Roasted Aubergine & Zucchini Vegan Buddha Bowl

Buddha Bowls. What more can be said about them that hasn’t been said already?

They are packed with nutrients, but only if you pack’em.

They offer the spice of life…variety.

They can help you get your daily amount of grains, proteins and vegetables.

Personally, I LOVE Buddha Bowls. I love making them and I really love eating them.

So here we are, for another round of #vegan Buddha Bowl fun!

Chances are good that you’re aware of all the nutritional and health benefits of these fun bowls, but you’ve probably strayed away because they seem time intensive. Let me tell you that it’s really not all that time-consuming, at least not with a little bit of planning.

For this harissa roasted Buddha bowl, the oven will do all the work for you.

First thing you have to do is choose your: Veggies + Grain + Protein

I chose carrots, zucchini (for me) and eggplant (for him), cut into ‘steaks’ + Quinoa + Chickpeas

You’ll notice a little bit of blackness on the eggplant and other vegetables but rest assured, it’s because of the marinade which included: smoky paprika, oregano, salt & pepper, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, curry, garam masala, spicy paprika and thyme. Whip it all up into a bowl and pour it all over the (scored, doesn’t it look so pretty?) veggies.

Roast in the oven on 200°C/400°F for about 20 minutes, or until they reached your desired level of tenderness or crispiness.

Cook your grain according to the packaging, I used a total of 100 grams of quinoa for 2 adults.

Now it’s time for the protein. CHICKPEAS!!!

Don’t you just love this wonderfully delicious and diverse legume? It makes great dips, falafels, goes excellent in salads or you can even season them and bake them up like nuts for a crunchy snack.

I made another spice blend using cayenne pepper, turmeric, smoky paprika, curry, salt, white pepper and a masala spice blend. But the only way to get the perfect bake is to make sure you dry the chickpeas completely after you’ve rinsed them. Then coat them with the spices and bake for about 25 minutes, less if you want less crunch.

Since each element of this vegan Buddha bowl was SO flavorful, I decided to skip the sauce this time around and let me tell you, the sauce would have taken away from the carefully planned spice profile.

Whenever I’m at a loss over what to make for dinner, I just grab a little of this and a little of that, and 45 minutes later you have a bowl full of yum!

The Lazy Vegan’s Totally Plant Based Buddha Bowl

Lazy moments happen to the best of us and all you can do about it is either complain about it or push through it. Personally, I prefer to do a little bit of both, mostly complain while I push through it.

But that’s just me.

One of my go to meals when I’m feeling lazy because, for example, the temperature has been creeping up towards forty degrees Celsius and you just don’t wanna be in the kitchen, is a Buddha bowl. All you have to do is take a quick look around this blog and you’ll find enough vegan bowl recipes to wonder if I know how to cook anything else.

I do, but Bowl meals are an excellent way to provide your meal with:

Variety

Tons of nutrients

Carbs

A mix of veggies

And you can do it without adding any animal products or unnecessary fats.

Today’s Bowl is aptly called, The Lazy Vegan’s Buddha Bowl

There are a few reasons this recipe is made for the lazy vegan and the first is, the oven. You can put everything in the oven (in stages) and it will do all of the hard work for you.

The best part of all? This recipe is completely plant based!

Here’s what you need: Corn on the cob, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms & couscous…easy, right?

The mushrooms and potatoes went into the oven first because potatoes take forever, especially on our 50 year old stove in our Romanian rental and also because…potatoes. The mushrooms will need to cook out a lot of that water if you want them to have a substantial feel to them and also, a little bit of a bite.

Season them however you want. I used a blend of cumin, harissa powder, salt & pepper, turmeric, smoky paprika and baharrat. These are the main spices I used for just about everything, only mixing it up so they all blended together beautifully. The corn I seasoned with salt, black pepper and garlic granules and vegan butter, wrapped it in foil and cooked about 15 minutes in the oven.

Okay, I lied, the broccoli was already done when I popped it into the oven to give a bit of crispiness on the edges. And it was delicious!

If you think this meal is a little too bland–it isn’t–then you can whip up a quick vegan pesto cream like I did.

Take your favorite pesto recipe and add some vegan yogurt to the mix and voila, you’ve got a nice sauce to add on top of your vegan Buddha bowl!

The pesto is a mixture of basil, parsley and carrot greens but feel free to use whatever makes you do the Yum Yum dance.

Just plate it, eat it and then brag to all your friends that you got to eat all this for just 539 calories!

What’s your favorite type of Buddha bowl?

 

Food Court Flashback ~ Bourbon Chicken Tofu

Way back in 2004, I was living in Boston working on the 2004 Presidential Election as an eager holder of a Masters in political science and delusions of…something. I had just met my husband, who was one of half a dozen roommates I shared a giant colonial with in Everett. Anyway the office where I worked was right in the Downtown Crossing T stop, which meant there was this great little food court right around the corner. The food was…okay.

But there was this little cart on the way there that had incredible falafels, but that’s for another time. Inside this food court was this tiny hole int he wall that served bourbon chicken. This was back in my meat eating days and I couldn’t get enough of this simple dish that I could eat at my desk without making a mess. The ingredients were pretty simple from what my taste buds could gather and remember, after all this time.

I recently caught up with a friend from Boston and it made me nostalgic for this dish so, of course, I made it.

I’d say this was one of the most straight forward recipes I’ve come up with/recreated in a while.

What you need:

Tofu

Onion

Rice

Broccoli

Brown or coconut sugar

Bourbon (or whiskey)

Ginger

Garlic

Soy sauce

Cornstarch

Water

For this recipe I experimented with the dehydrated soy pieces because I love how you can manipulate the texture by simmering it longer or leaving it sitting in the water longer than recommended. Since this recipe would involve simmering, I chose to get the pieces good and thick so I could get a nice crisp on the outside before adding the sauce.

Stay prepared by making your bourbon sauce first. In a bowl, whisk together bourbon, sugar, grated ginger and garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch and water. Set aside so it’s ready when  you need it.

If you want a bit more flavor, add tomato paste by the teaspoon until you get that yummy umami flavor.

The tofu is the most time-consuming part because you have to simmer it before putting it in the skillet, but it’s well worth it.

For the broccoli I took the lazy cook’s route and chopped it with vegan butter, salt, pepper and garlic before wrapping it in foil and popping it into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve the bourbon tofu over rice and add more spice if needed and voila, you’ve got my favorite fast food meal of 2004 on your table in 30 minutes.

And I enjoyed it with a tall glass of water since there was already 2 ounces of bourbon on the plates!

You can have healthy, delicious vegan meals in no time at all. Believe it!