Build-Your-Own Winter Buddha Bowl

Are you feeling especially drawn to carbs, sweets, and fats in the wintertime? Not only is that normal and healthy, it’s what our bodies are supposed to do as we enter the season of rest, restoration, and hibernation. During the cold season, we’re naturally drawn to calorie-dense, cooked foods that help us slow down and store energy, and our bodies especially love colorful ingredients that signal high nutrient density, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory action.

Of course, it’s easy to mistake our body’s wisdom as justification for overindulging in [insert heavy, indulgent comfort food here] but it IS possible to lean into and satisfy the comfort food cravings in a way that honors and nourishes the body. One of my favorite ways of turning toward the winter carb craze is to create super satisfying and nutrient dense winter buddha bowls, which result in that full body YUM.

In this post, you’ll find my guide to building a carb-happy, nutrient packed, super satisfying and crave-worthy winter buddha bowls that your body will love!

What’s a Buddha Bowl?

A buddha bowl cannot be captured by one recipe, it is a concept. No, it’s a lifestyle. If you aren’t familiar with this life-changing concept, allow me to enlighten you.

The idea here is not to seek out fancy new ingredients or to try to recreate exactly what you see in someone else’s bowl, the beauty of this meal is in the opportunity for creativity and resourcefulness. Use the odds and ends from the kitchen for this meal. Use up produce that’s about to go bad. Use grains from the back of the pantry, use potatoes from the bag in the garage, or wherever. Use herbs and bounty from the garden. Make it YOURS! Each buddha bowl is unique. Let there be no rules!

Elements of a Winter Buddha Bowl

When I’m creating a buddha bowl in the colder months, there are several elements I always try to include. These elements are: pink and orange produce, starchy veggies, whole grains, plant protein, healthy fats, and fermented vegetables. Choose one or two things from each category, and you’ll have yourself a super satisfying winter buddha bowl that will taste amazing and nourish your body at the same time.

Grains & Starchy Vegetables

In the winter, our bodies need healthy, calorie-dense gains and starchy veggies to help us stay strong and warm. Some options include:

  • rice
  • quinoa
  • millet
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash
  • polenta
  • frozen corn

Pink & Orange Produce

Pink and orange foods like citrus fruits and root veggies announce the presence of immune-boosting vitamins. These foods help keep our immune systems in shape during the season when we’re the most susceptible to illness. For example:

  • grapefruit
  • pumpkin
  • butternut squash
  • pomegranate
  • persimmons
  • oranges
  • apples
  • beets
  • carrots

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods promote a welcome diversity of good bacteria to keep our microbiome happy during the wintertime. My favorite ferments include:

  • sauerkraut
  • yogurt
  • kimchi
  • tempeh
  • pickled beets or other vegetables
  • pickled ginger

Plant Protein

No buddha bowl is complete without some tasty plant protein! Some of my favorite options are:

  • beans
  • legumes
  • lentils
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • nut butters
  • tahini
  • tempeh
  • tofu

Healthy Fats

Cravings for fatty food are high in the wintertime for the same reason that we want lots of carbs! Our bodies want us to put on a nice healthy layer of insulation to keep us strong and warm. Fats often get a bad rap, but there are lots of healthy fat options that our bodies need and love, especially during the cold season. For example:

  • avocado
  • nuts & seeds
  • nut butter
  • tahini
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • avocado oil

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark, robust winter greens signal the presence of rich nutrients, abundant vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to stay healthy in the wintertime. I love to eat winter greens raw, cooked, or massaged in oil and lemon juice.

  • kale
  • collard greens
  • spinach
  • cabbage
  • arugula
  • watercress

Anti-Inflammatory Golden Tahini Sauce

This time of year, my go-to sauce for warm bowls is this delicious, warming golden tahini sauce. It’s full of anti-inflammatory and immune boosting ingredients such as turmeric, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and garlic.

More Yummy Buddha Bowl Sauces to Try:

Winter Buddha Bowls w/ Golden Tahini Sauce

Use this template to build a nutrient-packed, super-satisfying and crave-worthy winter buddha bowl that your body will love!
5 from 1 vote
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Active Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
 

Veggies & Fruit

  • 1 lb starchy veggies, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, beets, carrots, etc.
  • 1 bunch kale, or other dark winter greens, chopped into thin ribbons
  • winter fruits, orange, grapefruit, pomegranate, persimmon, apple, pear, etc.

Plant Protein (Choose Any)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 package tempeh, or tofu, cubed
  • 1 can chickpeas, or white beans, drained and rinsed

Garnishes

  • sauerkraut, or other pickled veggies
  • avocado, sliced
  • sprouts or microgreens
  • sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds

Golden Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water, adjust as needed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped or grated
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions
 

Roast Veggies

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Distribute your roasting veggies on the baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly drizzle oil on them and generously salt and pepper them. Toss on the pan to coat.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes until yummy and soft, depending on the size of your dice and the veggies you chose.

Prep Your Protein

  • While the veggies are roasting, prepare your additional fixings and protein(s) of choice.

Make the Sauce

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender cup and blend until smooth. Or, combine the ingredients in a jar with a fork and be sure to grate the ginger and garlic very finely.
  • Thin with water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Assemble Your Bowls

  • If using dark greens like kale, I recommend massaging it with a little bit of lemon juice and olive oil to soften it, or sauté your greens first in a skillet for a few minutes to warm and wilt them.
  • Assemble your colorful and delicious bowls and drizzle them with sauce!
  • Garnish as desired with a sprinkle of seeds, sprouts, or maybe even a flurry of fresh herbs.
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If you make a winter buddha bowl using these tips, let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it, or tag me in your meal pics on Instagram @katiesconsciouskitchen. Or, join my free private facebook group to share your creations and inspire others!

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