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Reader Treats Just For You!

Presenting the Buddha Bowl

It's the latest healthy food trend and we're all over it with our resident Norfolk foodie - The Mindful Cook

Anyone who has the slightest eye on what’s trending in food, can’t have missed the Buddha Bowl movement. Brightly coloured food in beautiful bowls, photographed with an enhancing filter – what’s not to love?

Thankfully, this particular food fashion is actually rooted in a great deal of nutritional sense. Otherwise known as macro bowls or protein bowls, these bowls include a mix of raw and/or roasted colourful veg, healthy wholegrains (think brown rice, Camargue rice, or quinoa), protein and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, seeds, olive oil and the like!). This way of eating is thought to be ‘ideal’ for optimum nutrition and lowering the risk of chronic diseases. And, if you need convincing further, check out ‘The Doctor’s Kitchen’ book by the new (and rather gorgeous) healthy chef of the moment, Rupy Aujla, who uses this type of dish as an example to his patients of how they should be eating.

A melting pot of flavours and textures, Buddha bowl recipes use a mixture of fresh herbs and dry spices to give them more flavour and you can top them with nuts, seeds, dried seaweed, or whatever you want to give them a boost of crunch and flavour. The possibilities are endless! Once you have a basic recipe like mine below, you can build on it and use your own ideas for ingredients, flavourings and toppings.

four bowls of different spices

Some pointers:

Whilst the list of ingredients may look long, making something like this is super simple. Just make sure you do all your prep up-front. In the cooking world this is known as ‘Mis en place’ and it basically means the art of getting all the elements required to make the dish ready in advance of turning on the hot plate. This is how most TV chef’s remain calm! This is also a great opportunity for you to slow down and be a little more mindful in your food prep – use it as an excuse to wind down from your busy day.


The Mindful Cook

Buddha Bowl 

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 2 Carrots – sliced chunkily on a slight angle, lengthways
  • 50g Asparagus or broccoli spears
  • 200g Sweet potato, cut into chunky chips
  • 1 Red Onion cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • A little maple syrup
  • 20g Pumpkin seeds
  • 10g Sesame seeds
  • Lentil Hummus:
  • 150g Cooked Puy lentils – or just buy ready cooked, far easier!
  • 1 Tbsp Tahini
  • 2 Cloves Garlic crushed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • Seasoning
  • Grains:
  • 150g Tricolour Quinoa
  • ½ Veg Stock Cube in 200ml water
  • 100g Spinach – roughly chopped
  • 100g Sliced sugar snaps (sliced lengthways on a slight angle)


  • 2cms Root ginger peeled and grated
  • 30ml sesame oil
  • 2 drops fish sauce
  • Half Tsp Honey
  • Grated Carrot and Cucumber in a little of your favourite salad dressing


Pre-heat the oven to a 200 C.

Put the carrots and sweet potato chips and onion on a roasting tray, drizzle with the oil, maple syrup, sprinkle over the Cayenne Pepper and thyme sprigs and season well. Toss to coat and pop in the oven for 10 minutes. Coat the asparagus or broccoli in a little olive oil and seasoning and set to one side. At the end of the 10 minutes place the asparagus or broccoli on to the tray too. Roast for a further 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the cooked lentils, tahini, cumin, lemon juice, one clove of garlic and seasoning into a blender (or nutri bullet) and blitz to form a hummus. Set aside.

Get the quinoa ready by using my failsafe approach to cooking it: Wash the quinoa thoroughly in cold water, drain and toast lightly in a dry frying pan until the liquid evaporates. This makes sure you get a nice fluffy quinoa.

Once done pop it in a saucepan with 200ml veg stock, a squeeze of lemon juice, pinch of salt and a drop of olive oil. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer, pop a lid on it and cook for 7-8 minutes. After this time most of the water should be absorbed, take the lid off and give it a stir, then pop the lid back on again and allow it to steam on a low heat for a further 5 minutes before turning off. Give it a taste and if it needs a little longer just allow to steam a little more with the lid on.

Make up a dressing by grating the ginger and mixing together with the sesame oil, honey and fish sauce.

Have your spinach and sugar snaps ready and once the quinoa is cooked, simply mix through the greens – the heat of the quinoa will cook them just a little, so they still retain crunch and nutritional properties. Then mix through the dressing.

Build you bowl! Pop all the different elements into the bowl however you like. Add a good spoon of the pickled carrot and sprinkle with the pumpkin and sesame seeds.

Voila! A beautiful, healthy bowl!

For more mindful recipes from the lovely Josie Buck visit 

Find more ideas here


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