This Light And Bright Buddha Bowl Recipe Wants You To Know That Spring Is Finally Here

March 22, 2020

This Light And Bright Buddha Bowl Recipe Wants You To Know That Spring Is Finally Here

Spring has officially sprung and while we cannot enjoy blooming flora due to full-time self-isolation (duh!!!), we can compensate by bringing spring-y bright colours to our plate bowl. It’s breaking news to no one that food in bowls has been trending for quite some time. You can eat smoothies, burritos and sushi in bowls now. It’s a pretty good trend, we think. Bowl food is easy—you can eat with one hand and text with the other—it looks great on Instagram, and it’s at least 10 percent healthier than food on a plate (don't quote us on this). Plus, why call it a salad when you can call it a Buddha bowl? 

Now what exactly is a Buddha bowl we asked out loud?

“You are one with the universe,” the Buddha bowl cooed. “You have entered a state of bliss. You have ascended to the highest levels of human consciousness, and by the way, you look absolutely stunning today.” We sighed the sigh of the self-satisfied, boosted the saturation on the iPhone photo we just snapped, and dug in.

Okay, okay, okay, we totally made that part up. But whenever people utter these two words to describe deep-rimmed dishes overflowing with vibrant food, we wonder if that’s what's going on for them. So we rolled our sleeves and started looking for more info and this is what we found. The concept of the Buddha bowl is a favorite of yogis and health bloggers, particular those of the vegan persuasion. But what are they, exactly, apart from something we can’t stop seeing each time we scroll through our Instagram feed?


Martha Stewart
offers some clues in her book Meatless, which features a Buddha bowl recipe. Written in 2013, it’s one of the earliest Buddha bowl references in print we could find. "With whole grains, plant proteins, and vegetables, this is the ideal vegan one-bowl dish,” claim the editors. Okay, so Buddha bowls are vegan. That’s great to know! But the recipe continues with a caveat: “It's more of a general formula than a hard-and-fast recipe, since you can swap out different ingredients for variety and to make use of whatever you have on hand." Super helpful, Martha.

We kept digging and we kept finding more BB info. “It’s a nourishing meal that’s just little bites of everything.” There should be a portion of grain or starch (rice, barley, millet, quinoa, sweet potatoes, corn or couscous), a smattering of protein (tofu, chickpeas, or beans), and an assortment of various vegetables, both raw and cooked. Artfully arranging the ingredients is key because, well, it looks pretty. And because a Buddha bowl doesn’t technically exist unless it’s photographed, everything is colorful (the palette may help ensure that your bowl is extra healthy. 

At their core, Buddha bowls are about “balancing the different types of food that you eat,” and not eating too much of any one thing.




This recipe yields two portions and takes around 15 minutes to make 



  • 1/2 cup cooked couscous
  • 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 250 grams of organic, non-GMO smoked firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-sized cubes (you can also sub for other plant based protein such as tempeh, beans, lentils, chickpeas or falafel)
  • 2 TBSPs tamari sauce
  • 5-6 brown cremini mushrooms (cut into quarters)
  • 1 medium zucchini (chopped into cubes)
  • a handful of snow peas
  • 2 large handfuls of Brussels sprouts (cut into halves)
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 5 fresh Thai basil leaves (washed, stemmed and minced + set aside 2 leaves for garnish)
  • salt to taste 



  • 3 TBSPs peanut butter (you can also use almond butter or tahini)
  • 6 TBSPs lukewarm water
  • 2 TBSPs sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 TBSP tamari sauce



1. Put couscous in a bowl and pour over 1 cup of hot water. Add a bit of salt, extra virgin olive oil and cover it up. Set aside.

2. Fry tofu cubes with tamari sauce in a frying pan over medium heat for around 10 minutes tossing occasionally. Set aside.

3. Use the same frying pan you used for tofu (do not worry about cleaning it). Add just enough olive oil to film the bottom of the pan with a thin coating. Add mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, snow peas, basil and salt to taste and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. We got one last vegetable to cook. Grab your zucchini cubes and roast them over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

5. It's dressing time!!! Grab all dressing ingredients and combine them together either in a food processor or you can also use a whisk.

6. Grab two of your fave bowls and add the couscous, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, snow peas, zucchini to a bowl and garnish with rougly chopped Thai basil leaves. 

7. Pour over the dressing and serve with Rice Cakes + Quinoa cakes. 


So did we learn anything here? Whether it’s a Buddha bowl, a bowl of chowder or bowl of mango sorbet, eat whatever makes you feel balanced and happy. And go easy on the Instagram filters, maybe. OH AND ALSO PLEASE STAY HOME! 



Did you make this recipe? We get crazy excited when you make our recipes and we always love to see how they turn out. 
Tag @smartbitesnacks on Instagram and hashtag it #SmartbiteSnacks 

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