This “Buddha Bowl” is the ultimate satisfying nutritious meal, filled with a rainbow of roasted veggies, kale, quinoa, luscious lemony dressing and a very special vegan pecan parmesan that is do die for!
I rarely get so excited about a new food concept that I make a beeline for the grocery store to get right to it. That’s what happened to me when I discovered Buddha bowls. I’m not the only one. Buddha bowls are all the rage.
What is a Buddha bowl and where did it come from?
I did some research and I still can’t tell you definitively.
- Some say it’s a revival of the brown rice and veggie “hippie bowl” of the 1960’s.
- The urban dictionary defines a buddha bowl as “…a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded “belly” appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.”
- The common denominator is that a Buddha bowl is a big beautiful bowl of delicious food that’s super good for you.
How To Make A Sweet Potato Brussels Sprout Buddha Bowl:
- Start by roasting the vegetables. You can get everything else prepped while they cook.
- Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts. Toss them with olive oil and a pinch of salt, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes.
- Peel three medium sweet potatoes and cut them into 3/4-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and salt and roast for 25-30 minutes
- While the veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa and wash and slice the kale.
- As soon as the quinoa is done cooking, while it’s still piping hot, toss it with the raw kale. The kale will soften and cook a bit from the heat of the quinoa and it will be the perfect texture for the buddha bowl.
- Part one is a simple mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk that up and toss it with the kale-quinoa mixture.
- Part two is the vegan “parmesan” made from toasted pecans that are ground in the food processor or blender, and mixed with a little olive oil and nutritional yeast. Pour that on top of the kale-quinoa just before serving, and toss to combine.
A Note About Nutritional Yeast:
- If you’ve never cooked with nutritional yeast, you are in for a treat. It’s not what you think of when you think of yeast. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that’s used as a flavoring ingredient in cooking. Many vegan cooks add it to soups or stews to give a savory, umami boost to their recipes.
- Nutritional yeast mimics the flavor of cheese. Try sprinkling it on popcorn or on kale chips! As a bonus, it’s full of “nutrients,” hence the name “nutritional.”
- I buy it at my local Whole Foods. It’s also available to order from Amazon.
As long as we’re on the topic of Buddha bowls, I have to share a few of my favorite quotes from The Buddha:
Here’s the recipe for the Sweet Potato Brussels Sprout Buddha Bowl. If you make this, I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!
Sweet Potato Brussels Sprout Buddha Bowl
A vibrant healthy bowl composed with roasted veggies, kale, quinoa, lemony dressing and vegan toasted pecan “parmesan.”
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 4-5 1x
- Category: lunch or dinner
- For The Buddha Bowl Ingredients:
- 3 medium sweet potatoes or yams (about 2 1/2 pounds) peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed of ends and damaged leaves, and halved
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale (also called Lacinato kale), thick stems removed, leaves washed, dried, stacked and thinly sliced
- 1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed and drained
- For The Vegan Lemon Parmesan Dressing:
- 1 cup raw pecans, toasted over high heat in a heavy dry skillet for a few minutes (toss & watch constantly to prevent burning)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 juicy lemon)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or more, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional Garnishes:
- Slivered almonds
- Sweetened dried cranberries or cherries
- Micro greens
- Roast the Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts: Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Toss the sweet potato with 3 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (optional). Spread them out in a single layer on a low-sided roasting pan. Toss the brussels sprouts with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (optional). Spread them out, cut side down, in a single layer on a low-sided roasting pan. Roast the two trays of vegetables, undisturbed, for 25-30 minutes or until they are tender and starting to brown. The sweet potatoes may need 5 more minutes in the oven than the brussels.
- Cook the quinoa: While the veggies are roasting cook the quinoa per package instructions (1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water for about 14 minutes). While the quinoa is cooking put the sliced kale into a large bowl. When the quinoa is ready, immediately add the hot quinoa to the bowl with the kale and toss to combine. The kale will soften and cook a bit from the heat of the quinoa. Set aside.
- Make the Vegan Lemon Parmesan Dressing: Using food processor or blender, finely chop the toasted pecans. Add the nutritional yeast, salt and 1 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse to combine.
- In a separate small bowl whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon juice, dijon, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the kale-quinoa and toss to combine. Sprinkle the pecan parmesan on top just before serving, and toss.
- Assemble the Buddha Bowls: Divide the quinoa/kale mixture between 4-5 bowls. Divide the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts between the bowls, each in their own pile so you can see all the wonderful colors and textures. Sprinkle garnishes on top: cranberries, almonds, micro-greens or all three. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.