Buddha Bowls can easily be made gluten free. They may contain healthy greens but they are not salad. The basic idea is to choose a colourful variety of nutrient dense foods and present it artfully. The sauce or dressing is drizzled over the bowl but it's not tossed.
Bowls are trendy and can be found on almost every restaurant menu. Also called Nourish Bowl, Glory Bowl, Bliss Bowl and Power Bowl the interpretations are endless. They can be vegetarian, vegan or include meat.
I'm a sucker for anything with a peanut dressing or sauce and this one's a winner.
- brown rice (white rice, quinoa or any gluten free grain)
- cabbage (or bagged coleslaw mix)
- red pepper
- bean sprouts
- mango (I think this ingredient is a must!)
- peanuts, green onion and/or cilantro
- OPTIONAL: cubes of cooked chicken or marinated tofu
- garlic clove
- peanut butter
- lime juice
- gluten free soy sauce
- honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
- sesame oil
- olive oil
See recipe card for exact amounts.
Create Buddha Bowls that are different every time. Use the list below as a guide choosing a variety of foods from a few different categories. The trick is to keep it simple enough that the individual items shine, yet find those winning combinations that you want to repeat.
Base – Start with rice noodles, gluten free soba noodles or grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet or cooked sweet potato.
Plant-Based Proteins – Make a nutritious, protein rich bowl by adding tofu, beans or legumes like lentils and split peas.
Animal Proteins – For meat eaters a small amount of sliced beef, pork, chicken, fish or seafood and hard-boiled eggs are all options.
Leafy Greens – Choose spinach, kale or other greens in smaller amounts than you would use in a salad.
Vegetables – Use a variety of raw and/or cooked vegetables.
Raw veggies – red pepper, cabbage, cucumber, radishes, snow peas or bean sprouts.
Cooked veggies – steamed, roasted or grilled veggies could be carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans or sweet potatoes.
Fruit – For something sweet and juicy add a handful of berries, any chopped fruit like mango or apple. Avocado is also a popular choice and technically it is a berry.
Garnish and Crunch – Finish off your artful presentation with fresh herbs, nuts or seeds.
Dressing/Finishing – Although a sauce isn’t mandatory many bowls are topped with a drizzle made from tahini or even a thin hummus. I topped this Buddha Bowl with an Asian inspired peanut dressing.
A Canadian Celiac Podcast Episode 101
Podcasts are the best way to keep up on changes in the gluten free space. Subscribe and listen weekly. This post was inspired by my interview with Sue Jennett of A Canadian Celiac Podcast Episode 101: What's A Food Bowl.
We talked about what goes in food bowls, what might contain gluten when ordering in a restaurant and how to build your own food bowls at home.
This is a 21st century Buddha Bowl. It's a healthy meal and you get to decide what exactly goes in it.
I’d love to hear in the comments below what winning combinations you came up with.
NOTE - History buffs and observant listeners of the podcast may have heard me say Buddha lived 400 years ago (oops). Buddha is said to have lived in 6th century BC. As the story goes he carried a bowl and gathered food as he walked. At the end of the day he ate what was in his bowl.
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- 2 cups cooked brown rice (white rice, quinoa or any gluten free grain)
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage (or bagged coleslaw mix)
- ½ red pepper, sliced
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup cubed mango
FINISHING – peanuts, thinly sliced green onion and/or chopped cilantro
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and honey. Continue whisking and add sesame oil and olive oil until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Put generous portion of rice on bottom of bowl. Warm or room temperature is preferred, not cold out of the fridge.
- Top with cucumber, spinach, cabbage or coleslaw, red pepper, bean sprouts and mango.
- Sprinkle with peanuts, green onion and/or cilantro. Drizzle with peanut dressing. Makes 2 bowls.