Like I mentioned last week, this time of year I’m craving warm,comforting and filling fare on the regular. And let me tell you, this meal is certainly no exception.
If you’re not familiar with the “Buddha Bowl” craze let me break it down for ya. You take a grain (quinoa, millet, brown rice, etc.). You put the grain in a bowl. Then you top the grain with basically whatever vegan friendly ingredients you want (I typed that phrase with Sandlot in my head, i.e. “First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham”). Anyway, those ingredients are typically a mixture of veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, sweet potatoes, avocado, etc. It’s always a good idea to top with a sauce, or else make sure everything is seasoned very well for optimal flavor. Like my version of the Buddha Bowl, which is a treat to your taste-buds with hints of Middle-Eastern/Asian spice minus the fat/sodium/sugar that so often accompanies dishes that taste really good. But it is like, really good.
Harmonious in flavors and balance, this bowl combines all of my favorite things- sweet potatoes, quinoa, swiss chard and avocado. It’s got mega protein (from the quinoa), it’s high in fiber (sweet potatoes), filled with good, stabilizing fats (avocado, coconut) and high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (all of the above). It also uses metabolic boosting spices (cinnamon, coriander, garlic, cayenne, cumin and cilantro and lime) and is properly combined for a meal that’s super easy to digest.
It’s also an extremely alkalizing meal, meaning it will help bring your bodies PH level to neutral. Most of our bodies are overly acidic from all of the toxins, caffeine, dairy and meat we regularly consume which, if you can remember back to chem class, is not ideal (remember that whole scale thing where the pH scale goes from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is ACID; above 7 is ALKALINE with the optimal blood level being 7.365… yeah, me either :)). Excessive acidity in the body comes with very negative health effects such as bloating, eczema, psoriasis, muscle cramps, swelling, headaches, allergies, colds, flu & sinus problems to name a few (which if aren’t resolved lead to chronic illnesses, like Cancer, and that bitch thrives in an acidic environment). Eating foods like whole grains, vegetables and fruit help to alkalize your body and bring you back to slightly above neutral (7.365 to be exact). This is where you need to be in order for your body to be healthy and function properly. In fact your entire metabolic process depends on an ALKALINE environment.
So what are you waiting for? Get to cookin’ my friends, because this is a bowl even health guru Buddha himself could be proud to lend his name to.
Buddha Bowl of Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Coconut Quinoa Pilaf & Garlic Greens
- 2 small organic sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
Coconut Quinoa Pilaf
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup coconut milk (from a can)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼-½ cup dried coconut flakes
- 1 large handful cilantro, chopped
- 1 large bunch organic swiss chard, de-stemmed and chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- cilantro, chopped
- avocado, sliced
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and scrub your taters, then chop them into small pieces. Combine melted coconut oil with all seasonings and toss with chopped taters. Spread out evenly in a foil lined baking pan and roast for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil an extra minute or two for that crispy finish.
- Now set to work on your quinoa. Saute coconut oil and garlic over medium high heat in a sauce pan for a couple of minutes, then add quinoa, coconut milk, sea salt and water. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and leave covered for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and toss in raisins, cilantro and coconut flakes.
Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large saute pan and toss in garlic for a minute. Then add chopped swiss chard and saute over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. You want the leaves cooked through but not wilting. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Assemble quinoa, greens and sweet potatoes on a plate or in a bowl. Top with sliced avocado, cilantro and lime wedges.
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