This summer has been a glorious mix of amazing weather, trips to the farmers market, and travels to new cities. Since summer is on its way out (booo) I thought it appropriate to highlight one of my go-to meals recently: This 7-ingredient kale, quinoa, chickpea Buddha Bowl.
It may seem simple and just like any other wholesome bowl, but the flavors meld together perfectly, it’s a nutrient powerhouse (with 22 g protein per serving), and its simplicity is the best part (anyone can make it)!
Interested in how this delicious bowl is made? Please follow me.
What is a Buddha Bowl?
But first, what’s a Buddha Bowl?
It’s not clear where the term Buddha Bowl originated, and there doesn’t seem to be any strict set of rules for how to make one. But it seems to be roughly defined as a bowl with an assortment of small portions of different foods (especially grains & veggies).
Some say the concept is thought to emulate the way Buddhist monks would walk around with a bowl, accepting small portions from other people (source). While others claim that Buddha bowls refer to a healthy, balanced, but overloaded bowl resembling the rounded belly of the Laughing Buddha (source).
Either way, we’re Buddha Bowl fans around here!
How to Make This Bowl
My new go-to quick soak method tenderizes the beans and opens them up nicely, saving you (6-8) hours of overnight soaking. Cook immediately after soaking and you have delicious, tender, nutrient-rich beans in roughly 2 hours flat.
In the final minutes of the beans cooking, it’s time to prepare your quinoa (a gluten-free, protein powerhouse), make your 3-ingredient Tahini Sauce, and steam your kale (why kale is amazing, in case you aren’t convinced). Then it’s Buddha Bowl building time.
I hope you all LOVE this bowl! It’s:
Easy to make
Protein- + fiber-rich
& Crazy delicious
This is the perfect meal for most any occasion, but especially when you’re craving a healthy, hearty lunch or dinner. It packs up beautifully for work the next day for lunch. Plus, it’s ideal for serving to a crowd as it’s suitable for pretty much every kind of special diet. Win win!
If you try this recipe, let us know what you think! We love seeing your comments, ratings, and especially your photos tagged #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
More Buddha Bowl Recipes
Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- 1 cup dry chickpeas
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp olive, grapeseed, or avocado oil (or coconut)
- 1 cup white quinoa (well rinsed)
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 healthy pinch sea salt
- 1 large bundle curly (dinosaur) kale (rinsed and torn into large pieces)
FOR SERVING optional but recommended
- Fresh lemon juice
- Either soak chickpeas overnight in cool water (for 6-8 hours) or use the quick-soak method: Add rinsed chickpeas to a large pot and cover with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 1 minute. Then turn off heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. Then drain, rinse, and add back to pot.
- To cook soaked chickpeas, add to a large pot and cover with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer, add salt and stir, and cook uncovered for 40 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes (depending on the size/freshness of your beans).
- Sample a bean at the 40-minute mark to see how tender they are. You’re looking for a just tender bean with a tiny bit of bite, and the skins will start to show signs of peeling (don’t go too mushy!). Once cooked, drain beans and set aside and sprinkle with a bit more salt.
- In the last 30 minutes of the beans cooking, start your quinoa by heating a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and rinsed quinoa. Toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. This will allow some of the water to evaporate and add a nice toasty flavor.
- Add water and increase heat to medium-high/high to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low (simmer), cover, and cook for 18-22 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water has completely absorbed. Then remove from heat and loosely drape the pot with a towel or paper towel to continue absorbing any excess moisture.
- Prepare dressing by adding tahini, sea salt and garlic powder to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add water a little at a time until it forms a pourable sauce.
- Lastly, steam kale. Add 1/2 inch water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Insert a steamer basket and the kale and cover. Steam for 1-2 minutes, or until kale is vibrant in color and slightly wilted. Immediately remove the kale from the heat and transfer to a small dish for serving.
- To serve, divide quinoa, chickpeas and kale between serving bowls and top with tahini sauce. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice for more flavor and a bit of acidity (highly recommended).
- Best when fresh, though leftover sauce, quinoa, and chickpeas can be stored separately in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Kale is best when (steamed) fresh.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with sauce.
*Prep/total time accounts for the quick soak chickpea method. Add 6-8 hours if soaking overnight.
*Recipe inspired by the Mighty Bowl at Prasad in Portland, OR.