Sunday, May 20, 2012

the indie gourmet: buddha bowl

My first encounter with the buddha bowl was in a place called Thrive that is in the neighborhood I lived in for several years in Seattle. They made it as a lunch special for like $8 (which is cheap for them), so that's what I tried the first time I went there, and I was pretty damn impressed with how f***ing awesome it was in so many different ways. It was really filling, it was really good, it was not at all greasy or loaded with sugar, and just felt really healthy to eat. Oh, and it is vegan and almost entirely raw food.

Being super impressed with this, though a little sticker-shocked, I went searching online to see if anyone had some recipes to at least approximate what I had stumbled across at this trendy hole-in-the-wall vegan/raw/organic oasis. What I found was a way to make a decent buddha bowl for a bit less than $8/bowl (I'd still drop $8 on the Thrive version, though, FWIW).

Here's the basic recipe that I use:

1) Whole grain starch: brown rice or quinoa, cooked
2) Marinated greens: kale, collards, chard –  the leaves have to be a bit thick to stand up to the marinade
3) Sauteed onions
4) Raw broccoli
5) Raw carrots, julienned
6) Hummus
7) Soy/Lime Garlic dressing –  1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 clove finely chopped garlic

Offhand, I'd ballpark this at maybe $2–$3 a bowl, tops. I usually buy/prepare all this stuff in bulk, so that tends to bring the cost down quite a bit.

The marinade for the greens is fairly straightforward. There are lots of different recipes readily googlable, but I like this one that I have since forgotten the source of, but it works and is very cheap to prepare :)

* 1 bunch stiff-leaved greens: collards, kale, or chard work well IMOE
* 2 TBSP olive oil
* juice of 2 fresh lemons
* 2 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce

Wisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce together very well in a bowl. I've found that beating it against the side of the bowl like beating eggs helps to mix everything together with the oil.

1) Wash the greens thoroughly.
2) Strip the leaves from the stems.
3) Arrange the leaves on top of each other in little piles.
4) For each pile of leaves {
 a) roll the pile up into a tight roll
 b) slice across the roll in very thin increments so that you get these little discs of rolled up leaf ribbons
5) Put the sliced leaf ribbons in large flat dish suitable for marinating (i.e. it can hold liquid and can be covered easily)
6) Pour the marinade mix over top of the ribbons; mix it around well with a spatula or spoon
7) Cover the marinating dish and let it sit in the refrigerator for 6–24 hours

Makes about 6 buddha bowls worth of greens. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week or two.

I'll remind myself to take some pics to add here the next time I make this (maybe tomorrow)

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