a basic B sometimes, amirite?
*Italy was beautiful and I will definitely be sharing more about the whole enchilada (that’s what they eat there right?). So don’t you worry your pretty face about it.
Vegan Buddha Bowls with Spicy Almond Butter Dressing
These delicious and healthy vegan Buddha bowls are gluten-free and packed full of good fats, protein, and feel good fuel for your body. Feel free to make substitutions at will – just remember it’s good to have something earthy, something fresh, and something crunchy to keep things interesting.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Category: Vegan
- Cuisine: American
For the bowls:
2 T olive oil
Ground black pepper
2 small sweet potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
4 C broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C quinoa
1 C shelled edamame
1 C shredded red cabbage
½ C sliced almonds
Sesame seeds to garnish
For the dressing:
¼ C almond butter
1 T lime juice (a half a lime’s worth)
2 T unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T honey
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T water
2 tsp sriracha
Preheat your oven to 400° F.
Spread the sweet potato on half of a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast for 10 minutes. Then add the broccoli to the other side of the sheet pan, drizzle with remaining oil, season with salt and pepper and continue to roast for another 10 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove it with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
Bring the water back up to the boil and season with a generous pinch of salt (a couple of teaspoons worth). Add the quinoa and boil gently for 10-12 minutes. Taste for doneness and drain. Set aside.
While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together until smooth.
To assemble fill bowls with quinoa, roasted vegetables, edamame, and shredded cabbage. Drizzle with almond butter dressing and sprinkle with sliced almonds and sesame seeds.
As long as you give them a good scrub under cold water you can totally skip peeling your sweet potatoes, FYI.
Keywords: vegan buddha bowl, gluten free bowl, gluten free grain bowl