How to Build the Perfect Buddha Bowl (straight from our favorite Instagrammers) March 24, 2017

by Behind the Scenes

Some of our favorite bloggers and Instagrammers have spoken, and you don’t want to miss what they have to say about the no-recipe “recipe” for colorful, nutritious, and uber Insta-worthy Buddha bowls.

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Step aside, plates. Meals served in bowls are all the rage these days, and if our Instagram feeds are any indication, the trend isn’t going away anytime soon. So we decided to investigate. Why bowls? What does Buddha have to do with it all? Is it just us, or does the food actually taste better this way? Is there a recipe for bowl perfection? CAN WE HAVE IT?

Here’s what we discovered:

1. The shape of the bowl actually does make a difference

“Bowls are a great way to fit a bunch of food groups into one mighty dish (with the bonus being less dishes to do at the end!)” explains Caitlin, the dietitian/blogger extraordinaire behind “A balanced meal with minimal clean-up — what could be better than that?” 

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2. There’s no “recipe,” but be sure to cover all the bases

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I try to incorporate a balance of veggies and/or carbs, protein, a healthy fat, and some kind of sauce” says Georgie of “For example, I love creating bowls with quinoa or farro grains, arugula or kale, eggs or tofu, avocado, nuts, and tahini sauce.”

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3. Creativity is the name of the game (and color, too)

You know those super strict, mile-long, you can’t change anything or else the meal is doomed kind of recipes? Buddha bowls are the opposite. Because they require less of a recipe and more of a “formula” or “guideline,” they lend themselves to an infinite amount of creativity. But don’t just take our word for it. Trust Gabby, the Instagrammer behind @thecurlycucumber.

“I love making Buddha bowls because it allows me to be creative with my meals, and there are an unlimited number of possible combinations. I always start with greens (kale and arugula are my favorites), then I add a protein and a variety of fruits and vegetables. The more colorful the better!”

4. If you’re skipping meat, quinoa is the way to go

“I always like to have quinoa on hand” says Lisa, the dietitian and wellness enthusiast sharing drool-worthy recipes and nutrition tips on “It’s versatile [and] tastes delicious whether you’re pairing it with fish or veggies. While it’s considered a grain, it contains all the essential amino acids (which is rare for a non-meat source) while also packing a ton of protein and fiber.”

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5. If you’re bowl-ing it for breakfast, don’t go crazy with the fruit

“We all know that smoothies can go overboard on fruit sometimes” admits Alexis, the “donut-loving dietitian” and lifestyle coach behind She advises home cooks to stick with a cup or less of wild blueberries, pineapple, or cherries before bulking the rest up with veggies. “Try frozen cauliflower florets, zucchini slices, peas, and spinach [to] give your smoothie [an] extra oomph without a strong flavor or added sugar.”

And the whole Buddha thing? Well, let’s just say the combination of colors, textures, flavors, and nutrients is best savored slowly and mindfully to reap all the good, happy cook vibes. Feel free to rub your belly afterwards, too.

For more inspiration, check out this bountiful beet Buddha bowl (try saying that 10 times fast).

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