With holiday meal and travel planning, shopping, and all the general busy-ness that accompanies the final month and a half of the calendar year, I have been all about the simple suppers lately.
A Buddha or bounty bowl is basically a big ol’ bowl of goodies piled high atop steamed whole grains — or greens, or cauliflower rice for that matter — and so named for its plump “Buddha belly” appearance. The Buddha bowl is my favorite weeknight meal or homemade to-go lunch, and it’s a perfect example of the genius of batch cooking: roast, bake, steam, and/or blanch your veggies in advance, cook a grain, make a quick sauce — when you’re ready to eat all that’s required is a quick assembly.
These types of “everything bowls” are also the perfect clean-out-the-fridge meal to use up those veggie odds and ends that are looking less than pretty but are still perfectly good to eat. And that’s exactly what I did on a rainy afternoon a few days ago; I took a quick inventory of the crisper drawer and roots bowl, plucked out the items that were beginning to look a bit past their prime, and cooked them all.
This time around I decided just to roast all my veggies to keep things extra simple: beets were sprinkled with salt and roasted whole, broccoli tossed with lemon zest and olive oil before going into the oven, and Japanese sweet potato cubed and seasoned with coriander and turmeric. While the veg were in the oven I cooked a pot of short-grain brown rice ( my absolute favorite because it turns out chewy and nutty and toasty – so delicious) and blended up a batch of creamy cashew-based Green Goddess dressing amped up with moringa powder. That evening all I needed to do was pile some rice and veg into a bowl and drizzle everything with that gingery, garlicky, luscious green sauce and I was all set.
And, with my leftover sweet potato, brown rice, and dressing I made another delicious and easy lunch recipe that’ll be on the blog soon, too.
The lovely folks at Anima Mundi Apothecary recently sent me some of their superfood products to try, and this dressing is my first recipe incorporating their moringa powder. Moringa leaf has a mild flavor and is rich in vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium), and antioxidants, and has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory properties. Moringa has been used in traditional cultures to treat conditions ranging from heart disease and diabetes to skin and digestive disorders, and is a wonderful superfood to add to smoothies, elixirs, and dressings on an everyday basis.
Roasted broccoli and sweet potato Buddha bowls with Moringa Green Goddess dressing
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan
1 cup short-grain brown rice, soaked in 1-3/4 cups water (soaking is optional but I find it helps with digestibility of whole grains)
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 stalk of broccoli, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups baby greens or sprouts
Green Goddess dressing (see below)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Scrub the beets. Leave them a bit damp and sprinkle generously with salt (about 1 teaspoon); wrap beets in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool and remove skins. Cut beets into bite-sized chunks.
Bring rice and its soaking water to a boil in a pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender but not mushy, 40 to 45 minutes. Toss with a fork and cover to keep warm.
Toss sweet potato with 1 tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt, coriander and turmeric. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes, shaking pan halfway through.
Toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon zest, pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until edges are caramelized and broccoli is crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Make Green Goddess dressing (see below).
To assemble your Buddha bowls, distribute rice among 4 bowls. Arrange beets, sweet potato, broccoli, and greens or sprouts on top of rice. Drizzle with dressing and top with sunflower seeds and cashews. Serve warm.
Moringa Green Goddess dressing:
2 tablespoons cashew butter (I like Artisana Organics nut butters)
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 garlic clove, chopped
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 to 4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon Anima Mundi Apothecary moringa powder
salt, to taste (I prefer Celtic salt or pink Himalayan salt for dressings)
Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed, to achieve a creamy and pourable consistency. Season to taste with salt. Store extra dressing in the fridge for up to 3 days.