Buddha Bowl

A “Buddha Bowl” is essentially a kitchen sink salad. It includes whatever raw vegetables you have on hand—avocado and carrots are usual suspects—and a grain. My version is a bit different in that it emphasizes the grain over the greens and if I’m using carrots, and not grating them, I like to cook them slightly, so overall the veggies in the dish aren’t entirely raw.

This dish is wonderful in that it can be repeated in so many different ways. Simply by substituting the grain with, say, quinoa will change the entirely aesthetic, taste and overall experience. I like to use heavier grains, like millet or brown rice. And, because I love spices and all things spicy, I usually add a touch of red pepper flakes (or sometimes even cumin) to give an entire new dimension to the outcome.

Here’s my Saturday night’s version:

The GK Go-To Buddha Bowl

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Ingredients:

– 1 cup cooked brown rice

– 1 cup spinach or kale, without stems

– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 1/2 cup carrot, chopped

– 1 clove garlic, chopped

– 1/4 cup scallions, chopped

– 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

– handful chopped parsley

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– pinch of red pepper flakes

– 1/4 avocado per serving

Serves: 1

Directions:

Always wash rice before cooking—it gets rid of some of the starch that makes the result less sticky and gluten-y.

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You could easily eat the carrots raw, but I like them lightly cooked and infused with some garlic taste, so I like to toss them in a pan with some olive oil and fresh garlic for a few minutes or until slightly browned.

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While the brown rice is cooking away, assemble the rest of the ingredients next to a salad bowl with the green of choice – I used spinach – already in place.

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When the brown rice is ready, put 1 cup into the salad bowl, atop the greens. The heat from the rice will help the greens to wilt. Then add the remainder of the ingredients, EXCEPT for the avocado, which will be used as a garnish once served. You don’t want the avocado to get mushy or overheated.

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Incoming: Nutritional Yeast.

Say what?

Nutritional Yeast: an inactive yeast that has a distinct nutty/cheesy flavor. It is also the only reliable food source of vitamin B12, so if you’re vegan, it’s a good idea to add some to your food regularly.

You can find it in most health food stores. It has been gaining popularity in health-food circles and is breaching the mainstream. I find it absolutely delicious and recently it has become a staple in all of my salads and sprinkled atop cooked veggies. It’s unreal on popcorn with some salt and garlic and also a star when used in vegan “cheese” sauces, because it gives it that taste you crave for in cheese without the dairy.

But, we digress…

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Serve from this…

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…to this:

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Hearty, earthy and tasty!

Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

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