Colorful Vegan Buddha Bowl

Sometimes you just want a Buddha bowl. At least I do.

And when I want a Buddha bowl, I can go a little crazy with piling veggies onto the plate. I make no apologies.

The key to making a proper bowl is prep work. And an awesome spice rack.

The first step is to pull out all the ingredients you’ll need so you have some semblance of organization as you move forward. I wanted distinct flavors that blended well so I started with the ingredients with the longest cook times; sweet potatoes, cauliflower and carrots. Toss them with oil or vegan yogurt and seasoning and toss them into a pre-heated oven.

We have lots of colorful veggies with the carrots and sweet potatoes but we can’t forget the most important color: dark leafy greens.

Okay, maybe Bok Choy isn’t all that dark green but it is packed with nutrients and it is super delicious. Saute with leeks, ginger and garlic, a flavor profile that will combine with just about any cuisine style you choose. And then, if you must have grains…have your grains! I added about 60 grams of bulgur to this recipe because I always feel better with some grains on my plate.

Sauces are mandatory and I don’t always make one when I make a Buddha bowl but the carrots came with really amazing greens and there was basil and mint in the fridge, so I added lemon and capers and vegan yogurt for a refreshing sauce that allowed me to add a bit more spice to the different vegetables in the bowl.

Toss it all into the food processor and let’em rip. It’s worth the extra step, I swear!

Don’t make the same mistake I did and ignore the timers or you’ll end up with slightly charred bits of vegetables. It was still tasty but I’d rather not eat charcoal, if you know what I’m saying.

Buddha bowls can take time but I promise that prep work will be your best friend at the end of the day. And you don’t have to add quite so many vegetables as I did, but ever since I started using Chronometer, I’m obsessed with hacking my diet to get a greater variety of nutrients to each plate. The best part of all is that the oven does most of the work, the bulgur cooks in 10 minutes which gives you about 15 to properly saute your favorite dark leafy greens.

It’s an hour well spent in the kitchen in my opinion but if you want to chop that time in half, skip the greens and the grains…but seriously, don’t skip either. Your body needs them.

Sweet Potato Birthday Cake!!!

When my mother in law’s birthday rolled around I had two goals in mind.

Make something vegan

Make something she’s never had before.

Neither of those were very hard, but narrowing down the list took some time until my husband reminded me how much she LOVES walnuts. I narrowed it down to what flavors worked best, nixing the brownies idea because that’s my favorite, not hers. But I landed on sweet potatoes, somehow. Some way.

Sweet potatoes. I should tell you that while they are sold here, sweet potatoes aren’t really part of the Romanian diet which is kind of a bummer because I love them. then again, I love all potatoes so maybe I’m biased.

The first thing you want to do is get the potatoes in some water to boil. Scrub the potato good with a veggie brush (hack: I use a nail brush to clean my hard skinned veggies) and drop them in the water whole. I find this keeps from getting too much water into the potato mix. Once it’s cooled enough to peel and mash, set aside and get started on the rest of the ingredients.

This is the Arche brand VegEgg that I am always raving to you guys about! You measure it out (7.5 ml of powder to 30 ml of water) and blend it, letting it stand for five minutes before it’s ready. This is something else you’ll want to do ahead of time so it’s ready when you’re ready to use it.

Next is basic cake making, blend the vegan butter and brown sugar (I use bone-char free Billington’s dark brown soft sugar, check out a more extensive list here) until well blended and then add the eggs. Most ‘traditional’ recipes will tell you to add the eggs one at a time but I add it slowly in a steady stream instead. Then you combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon & ginger and blend.

Add dry ingredients to wet, alternating with 1 cup of almond or other non-animal milk.

The glaze came out a little thinner than I wanted, probably because the vegan butter I used didn’t have enough fat so it never thickened enough to cling to the sweet potato cake. But it did seep into the cake, making it even more moist and delicious. Best of all, Mama loved it!

You can’t have a birthday without cake & champagne!