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Buddha bowl with a spicy kick:

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

A Buddha bowl is one plate, vegetarian wholesome meal, served on a single bowl, which consists of small portions of several foods groups, a whole grain source (like quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, etc), a plant protein source (like lentils, beans or tofu), and a good amount of colorful vegetables, with or without sauce.

There are several theories for why the name refers to Buddha. Some of them are it may originate from presenting a balanced meal, where balance is a key, that's the Buddhist concept, or from the story of Buddha carrying his food bowl to fill it with whatever bits of vegetarian food, villagers would offer him.

"This is so close to the USDA's my plate that we as dietitians or health practitioners promote to our clients. Its emphasis on inclusion of all food groups, more close to natural forms, full of fiber, and also portion controlling them, at the same time.

If you are just starting out your low-carb journey, I highly encourage looking into trying different versions of Buddha bowls, these are easy, instant with minimal cooking involved and really nourishing!

paneer buddha bowl, low carb, salad bowl, tandoori bowl

What's included in a nourish bowl?

  1. Pick a whole grain: Preferably a whole grain will make it more wholesome, like cooked brown rice, qinoa, buckwheat, millets, etc.

  2. Pick a vegetarian protein source: Be it paneer (Indian cottage cheese), yogurt, tofu, tempeh, lentils or beans, sprouted beans, etc so many possibilities. Don't forget to flavor them with a good sauce or spices!

  3. Pick 2-4 veggies: these could be raw or cooked, just use a rainbow if you'd wish, and flavor them with the right dressing if you have no time to cook. My favorites here are cruciferous veggies that are high in vitamins C, E, and K, several carotenoids like kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, etc, or veggies you otherwise don't eat much! On rushed days, any leftover cooked vegetables work great too!

The best part is that leftovers work just as great! All in all, you can't go wrong with these, any variation you go for! So let's get started.


Gluten-free: gluten-free labeled quinoa




Vegan: replace tofu/tempeh for paneer


KETO-friendly: replace sprouts and quinoa with cauliflower rice and salad or greens

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 min

Serves: 1


  • olive oil, 1-2 tbsp

  • paneer, 1 cup, cubes

  • onion, 1/4, sliced

  • 2-3 cups mix veggies of your choice- kale, celery/cabbage/napa cabbage

  • cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup raw

  • cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup

  • sprouted mung dal, 1/2 cup

  • tandoori masala, 1-2 tbsp

  • paprika, 1 tsp

  • salt and lime juice, to taste


  1. cook oil, add onions, zucchini, celery, cabbage, and cook for 3 minutes until tender. Add paneer, salt, paprika, and tandoori masala.

  2. pour it in a wide bowl, arrange it in sections. Add cooked quinoa in 1/4 of the plate, add sprouted mung beans in 1/4 plate, and a side of cherry tomatoes. It's ready to serve, makes a great packed lunch as well.

Did you give this a try? What's your version of the Buddha bowl? Would love to hear it!


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