Recipe: Colourful Buddha Bowls

A bright, fresh midweek meal or lunch-al-desko that's healthy, delicious AND the perfect way to use up leftovers...

Buddha Salad Bowls
Buddha Salad Bowls
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Buddha Salad Bowls
Buddha Salad Bowls

Apparently, formal dining from a plate with a knife and fork is out. Bowls are in. Whether it’s because you’re eating at your desk, curled up on the sofa or taking the perfect photo of your dinner with one hand, it’s all about bowls.

A ‘Buddha bowl’ – so named because it should be rounded and plump with ingredients, like a Buddha belly – is basically a salad bowl, filled to the brim with tasty things to create a comforting but healthy meal.

When composing your Buddha Bowl, you want to include lots of different flavours, colours and textures. Crisp vegetables; something spicy and roasted; beans, meat or fish for protein; a rice or grain base; avocado or a rich dressing for delicious fats. It’s easy to keep your bowl vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free if you wish.

Here are a couple of combinations I think work particularly well. Use whatever quantities you need for just you, the whole family or even a week’s worth of made-ahead lunch bowls.

Roast Butternut Squash and Hummus Buddha Bowl

Ingredients

  • Edamame/soy beans, boiled in water for 5 minutes
  • Red cabbage, finely sliced
  • Yellow pepper, finely sliced
  • Sugar snap peas, blanched in boiling water for 1 minute
  • Radish, finely sliced
  • Avocado, peeled and sliced
  • Butternut squash
  • Salt and pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese
  • Hummus (Moroccan-style)
  • Pistachio nuts, chopped
  • Sachet of microwaveable rice
  • Vinaigrette dressing

Spicy roast butternut squash method

1 Cut the squash into chunky slices and remove the skin with a potato peeler

2 Chop into dice-sized cubes

3 Toss in 2 tbsp olive oil

4 Mix in plenty of salt and pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp ground coriander

5 Spread on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment

6 Bake for 40 minutes at 180C, turning halfway through (I like to add a drizzle of maple syrup at this point to help them caramelise)

Assembly

Put your rice in the bottom of the bowl, then add your other ingredients around the sides. Once the main ingredients are assembled, dollop your hummus in the middle and top with the chopped pistachio nuts. Drizzle with your vinaigrette dressing.

Chicken and Chickpea Buddha Bowl with Almond Butter Dressing

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast
  • Tin of chickpeas
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrots, thinly sliced
  • Baby salad leaves
  • Baby sweetcorn, sliced in half lengthways
  • Boiled egg, sliced in half
  • Guacamole
  • Seeds for sprinkling (sunflower seeds and poppy seeds work well)
  • Salt and pepper, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp tumeric
  • Sachet of microwaveable quinoa
    For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white (balsamic) vinegar

Roasted chicken, chickpeas and dressing method

1 Combine your spices

2 Rub a chicken breast with a little olive oil and sprinkle both sides with some of your spice mix

3 Rinse the chickpeas in a sieve and dry by rubbing with a clean tea towel

4 Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil and add the remaining spice mix

5 Roast the chickpeas and the chicken on a tray in the oven for 25-30 minutes until both are golden and cooked through, shaking the chickpeas occasionally to mix

6 Add all your dressing ingredients to a jar and shake well to combine

Assembly

Use your microwaved quinoa as your bowl’s base, then add your other main ingredients around the sides. Finish with the guacamole in the centre, topped with seeds and drizzle over your almond butter dressing.

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  • Sarah Todhunter

    Looks delicious. It’s a shame nothing like this is available at CenterParcs.

Maddy Potts

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Maddy Potts

As Marketing Executive at Center Parcs, I’m lucky enough to hear all the amazing stories that come from our guests, our Villages and the wider travel industry. I’ll blog about the best ones, bring you some fantastic competitions and update you on all the exciting new activities and goings on at Center Parcs.