Everything You Need to Know About Buddha Bowls

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

If you are trying to eat clean, you would probably be inundated with fad diets from all over the internet (don’t act as if you’ve never tried one before, only to be left frustrated). There are hundreds upon hundreds of Instagram diets out there that vary in effectiveness. Some are decent, while many are absolute garbage. Also, depending on your lifestyle goal, you might need different diets. But have you heard of something called Buddha bowls?

The Buddha bowl accommodates an extensive range of lifestyle and dietary choices. This is primarily because the Buddha bowl is very customizable!

In this article, let’s dive deeper into exactly what a Buddha bowl is and why you may want to consider trying it.

What is a Buddha Bowl?

A Buddha bowl is an easy way to get a bunch of daily nutrients in a single meal. It’s basically a salad that looks like a bowl, but instead of lettuce, you fill it with whatever vegetables and grains you have on hand, then top it off with a protein source such as a lean protein source, tofu, or beans — all topped with a dressing of your choosing.

The Origins of the Buddha Bowl

The authors of the book Buddha’s Diet wanted food to be complimentary to someone’s life, not give it the power to run a person’s life. What made the book rise in popularity is probably the way this diet book is made. The book contains almost no recipes but does contain ideas and suggestions to help shift your mindset about food.

Some Fundamental Rules About the Buddha Bowl

There are just a few rules that you need to follow to get started on making your very own Buddha bowl.

  • The Buddha bowl is concerned with clean eating.
  • The food should be simple to prepare and easy to digest.
  • The whole point of the bowl is to make it delicious but not decadent.
  • The components of your Buddha bowl should be healthy and nutritious.

These are just a few of the things you need to follow to start making your own Buddha bowls!

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

Now that you have learned a little about the origins and history of the Buddha bowl, let’s look at how you can assemble your own Buddha bowl at home.

1. For the base of your Buddha bowl, you will need some sort of grain — rice, brown rice, quinoa, and barley work great.

2. Use seasonal vegetables you have on hand or vegetables that have been sitting in the back of the fridge for God knows how long (don’t worry, I won’t judge you). This is the best opportunity for you to use up all the vegetables that are left untouched in the refrigerator rather than throwing them all away (just make sure they are still good).

3. Now, add in your lean protein source of choice. A Buddha bowl accommodates people with all types of dietary restrictions. Therefore, you can use chicken, beef, tofu, lentils, or another high in protein item to put in your Buddha bowl.

4. Now that you have assembled most of your Buddha bowl, it is time for the dressing. The dressing can be as elaborate or simple as you want. But remember to always make it easy to make. The dressing brings the whole Buddha bowl together.

5. Finally, complete your Buddha bowl with a generous sprinkling of seeds. There are a lot of options to choose from, such as sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, etc., whatever edible seeds you have in your pantry will work.

Benefits of a Buddha Bowl

The Buddha bowl isn’t like any other food trend out there, it isn’t a rigid list of ingredients you need to have, but it is a set of guidelines to help with wholesome eating. Here are a few benefits of the Buddha bowl:

  • Highly nutritious

Buddha bowls are packed with protein and nutrients, making them a great breakfast option. They’re also a great way to get more veggies into your diet — especially if you’ve been struggling with the whole “eat more veggies” thing. The ingredients in a Buddha bowl are often colorful and flavorful, so they make for an exciting meal that will keep you feeling full for longer than other breakfasts.

  • Helps in weight loss

A Buddha bowl is a delicious, filling meal that’s perfect for weight loss diets like the ketogenic diet. The ingredients are loaded with nutrients and fiber, which means you’ll stay full for hours after eating them. Plus, because this type of meal is packed with so many different foods, it’s easy to keep your diet balanced if you’re trying to lose weight.

  • Reduces food wastage

The Buddha bowl is a great way to reduce food waste. It’s a perfect meal for when you’re not feeling like cooking but also don’t want to throw away your leftovers. Eat the leftovers in a bowl and call it dinner!

  • Kid-friendly

If you’re looking for something healthy and nutritious that your kids will actually eat, a Buddha bowl is one of the best options out there. With a variety of ingredients and toppings, it’s easy to customize a bowl that’ll please even picky eaters.