Buddha bowls are the ultimate healthy comfort food! What is a Buddha bowl? Basically any combination of grains, veggies, protein and sauce. This recipe was presented as part of the Culinary Medicine Workshop that we presented at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine annual conference in 2017. The pesto in this recipe is also great on pasta, roasted potatoes, beans or grilled proteins.Print
Mediterranean Buddha Bowl
- Yield: 6 side dish servings, 3 main course servings
- 1 cup dry quinoa (makes 3 cups cooked quinoa)
- 1 cup arugula or baby kale (chop roughly if using kale)
- 1 cup no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- Chili flakes, optional
- 1 cup packed kale leaves, stems removed
- 1/2 cup packed fresh Italian (aka. Genovese) basil leaves
- 2 tbsp toasted walnuts
- 1/2 tsp salt, optional
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a strainer under running water; drain well. Place drained quinoa into a saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, uncovered. Then, turn down to low heat and simmer, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. When done, place in a large mixing bowl and fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto: pulse all pesto ingredients in a food processor until you have a coarse paste. Adjust texture with additional olive oil, if needed, and adjust with salt to taste.
- To the mixing bowl of cooked quinoa, add 1/2 cup pesto and stir until well combined. Add additional pesto to taste.
- Add greens, beans, and walnuts, and toss to combine. Adjust salt to taste.
- Add sliced cherry tomatoes and chili flakes to taste, if desired, and combine.
- Enjoy hot, warm or cold.
- You will likely have extra pesto as the recipe makes 1 cup. Store in a small, airtight container in the refrigerator covered with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent browning. Use within 1 week.
- Alternatively, you can line a ice cube tray with plastic wrap and then portion extra pesto into each of the cubes, freeze, then remove from tray and store in an airtight container in the freezer. These pesto cubes can be tossed with warm pasta or grains to create a nearly-instant, flavorful meal.
- To give the pesto a more savory, umami taste, you can add a pinch of curry powder and/or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast to the food processor step.
Nutritional Info (per side dish serving): Calories 221, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 206mg, Total Carbohydrate 30.5g, Dietary Fiber 6.8g, Sugars 2.6g, Protein 8.1g, Vitamin A 5%, Vitamin C 19%, Calcium 6%, Iron 15%