How to build a warm Buddha bowl to keep the winter blues at bay
In summer, it feels easy to eat a plethora of colourful fruits and vegetables or light crisp salads. In winter, however, it seems all we want are large bowls of cheesy pasta – the saltier and creamier, the better. But where the summer fresh health cravings actually do us a favour, those pesky winter cravings probably leave you feeling lazier, sleepier and generally more bummed out. And then you reach for the crumbly, gooey desserts.
My hack? I winter-fy (yes, that’s a word) the Buddha bowl. Buddha bowls are quick to make and leave you with no heavy gluten or dairy comas.
How to build a winter Buddha bowl
Traditionally Buddha bowls are cold dishes. In winter, you can break these rules by keeping some elements like your grains, greens or proteins warm. All you’re doing is dividing a bowl into segments and adding in a food group.
If you love bowl food, you need to check out the new Mugg & Bean winter menu that includes fresh and wholesome bowls like Moroccan butternut and chickpea, Mexican chicken and charred corn plus loads more!
All about the base
Earthy and filling whole grains make up your winter bowl base. These three offer a healthy dose of nutrients, and are just as easy as rice or pasta to cook.
· Buckwheat – this fruit seed is gluten-free, a complete protein and is great for digestion
· Bulgur wheat – this is high in fibre and a protein, making for good brain food
· Quinoa – this complete protein contains iron and is magnesium-rich, which is great for heart and tissue health There’s also a host of other good grains you can look into that may even help with specific ailments like reducing blood pressure or fighting off inflammation.
TIP: Add a teaspoon of turmeric or paprika with cumin seeds to build inner warmth through your grains.
Easy warming greens
Now that you have a portion of warm grains, you can add in a green. These are super quick to warm up by either sautéeing – like kale in coconut oil – or steaming, like green beans or broccoli florets. If you’re steaming, pop the greens in a sieve over the pot cooking your grains and place the pot lid on top.
Bring in a creamy protein
Cheesy sauce is undeniably amazing, but a soft-boiled egg or some toasted chickpeas satisfy that craving for a buttery texture too. For a soft-boiled egg, pop the egg in for 6 minutes once the water starts boiling. For the toasted chickpeas, use canned ones then drain and quick-fry on dry heat. If you’re feeling lazy, opt for store-bought tahini or hummus instead.
Add in the vibrancy
Loads of colour will lift your spirits in grey weather. Pick a few of these and your bowl is complete:
· Chopped tomato, cucumber or avo
· A dollop of pesto, mustard or fresh chilli
· A spoonful of beetroot kimchi or sauerkraut (lasts forever in a jar in the fridge, and adds a necessary good gut-food boost to the bowl)
This quick, flexible dish won’t take you longer than 10 minutes to throw together, you won’t get bored of it, and you don’t need to follow a recipe to make it taste good.