Truth be told, once I switched to a mostly plant based diet, I had to ‘Google’, “What is a Buddha Bowl?”. This commonly used title for vegetables all beautifully arranged in a bowl was so prevalent in the vegetarian and vegan world, but I had no idea what it meant. They were suddenly all over my Instagram feed when I started following Vegan food enthusiasts and bloggers, and they all looked great, but what exactly made it a ‘Buddha Bowl’? Well, according to my research, it is hardly scientific; it is basically a bowl full of plant based foods, some cooked, some not, with a side of whole grains. Also, from what I can tell, you must photograph it all beautifully arranged, otherwise it isn’t a ‘True Buddha Bowl’.
So, here I am, joining the rest of the plant based food world, and calling my delicious little weeknight dinner- a ‘Buddha Bowl’. This meal is a quick, and easy weeknight dinner. I used one of my favorite store bought vegan sauces called, Gochujang to give it some extra flavor and spice. Gochujang is a Korean sauce, and I use it when I want to add a little extra punch to some of my vegetables or grains. I am not sure if all brands are naturally vegan, but the one I use comes in a red bottle and is marked ‘vegan’ very clearly on the front.
This type of dinner is also meant to be flexible. Don’t have any squash on hand? Use zucchini. Don’t have quinoa? Use whole grain brown rice. It is really just meant to be a quick, easy, and healthy dinner for your weeknight repertoire.
Mushroom, Eggplant, Squash Buddha Bowl
- 1 Eggplant Quartered, Sliced 1/2" thick
- 3 Portobello Mushroom Caps Halved, Sliced
- 2 Summer Squash Halved, Sliced
- 1 Yellow Onion Sliced
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 2 Radishes Sliced
- 1/4 c. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro Chopped
- 1.5 c. Quinoa
- 3c.+2 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
- Rinse quinoa in a strainer for 1 minute.
- Combine 3 c. of water and rinsed quinoa in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Once the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat with the lid still on, and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven to medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of water.
- Add the sliced onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the remaining vegetables, soy sauce, and Gochujang sauce. Stir, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables are fork tender, but not mushy. *Also if the veggies begin to stick to the bottom, you can add more water 1 tbsp at a time.
- Serve the vegetable mixture over the quinoa. Add radishes, cilantro, sesame seeds and extra Gochujang to taste. Enjoy!