Hearty Buddha Bowls with Quinoa, Garbanzos, and Roasted Vegetables

For last night’s dinner, I was inspired by a few blog posts (here and here) to create my own version of a Buddha bowl, or health bowl. You start with a grain (like brown rice, quinoa, or barley), add veggies, perhaps some greens and seeds, a protein (beans, chicken, or fish), and a simple dressing.ย  I read online that the name may originate from Buddhist monks going from door to door to ask for food. Whatever the origin, I am a fan.

The building blocks: Quinoa + garbanzo beans + roasted veggies + olive oil, rosemary, thyme = Buddha bowl!

I started by soaking 3/4 cup of garbanzo beans overnight (they expanded to make a little over a cup). I threw them in the pot, brought it to a boil, and reduced the heat. It only took about 20 minutes for them to soften, and they had a great texture that popped right when I bit into one. I set them aside for later.

garbanzo beans

Garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas

After the garbanzos were done, I used the same pot to make quinoa. I added two cups of water for one cup of quinoa, brought it to a boil, and reduced the heat. I covered the pot, and in 15 minutes, I had light and fluffy quinoa! I did let it sit for a few minutes to absorb excess moisture.

quinoa cooked

Quinoa, cooked and fluffed

In the meantime, I had been cutting up veggies to roast in the oven: white onion, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and brussel sprouts. I cut the veggies evenly and at an angle to allow for more surface area, and consequently, more flavor. Then I minced up a few cloves of garlic and added cherry tomatoes. I drizzled olive oil on top, sprinkled thyme and rosemary into the mix, gently mixed everything together in a roasting pan, and stuck it in the oven at 375 degrees for one hour. (Inspiration for roasted veggies found here.)

veggies, pre-roasted

Veggies, pre-roasted

During that hour, the house smelled amazing – of garlic, caramelizing onions and carrots, and aromatic herbs. When I took it out, the veggies had cooked perfectly. (Notice how they shrank just a bit.)

veggies, post-roast

Veggies, after they roasted. I love these colors.

Eric and I combined the quinoa, garbanzos, and roasted veggies into a bowl for our dinner. We both had seconds, and there was enough Eric’s lunch the next day.

I love Buddha bowls because they’re super easy, readily customizable, and very forgiving – its hard to go wrong roasting vegetables. This combination of ingredients had a heartier flavor, and would definitely hit the spot during winter time. For a more summer-time feel, I might add kale or wilted spinach, avocado, and take away the potatoes. There are so many possibilities when it comes to Buddha bowls!

buddha bowls

Dinner’s ready! I definitely love tomatoes more than Eric does.

Have you ever made a Buddha bowl? What ingredients did you use?


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