It’s spring here in Oklahoma!
And that means gardening time again!
Our garden is abundant in lettuce and radishes and I am itching to get my other babies out of the greenhouse and get them into our new raised beds.
You know what else spring means? Swimsuit season is right around the corner!
Can I get a woot woot?
Never fear! I have a delicious recipe for you that will not only please your waistline but give you energy to get into the exercise game as well!
This recipe is inspired by something I had a few weeks back visiting my daughter in Redding, California. She took me to a place called Wilda’s Grill where I had these scrumptious things called a Buddha Bowl.
We visited this gorgeous lake while we were there called Whiskeytown Lake and sat outside with these Buddha Bowls just happy as could be!
If you’re ever in Redding, California, please go and pay the $6 for one of these treasures. They are delicious! And brownie points to Wilda’s for serving them in Chinese take-out boxes with “chorks” – chopsticks held together at one end with a fork. I had to find some of these and order them immediately!
What’s a Buddha Bowl you ask? Sometimes called “hippie bowls or glory bowls”, they are a healthy power energy dish, usually involving a healthy grain like brown rice or quinoa, and can contain anything else healthy like beans, raw vegetables, and any sort of healthy green, like kale, cabbage or lettuce. Don’t even ask me why they named these power healthy grain bowls after a guy with a big fat belly. It makes NO sense whatsoever!
The varieties are endless -you can top them with nuts or seeds and some sort of healthy dressing. I loved the Asian ginger and sesame dressing at Wilda’s, so I decided to try to recreate it at home in Oklahoma City, where sadly I cannot visit Wilda’s.
Is there anything worse than trying something fabulous when traveling and realizing you can’t fly just to eat there and get it again anytime you want?
This bowl is so delicious, I think I’ve come very close to recreating it at home even down to the sesame ginger dressing and spicy garlic chili aioli. Honestly when I make it again, I will probably leave the aioli off as I don’t even think it’s needed but I’ve included it in the printable recipe just in case.
So on to the recipe!
Start out by cooking your grain of choice – brown rice, quinoa, spelt, amaranth, etc. I am stuck on this blend by Wild Oats:
You’ll need two cups (cooked) so follow your package directions on what you pick!
While that’s cooking, grill two chicken breasts. I grilled three…because, I love leftover chicken for other things like salads, etc during the week. Simply salt and pepper the chicken, and either grill it on your BBQ grill outside, or grill it in a pan on both sides and then finish it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
When that’s done chop it into one-inch pieces and keep it handy.
Drain and rinse one can of black or red beans (I prefer black). I heated them up in the microwave for about two minutes. The bottom of your Buddha bowl will be warm (chicken, rice and beans).
Chop up 6 cups of napa cabbage, one avocado, 1/2 cup of cilantro, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped jalapeno, and (my addition) two green onions. If you are a crunch lover like Mr. Wonderful, you may like to add a tablespoon or two of roasted or raw sunflower seeds on top! Shaved or slivered almonds would be wonderful also!
Also you’ll need to make the dressing because in my opinion, the dressing is what makes Wilda’s Buddha Bowls sing with joy. There are two dressings on the bowls at Wilda’s. One is an “Asian dressing” and the other is a creamy based garlic chili sauce.
I whizzed up some fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, carrots, tahini, turmeric, rice vinegar, honey, grape seed oil (substitute canola oil if you need to) and sesame oil together in the blender.
Make sure you roughly chop your peeled ginger because sometimes it needs help breaking down in the blender.
For the second sauce I mixed light mayonnaise and garlic chili sauce (found in the Asian aisle of your supermarket) together. Honestly I would just leave this out but it’s good nonetheless!
Now it’s time to assemble Buddha Power Bowls! Ready? I am a mise en place girl so I had all my ingredients out in bowls complete with both dressings in squeeze bottles.
Start off with one cup of the brown rice/quinoa, etc., then add half of the beans and then on top of that add half of the chicken.
Then layer on half of the jalapeno, half of the cabbage (be generous with the cabbage, you want A LOT!), half of the cilantro, half of the avocado and half of the green onion.
Add a generous portion of the soy-ginger-sesame dressing.
Then add your second sauce, more sparingly in the opposite direction.
And dig in!
These are SOOOO delicious!
I am inspired to play around with more Buddha bowl recipes! These are so yummy and healthy and have me craving more!
See what other fabulous food bloggers made this week featuring “greens” for Food Network’s Sensation Spring Sides!
Devour: 6 Protein-Heavy Salads to Make Your Desk Lunch Less Sad
Homemade Delish: Napa Cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad
Dishin & Dishes: Buddha Power Bowl
Creative Culinary: Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bacon, Croutons and Buttermilk Herb Dressing
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Green Salad With Emerald Green Vinaigrette
Red or Green: Southwest Salad With Ranch Salsa Dressing
Healthy Eats: Balance Spring Meals with These Leafy Green Side Salads
TasteBook: The Ultimate Green Salad
Taste with the Eyes: Blackened Barramundi Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette
The Mom 100: Pea Shoot Salad with Shrimp, Goat Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette
FN Dish: How to Eat Salad for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (and Not Be Mad About It)
- 2 c. cooked healthy grain like brown rice or quinoa
- 1 (15 oz) can black or red beans, drained and heated
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts grilled
- salt and pepper to taste for seasoning chicken
- 6 c. finely shredded Napa cabbage
- ½ c. chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 2 T. jalapeno, chopped finely
- 2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts
- FOR THE ASIAN DRESSING:
- ½ cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 t. tahini
- ½ cut roughly chopped carrots
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 inche piece(s) fresh ginger (depending on how much you love ginger)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- FOR THE GARLIC CHILI AOLI:
- ½ c. light or fat free mayonaisse
- 1 t. chili garlic sauce (like Huy Fong)
- Cook brown rice or quinoa according to package directions. You want two cups COOKED rice.
- While rice cooks - make dressings and cook chicken.
- FOR THE ASIAN DRESSING:
- Put all in a blender and whiz on high until completely smooth. The ginger make make it look a little grainy - this is ok.
- FOR THE GARLIC CHILI AOLI:
- In a bowl, mix both ingredients until well-blended.
- Salt and pepper chicken and grill on BBQ grill, George Forman or in a skillet about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.Chop into one-inch pieces and keep handy
- Microwave black beans until heated through
- Chop remaining ingredients.
- TO ASSEMBLE BUDDHA BOWLS:
- Get two large bowls.
- Add ½ of the rice to each bowl.
- Add ½ of the beans to each bowl.
- Add ½ of the chopped chicken to each bowl.
- Add ½ of the jalapenos to each bowl sprinkling all over
- Add ½ of the cabbage to each bowl. It's a generous portion but is perfect that way
- Add ½ of the cilantro to each bowl sprinkling all over.
- Add ½ of the green onion to each bowl sprinkling all over
- Add ½ of the avocado to each bowl sprinkling all over.
- Add a generous portion of Asian dressing to each bowl
- Add a small portion of garlic chili aoli to each bowl
- Eat immediately and dig in deep to get some of all layers!
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