Like clockwork, as Sunday rolled around this past weekend, I was craving something healthy. I know I'm not the only person who uses my weekends to test the limits of my normally-sound-and-vegetable-filled eating habits, and Sunday brings that feeling of "Enough." This past weekend (spent at Clemson, my alma mater) was no exception. I would not trade my 48 hours of time spent with friends in the warm sun, mimosas and pumpkin cupcakes and southern barbecue sandwiches, or watching my Tigers bring home a win for anything. But, it takes a bit more effort to recover from these weekends than it used to when I was in college. Enter: the Buddha Bowl.
This dish is something I have been enjoying from one of my favorite restaurants for a while (in fact, about one year - which is how long they have been open). Every time I order it, I think to myself, "this is something I would make in my kitchen." It's very simple, and can be adapted to whatever flavors you like, or that are in season. This post is more of a guide than anything, but I hope it will inspire you to try new flavor combinations and to let your vegetables take center stage - if that isn't something you're doing already :)
- 1 1/2 cups forbidden rice
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock (I made my own using this method, it is so easy and much better than store-bought)
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 small yellow squash, sliced
- 1 large zucchini, sliced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
- 3 large red beets
- 1 bunch asparagus, rough ends trimmed
- 1 head broccoli, florets only
- 1 handful green beans, ends trimmed
- 1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced
- 1 head baby bok choy, end sliced off and leaves separated
- fresh thyme
- 2 lemons
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the rice:
Prepare the vegetable stock in advance, or use store-bought if you don't have time to make some. Add the rice and stock to a small pot, bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 35 minutes, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes more. Fluff with a fork and reserve until needed.
For the vegetables:
I wanted to prepare the vegetables each in the way that I think showcases their flavor best. Also, when cooking such a wide variety, it helps to cook certain items together that share a similar cooking time. Here is what I did: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start with the beets. I roasted them using the same method as in this post, which took a little over an hour.
I roasted the carrots and parsnips together, with olive oil, salt, a bit of fresh thyme, and pepper for about 20 minutes. Same method/cooking time for the squash, zucchini, and fennel in a separate pan. The asparagus cooks more quickly, so I roasted it alone for 10-12 minutes. When the beets are finished roasting, let them sit and continue to steam in the foil packets, and then use rubber gloves to peel them and chop into quarters or eighths, depending on your preference.
In the meantime, steam the broccoli, green beans, cabbage, and bok choy (in batches, if necessary).
When all ingredients are prepared and ready to use, layer the rice, roasted veggies, and steamed veggies into 4 bowls. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon over each bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. Then, dig into perhaps the healthiest thing you've eaten all weekend. I hope you enjoy!