What do you do when you have a bunch of fresh vegetables and you want to eat them all at once … you create a Buddha Bowl!! This Quinoa Buddha Bowl with Roasted Vegetables Recipe has a lot going on, as with most buddha bowl. But, all of the ingredients work so well together especially when topped with Kale Pesto! I love this as a great plant-based, winter power bowl of nutrition!
What is a Buddha Bowl?
My first question when writing this post was “Why are they called Buddha Bowls?” My guess is that the bowls are as full as a Buddha’s belly! Well, as I researched further, there are many explanations on the origins of this. According to one source, Buddha should really be “Budai”, after a 10th-century monk often confused with Buddha. He is depicted with a fat belly and always shown smiling or laughing. So, maybe we should be calling it a “Budhai Bowl” since Buddha’s (in general), do not have fat bellies!
Another thought, is a comparison to the Buddhist concept of balance. As with, the balance of ingredients in the bowl consisting of – a grain or starch (rice, barley, millet, quinoa, sweet potatoes, or corn), a protein (tofu, chickpeas, or beans), and an assortment of various vegetables, both raw and cooked. I like this line of thinking! When I was creating this quinoa bowl (or most meals), I always try to develop balance nutritionally and with the colors of ingredients on my plate. As a culinary instructor, my favorite the rule of thumb to share is – create meals incorporating the “colors of the rainbow“.
Quinoa Buddha Bowl with Roasted Vegetables incorporates all of those beautiful colors and health benefits, in one bowl – a true “power bowl” of ingredients! Just the quinoa alone, provides sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids needed – a complete plant-based protein source. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium , calcium, phosphorous, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. For these reasons, it is loved by (me) many vegan/vegetarians!Print
This is a delicious blend of roasted vegetables, steamed yucca root and braised bok choy over quinoa. It is topped with a vegetarian version of Kale Pesto and microgreens.
Kale Pesto Ingredients:
1 ½ cups kale (lactino or green)
1 ½ cups basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
¾ cup parmesan cheese (*use vegan parmesan cheese)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ – ¾ cup vegetable broth
freshly ground pepper
Roasted Vegetable Bowl Ingredients:
8 ounces red radishes, halved
8 rainbow carrots (assorted colors), sliced
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cleaned in a stainer
1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
1 yucca root, cut into bite size chunks
¼ teaspoon sea salt
12 ounces baby bok choy, 2 bunches, cleaned
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- In a food processor, combine kale, basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pulse a few times and slowly add in olive oil & vegetable broth until desired consistency.
- Add the pesto to a small pot (or microwave) and heat for a few minutes. Makes about 1 ½ cups of pesto. Refrigerate and save any leftovers.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the carrots and radishes, drizzle with olive oil & ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- Place in oven and roast for approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
- Place 1 cup of dry quinoa into a slightly heated pot. Toast grain for a few minutes before adding the 1 ¾ cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer & cook covered, for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, until all of the stock is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let sit covered.
- Steam the yucca root for 10 minutes (in a steamer basket or double boiler). When done, squeeze ½ lemon juice over cooked yucca root & sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Keep covered & set aside.
- In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, and braise the bok choy for approximately 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Set aside.
Place all of the ingredients, sectioned in a large bowl, and top it with a few micro greens and a drizzle of kale pesto.
*Vegan version can be made with vegan parmesan cheese
food processor, baking sheet, sauté pan, steamer, medium & small size pot
Although this requires many cooking supplies to prepare, it is well worth the clean up. You can always use store bought pesto for a short cut. And of course a microwave or instant pot can help to shorten the cooking time!
Keywords: Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter Buddha Bowl, Vegan Power Bowl, Quinoa Bowl