Buddha Bowl – Black Rice, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Red Cabbage and Tahini Dressing Recipe

Black Rice Buddha Bowl with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Red Cabbage with The Hungry Goddess

“Conquer anger with non-anger. Conquer badness with goodness. Conquer meanness with generosity. Conquer dishonesty with truth.” The Buddha [From the Dhammapada]

Buddha Bowls are bowls filled with plant-based goodness and heaped high to remind us of the Laughing Buddha’s belly which symbolizes wealth and prosperity. And the delicious bowl that brings flavor in each bite really does bring feelings of wealth in this moment by consuming ingredients that make our bodies do a Happy Buddha Dance. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Forbidden Rice – black rice from Lotus Foods formed the base for my Buddha Bowl and is my new favorite rice! These little nuggets of Superfood awesome were easy to prepare (the recipe on the side of the bag was completely accurate) and had a nutty flavor that could stand alone and enhanced the other ingredients. The kiddo ensured that no rice was left by standing over the pot and scooping the last spoonfuls right into his mouth. About Forbidden Rice from Lotus Foods:

For increased health and longevity. Legend tells us that this ancient grain was once eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China. Our most popular rice is fabled to enrich health and ensure longevity. This medium-size heirloom rice is treasured for its delicious roasted nutty taste, soft texture and beautiful deep purple color. Forbidden Rice® contains a class of flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanins and, according to Chinese herbal medicine, is considered to be a blood tonifier….

As many antioxidants as blueberries? A new study shows that a spoonful of black rice bran or 10 spoonfuls of cooked black rice contains the same amount of antioxidants as a spoonful of fresh blueberries.

Buddha Bowl with Sweet Potatoes Kale Red Cabbage and Black Rice by The Hungry Goddess

While the rice was cooking, I roasted the sweet potatoes and prepared the kale. I love kale, possibly even more than spinach, but I really love it when I use a combo of Bragg’s Amino Acids, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic to massage the kale. Within 30 minutes, the kale has “marinated” a bit and been broken down, has no bitterness, retains the beautiful color, and does not taste like leafy styrofoam. The red cabbage was simply chopped and added.

Now, let’s talk about the Tahini Dressing. I love sesame but tahini and I have always had kind of a love/hate relationship and not even for a reason that I can really specify. It is a little weird since I love sesame everything else. BUT I decided to give the tahini dressing a go since it looked good on so many other Buddha Bowls and the result was good. Not over-the-moon WOW, but it was a good pairing for the Buddha Bowl. I am going to experiment with some other dressings for future Buddha Bowls, but I am glad that I tried this one. For anyone that really likes tahini, you will LOVE this dressing. Plus, it was just the right consistency to be drizzled over the bowl and complement, not overwhelm.

Noodle likes to nap with Bliss Buddha.

Noodle likes to nap with Bliss Buddha.

Buddha is a much-loved figure in my home. He hangs out in almost every room and in many forms: Bliss Buddha, Blessings Buddha, Weeping Buddha, Thai Buddha, and about nine more! He reminds me to be mindful, to be in the moment, and to invite the sacred into the everyday.

I really took my time with the Buddha Bowl, intentionally slowing down to eat and enjoy each ingredient. Noticing the individual flavors and how they blended was a much-needed sacred pause from the busy pace of the past week. Creating the Buddha Bowl and then honoring the food by focusing on it is part of my commitment to mindful eating. So often, I rush through my meals in front of a screen without really paying attention to what I am eating. Experiencing the Buddha Bowl as a slow, intentional meal really renewed me!

Buddha Bowl with Black Rice and Tahini Dressing by The Hungry Goddess

I invite you to make this Buddha Bowl or to brainstorm one of your own. Start with a healthy grain – quinoa, black rice, brown rice, freekeh. Then, load up the veggies. You can do a breakfast Buddha Bowl, one for a meal, or one for a snack. Let your intelligent cravings be your guide! Tag me or leave a link – I would love to see your creation!

Let’s eat! Don’t forget to sign up for my free online resource: Finding Foods that Love You Back with more than 10 healthy, plant-based recipes. 

Ingredients (made enough for 2 bowls):

  • 1 cup of Forbidden Rice from Lotus Foods (makes about 3 cups cooked rice)
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed and roasted
  • 2 handfuls of kale (see marinade below)
  • 2 cups of chopped red cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil for roasting the sweet potatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup of tahini
  • 1 clove garlic pressed/minced
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • Salt to taste
  • use hot water to thin if needed

Kale marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

Kale, Sweet Potato, Red Cabbage, and Black Rice Buddha Bowl with Tahini Dressing by The Hungry GoddessDirections:

Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Lightly toss the sweet potato cubes in approximately 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Spread them on the baking sheet and roast for approximately 30 minutes until soft but not overly brown.

Prepare the rice according to the package while the sweet potatoes are roasting.

Mix the dressing for the kale and pour over the kale in a bowl. Massage the dressing into the kale and allow it to sit, tossing it a few times.

Combine all the ingredients for the tahini dressing. Taste and adjust accordingly.

Chop the red cabbage.

When the potatoes and rice are done, build your Buddha Bowl. I put rice at the bottom as well. Drizzle the bowl with the tahini dressing. ENJOY!

Buddha with his Buddha Bowl and Tahini Dressing by The Hungry Goddess


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  1. […] and tossed frequently with butter and two cloves of garlic over a medium heat for about 15 minutes. Here is the kale marinade that tenderizes the kale and will have you adding it to everything, I promise. And quinoa …. oh, […]

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