For those who know me, I love having people over to share a meal and entertain. When my husband was the Officer Rep for a student club over at the Naval Academy, it was pretty common for us to host a meal for up to 30 midshipmen at a time. I’m no stranger when it comes to cooking for a crowd, but our place was big back in Annapolis. It’s much smaller here in the Bay Area, but we still love having people over!
I had a fun idea last week for a dinner theme, so hubby and I invited a few friends over for a Buddha bowl party! For those who don’t know what a Buddha bowl is, it’s basically a bowl full of food, so much so that it’s rounded top is reminiscent of a jolly Buddha belly. P and I eat these all the time, because they can be made with whatever you want. I made things a little fancier this time, but you want to try out different textures, lots of color, and complimentary flavors. I made a couple sauces to complement the meal, and everything was GONE by the end of the night. I’d say it was a success!
(sorry for the bad picture and lighting – it was time to hurry up, assemble and eat!)
Our friends get to experience a super plant-based meal that is not just carrot sticks and rabbit food (this may surprise you that’s what many think of as a vegan meal…hehe). No, they got to go home with full bellies and happy changed outlooks on what vegan food can be. Our goal with every hosted meal is that people start to realize the awesome flavors that can be achieved with these plant-based goodies.
Your Buddha bowl can be constructed any way you like, but this is what I did for our dinner party:
Base: Brown rice mixed with tricolor quinoa
***you can also serve a cold soba noodle salad, barley, farro, or any other grain***
Protein: Thai curry tofu nuggets from Hodosoy (I tried these once at the Ferry Building farmer’s market and was hooked. All you need to do is saute them up in a frying pan to heat through; you can eat these cold too)
***you can also serve chickpeas, black beans, lentils, tempeh, tofu, seitan, or any other vegan protein you like!***
Veggies: I had a few different selections here.
1) 3 bunches of sauteed Swiss chard in garlic and vegetarian mushroom seasoning sauce (kind of like a vegan oyster sauce).
2) Sugar snap pea salad in a miso vinaigrette I whipped up (picture below: the dish in the middle)
3) King mushroom slices. I simply sliced the king mushrooms in 1/2-inch disks, fried them up in Earth Balance vegan butter/olive oil mix, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I topped these off with my miso-tamari drizzle (first picture at the beginning of the post)
4) Avocado (because, avocado goes on everything. Duh)
5) Sliced cucumber and diced red bell pepper, for crunch
***other veggies we’ve done have been as simple as a side of corn to roasted sweet potato in spices***
1) Thai red curry coconut sauce
2) Miso-tamari drizzle (the drizzle on the king mushroom slices in the picture at the beginning of the post – recipe follows)
3) Black sesame seeds
***you can easily garnish with soy sauce or nothing at all!***
1) Sliced green onion, chopped cilantro, Thai basil leaves
So there you have it! The possibilities are endless with these Buddha bowls – what are your fave flavor combinations?
*I was not compensated by Hodosoy for this post. I just love the tofu!*