Root Veggie Buddha Bowls with Garlic Tahini Sauce

Buddha bowls. Also known as glory bowls. And a bunch of other funny names. You may have seen them on the menu at hippy-ish vegan cafes or in throwback vegetarian cookbooks from the 70s. So what are they? Buddha bowls are just warm salads, filled with nutrient-dense ingredients like cooked veggies, grains, and toppings - perfect for this time of year; the month between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve when you're pummeled by all the sweets, all the time. They're a little bit of nutritional zen in the chaotic, sugar-high world that is November and December.

A version of these root veggie buddha bowls is my secret weapon for staying healthy and grounded during the holidays. Lunch salads and bowls are kinda like a nutritional insurance policy; eat one early in the day and you'll be ready to tackle that office party later. So that accidental dinner of holiday cookies and mulled wine is a-ok in the context of an otherwise healthy diet (#balance). Just channel your inner Buddha early with these simple and satisfying root veggie buddha bowls. And then go party. Mindfully, of course. ;)

 Root Veggie Buddha Bowls with Garlic Tahini Sauce | Vegan and gluten-free. | Loveleaf Co. | www.loveleafco.com

Root Veggie Buddha Bowls with Tahini Sauce

INGREDIENTS

ROASTED VEGGIES

  • 2 medium beets, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into sticks
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into sticks
  • 5 parsnips, cut into sticks
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

RICE

  • 1 cup dry black rice

GARLIC TAHINI SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

BOWLS

  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed and thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • 10 tablespoons roasted almonds, roughly chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Roast the veggies. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until lightly browned, flipping halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice. In a small saucepan, add 1 cup rice, 1 cup water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes (or cook according to package instructions).
  3. As the rice cooks, make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. You may need to add a bit more water depending on the desired thickness of your dressing. Add to a jar and set aside.
  4. Prep the kale. Add the destemmed and sliced kale to a large bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Massage the kale with your hands until softened.
  5. Pack the bowls. Divide the roasted veggies and cooked rice between five meal prep containers* and top with a large handful of kale. Keep the sauce and roasted almonds separate. When ready to eat, drizzle with 1/5th of the tahini sauce. Garnish the bowl with 2 tablespoons roasted almonds right before eating.