Jan 23, 2014

Winter’s Harvest Buddha Bowl

It’s so weird. Sometimes I think recipes are “in the ether” … somehow connecting us vegan bloggers in the physical universe by way of thought or even some higher wavelength. I say this because MANY times, I will create a post and that same day, either after posting or prior to, I will see almost an exact same recipe from another blog. Such is the case with this recipe. I finished the post, scheduled it to go out and headed over to Facebook where I saw a recipe shared from Finding Vegan called “Winter’s Bounty Buddha Bowl“… I’m not kidding! Anyway, I think it’s uncanny how we seem to sometimes be connected to one another on a level of higher consciousness.

Just what is a Buddha Bowl anyway? I did some research and the origin of this healthy bowl of goodness is vague at best. Some say it originated in the 60s or 70s when the first vegans began their reign of brown rice and veggies. Why is it called a Buddha Bowl? That’s even more of a mystery. I’ve heard that it’s because the bowl resembles Buddha’s round belly. Doubtful. Then there is the long history of the Buddha Begging Bowl. You can read up on that if you like.

The consensus, after much searching online, is that a Buddha Bowl is supposed to contain any kind of whole grain, veggies and a sauce. As such, the variations and the possibilities of ingredients are literally endless! Many people also add beans to their bowls.

I’m using short grain brown rice in this recipe, since it is a “warming” grain according to Ayurvedic teachings, as opposed to long grain, which is cooling. A special touch in this dish is the creamy walnut sauce. Sweet potatoes are definitely a reminder of cool months and kale is so hardy that we enjoyed ours fresh from the garden all the way through December!

Since there is really no limit to the imaginings of what goes into a Buddha Bowl, I’ve decided to create one for each season, beginning with this hearty, warming winter bowl of goodness…

My son is really enjoying his new plant-based eating.
He snatched that bowl as soon as I was done photographing it!

  • 2 cups cooked, short grain brown rice
  • 2 baked sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 4 cups tightly-packed chopped kale, steamed
  • 1½ cups salt-free garbanzo beans (1 can), drained and warmed
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

~ for the sauce

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 2 dates


  1. For the sauce, add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Put all the yummies in a bowl, top with the sauce and enjoy!
Make 2 wintry harvest bowls. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

9 responses to “Winter’s Harvest Buddha Bowl”

  1. Sarah Orgass says:

    Yum yum yum!!! I LOVE Budda Bowls!!! Personally I find everything mixed together in one bowl to be the best way to eat 🙂 They are my go to staple meals! And thanks for the history lesson on their origins too! As always you have a fantastic twist on these as well. I particularly love your added purple cabbage garnish. It really brings the colors of the dish together AND serves as a "functional" garnish to get the most nutrition out of the cooked kale! Who thought a few shreds of cabbage could make me so happy 🙂 It's no wonder your son is loving his plant-based life with you as his cook!

  2. Helyn says:

    Aww, thank you Sarah! I love the bowls as well. All the different flavors and textures make me happy!! 🙂

  3. It's beautiful! Our favorite vegan restaurant has a trio dish where they combine a grain, a green and a veggie with new trio combinations every two weeks. I love it!

  4. Helyn says:

    Thank you Tami! I so appreciate your feedback, as always! 🙂

  5. There's something about this Buddha Bowl that gives the body a sense of completeness. Perhaps that's one of the reasons this Bowl is given the name Buddha. My body gave me a warm "Thank you."

  6. Anonymous says:

    Helyn. I love your recipes!! I made this Buddha Bowl for lunch tonight (I work nights) and I absolutely LOVE it!

    I have been trying to learn enough vegetarian, vegan & raw vegan recipes to create an adequate knowledge base in order to switch. I've been wanting to do this for about a year but there's so much to learn & a whole new world in food preparation! I am so thrilled to find your huge list of recipes! I have so many more to try. I love your pantry/staples entry as well. That has been helpful & I'm slowly building up my supply of those essentials.

    My daughter (18yrs) has been a vegetarian/pescatarian for several years but really does NOT know what she is doing. I'm passing on what I learn from you to her, and sharing the dishes with her, so that she can learn the facts to support her decision as well. She is a very picky eater and a super tiny person so your info here is really helping her to get the nutrition she has been missing. Thank you SO much for sharing all of this.

    * Julie McConnachie
    (I'm only entering 'anonymous' because I don't know how the profiles work. I've subscribed to your email updates and I look forward to each one.)

  7. Helyn says:

    Hi Julie! Thanks so very much for all your feedback! I'm happy that I'm able to help you and your daughter… it's why I do this blog! 🙂 Feel free to email me with any specific questions.

  8. LO says:

    I made this last weekend and LOVED it! I am in the beginning phase of ETL so I used eggplant instead of quinoa since I'm currently limiting grains, with the amazing sauce it was still delish to me! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, this is such a great site 🙂

  9. Helyn says:

    Fantastic! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the feedback!

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