Inspired by the Macrobiotic diet, which focuses on whole grains and plant-based nutrition, the Buddha bowl is flexible and typically includes grains, steamed or roasted vegetables, beans or soy, and a fermented ingredient like sauerkraut or kimchi. Zen Buddhism encourages this balanced and moderate way of eating, and Buddha subsisted on whatever simple foods local people could spare for him each day. In this nutrition-packed recipe, sweet potato provides skin- and eye-supporting beta carotene, tofu and brown rice add protein and gut-boosting fiber, and cucumbers boost hydration. Adding a fermented component like sauerkraut or kimchi aids in digestion and helps support your microbiome, where the immune system lives. Serve up variations of this recipe with whatever vegetables and protein you have on hand for a flexible healthy meal everyone will love.
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 small sweet potato, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 block extra firm tofu (source organic if you can)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups chopped lacinato kale
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 small thin-skinned cucumber, cut thinly on the bias
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (substitute quinoa, faro, cauliflower rice or your favorite grain)
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts, plus more to serve
- ¼ cup sauerkraut or kimchi
- Lemon slices, to serve (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing (recipe below)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Press the tofu between two towels with a heavy pot balanced on top for 10 minutes, to remove some of the moisture. When it’s dried, cut into bite-size cubes.
- On a large baking sheet, arrange the tofu on one side and the sliced sweet potato on the other. Drizzle the whole tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, and toss them individually to coat well.
- Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, tossing everything halfway through, until the sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, and the tofu is crisped. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the kale with the remaining tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Massage with your hands for a minute until the kale softens and becomes tender. Mix in the hemp hearts.
- To serve, divide the kale salad, brown rice, sweet potatoes, tofu, sauerkraut, and cucumbers between two bowls. Drizzle everything with the dressing, sprinkle with hemp hearts and garnish with lemon wedges if desired. Enjoy!
Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing
In a jar, combine 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Shake well to combine and add more lemon or salt if needed for brightness.