Lunchtimes are notoriously difficult meals to plan, especially if you want something a little more exciting than a sandwich but not too much that you ruin your evening meal.

As much as we hate falling into the latest ‘fad’ trap, this year sees the increasingly popular Buddha bowl take its place as a ‘working lunch’ routine.

So, what exactly is a Buddha bowl? Is it really nothing more than a salad? Well of course not! It’s a salad… but not as we know it!

Buddha bowls tend to be largely vegetarian (although don’t let that stop you adding your favourite meat/fish if you so desire) and are served in a single bowl. They consist of small portions of several foods, served cold, which includes a whole grain, lean protein, tons of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and a dressing of your choice.

The base of the Buddha bowl is whole grains. Quinoa is ideal for this as it is a complete protein and can be ready in minutes, but other grains you can use are brown rice or barley.

Protein comes next and for this you could add chicken breast, tofu, turkey, black beans, or chickpeas and of course load in all your favourite vegetables. This is when you can use up anything that you have left over in your fridge – ideal in these days where we are all focusing on the cost of living too.

To add extra flavour, try adding onions too and don’t be afraid of adding the more unusual vegetables… brussels sprouts are delicious! Honestly.

For texture in your Buddha bowl, don’t forget to add a selection of nuts or seeds. Go with your favourites or throw in a few new lesser used varieties, like pistachios or pumpkin! Then go ahead and add your favourite dressing. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are a wonderful combination but choose one that you prefer.

And there you have it, a balanced, nutritionist lunch time meal which also sparks the taste buds.

Buddha Bowl

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup roasted sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 cup caramelised onions
  • a handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 fresh carrot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil.

Place all ingredients into a bowl and away you go!

There are lots more ideas and inspirational photographs available via a quick google, for example Feasting At Home and a chicken version from delish