I think I’m late to the Buddha Bowl Party! In the unlikely event you didn’t know, a Buddha Bowl is simply a bowl full of really good, nutritious and delicious food, often with a sauce or dressing, all plant-based. I think the nearest traditional idea is Mezze, a style of serving food that is found wide-spread across the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
What’s great about all this…. Mezze … Buddha Bowl … is that you can create a meal of components … some cooked, some raw, some hot, some cold … which complement each other … and can be made in varying quantities … and then stored … and eaten at your leisure … in different combinations … and exactly to your liking.
How lovely is that?
So, here we have marinaded and roasted root vegetables, steamed broccoli and broad beans, chickpea and cucumber salad, roasted vegetable and tahini sauce and toasted sunflower seeds. Garnished with Sumac and Za’atar.
The Mezze I’ve created below serves 4 … but it’s a really great way of cooking for 1 … just make a batch and store, chilled!
MIDDLE-EASTERN BUDDHA BOWL
4 servings…one way or another !
INGREDIENTS AND PREPARATION:
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES:
- Approx. 1200 gms. root vegetables : I used sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot and potatoes. Peeled washed and cubed 1 – 1.5 cm. square.
Root vegetable Marinade:
- 5 tbs. good quality cold-pressed olive oil.
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed.
- 1 scant tsp. salt
- 0.5 – 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 2 tsps. Za’atar seasoning ( or a mix of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt ground together).
- Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the peeled, cubed root vegetables. Stir thoroughly to combine. Leave to marinade for a minimum of 60 mins. Longer is good. Transfer the marinaded root vegetables to an oven tray, spread evenly. Garnish with several sprigs of rosemary.
- Roast the vegetables in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mk 7 / 220C. until golden. About 60 mins. or so. Turn them once or twice. Timings may vary from oven to oven.
CHICKPEA AND CUCUMBER SALAD:
- 250 gms. pre-cooked chickpeas, rinsed.
- 1/2 a cucumber, washed and diced.
- 3 washed, trimmed and finely sliced spring onions.
- Juice of 1 lemon.
- I tsp. dried (or fresh) thyme – finely chopped or powdered.
- 1 small green chilli: remove seeds and finely chop.
- A pinch of salt.
- A drizzle of olive oil.
- Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl, and leave at room temperature for an hour or two, for the flavours to develop.
STEAMED BROCCOLI AND BROAD BEANS:
- Approx. 300gms. broccoli washed, and cut into evenly-sized, small florets. Remove the toughest stalks.
- 150 gms. podded broad beans : fresh or frozen and defrosted.
- Steam the broccoli and broad beans in a steamer for 7-10 mins. until the broccoli is just tender.
- Transfer to a serving bowl.
ROASTED VEGETABLE + TAHINI SAUCE:
- When the root vegetables are just about cooked:
- Take approx. 125 gms. mixed roasted vegetables, and place in a blender with:
- 150ml. non-dairy yogurt
- 5 good tbs. tahini (sesame paste)
- 2 washed, trimmed and chopped spring onions
- 0.5 tsp. sumac
- 0.5 tsp. salt
- a good pinch of chilli powder
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- approx. 50 ml. water
- Blend all the ingredients in the blender until the sauce is smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- The sauce can be warmed gently for a few minutes before serving, or left as it is and served at room temperature.
TOASTED SUNFLOWER SEEDS:
- Dry roast 50 gms. of hulled sesame seeds in a dry skillet for 2 mins. until pale golden.
Serve it all garnished with Sumac and Za’atar.
Hope you enjoy!