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 Tahini Sauce
- 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
- 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
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed and thinly sliced
- extra virgin olive oil olive oil, salt, and pepper
- 10 tablespoons roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.