The simple name of a Buddha bowl is comforting to me. And since we’re approaching winter – which calls for chilly weather, hygge décor and cozy nights in – comfort food is a staple. Without resorting to takeout, Buddha bowls are one of my favorite healthy make-ahead meals to enjoy at night on my couch and during the day at my desk. In order to reach their full potential, here are 7 steps (and a recipe to get you started) for creating the ultimate blissful Buddha bowl.

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Step 1: Base

I usually like to start with a green base for my bowl to ensure I’m getting a wide range of nutrients. Depending on the textures and flavors I’m going for, I’ll switch it up between light & airy or dark & crunchy greens. Examples: Romaine, watercress, swiss chard, mixed greens, spinach, radicchio, kale

Step 2: Complex Carbs

Complex carbs keep me satiated whether after a workout or to make it through a hectic workday. I particularly choose gluten free varieties, but any of the options below are great additions to a bowl! Examples: Brown rice, quinoa, wheat berries, barley, whole grain pasta, sweet potatoes, winter squash

Step 3: Veggies

These veggies can be a mix of cooked & raw. I love the contrast of both, and as many colors as possible that I can get! Examples: Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes

Step 4: Protein

For some serious staying power, be sure to include protein. The best part for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike is the ability to craft your own Buddha bowl based on your own dietary preferences. Examples: Chicken, wild caught seafood, grass fed beef, eggs, tofu, lentils, black beans

Step 5: Sweet

Nothing is better than a little sweet & savory action, so I like to include a hint of natural sweetness in my creation. Examples: Apples, fresh berries, pomegranates, pineapple, watermelon, dried fruit

Step 6: Crunch

Since Buddha bowls are all about texture, be sure to include some crunchy company in the mix! Examples: Purely Elizabeth organic granola, sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seeds, snow peas, edamame, nuts

Step 7: Garnish

Truth be told my favorite garnishes are always in the form of drizzles. This is the best way to include healthy fats and make your Buddha bowl instantly instagrammable. Fresh herbs will also enhance the flavor and keep it seasonally appropriate. Examples: Tahini, pesto, peanut sauce, hummus, avocado, kimchi, chives, cilantro, basil, mint


Delicata Squash Macro Bowl

from Eating Purely Cookbook vegan, gluten-free 1/2 delicata squash, sliced and deseeded 1 small bunch of kales, de-stemmed, shredded 1/2 cup kimchi 1 1/2 cups black rice, cooked 1 cup cooked black beans Tahini Sriracha Sauce: 1/4 cup tahini 1/4 cup water 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp tamari 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar 1 clove garlic, minced Sriracha, to taste Bring water to a boil. Cover pot and reduce hear to low. Add squash and steam for 5 minutes. Add kale and continue to steam for 5-7 minutes. Remove from stove. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini ingredients, adding 1 tsp at a time of Sriracha until desired spiciness. Assemble bowl with kale, squash, kimchi, black rice, and black beans. Drizzle with tahini Sriracha sauce and serve.