It’s official: Bliss Bowls are my new favorite weeknight dinner. For those of you new to the concept, Bliss Bowls — sometimes called Buddha Bowls — are plant-based bowls of goodness that happen to be where it’s at for easy, super healthy dinners. Think a warmed up, more fun-loving cousin of the salad. Plus, they make perfect use of that lone carrot or half-eaten jar of tahini you were thinking of throwing out.
A healthy meal that tastes like bliss and cleans out the fridge? I’m in. Here’s how you can make a Bliss Bowl, too, no recipe required.
Top: Buddha Bowls with Grilled Peaches and the Greenest Dressing | Yummy Beet
Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowl | Pinch of Yum
1. How to make a Bliss Bowl: Build a base.
Not all Bliss Bowls include whole grains, but they make a addition for a hearty version that’s packed with fiber. Grains also helps stretch your Bliss Bowl into leftovers territory, which is great because they make the perfect tupperware lunch. Brown rice is a common choice, but if you’re feeling a little brown rice ennui, try one of these alternative whole grains that Jane rounded up for some variety.
A lot of Bliss Bowls start with roasted chickpeas as a base, but you can add even more flavor by using chickpea falafel the way that Lindsay at Pinch of Yum does for her Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowl (pictured). She provides a recipe for Simple 5-Ingredient Baked Falafel, but if you don’t have time for even that, buy frozen to have on hand (I like the kind at Trader Joe’s).
If you don’t have whole grains, chickpeas or falafel at the ready, fret not. Vegetables work well as a base either on their own or in combination with whole grains and/or legumes. I love using roasted vegetables like sweet potato, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, or eggplant. Really, whatever you can douse with olive oil and throw in the oven works and — bonus — you can make the veggies ahead of time and store them in the fridge for when it’s time to throw your Bliss Bowl together.
Oh, and when the time is right, you can also use grilled veggies like in this recipe for Buddha Bowls with Grilled Peaches and the Greenest Dressing at Yummy Beet (pictured top). Delicious!
Fresh veggies work, too, like bell pepper, cabbage, and shredded carrot. And no matter what else is in my base, I always try to throw in some fresh spinach or kale (which — don’t forget! — needs to be massaged if you want it to be tender) to take things up a notch, nutritionally speaking.
Buddha Bowl Sauce (3 Ways) | Yuri Elkaim
2. How to make a Bliss Bowl: Pour on the awesome sauce.
Just like with a traditional salad, a good dressing can make or break your Bliss Bowl. Thankfully, it’s not too hard to whisk together an easy, totally delicious sauce.
Take a cue from Lindsay at Pinch of Yum, who just uses tahini, lemon, and honey to drizzle over her Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowl (pictured above). Or draw inspiration from Yuri Elkaim’s trio of exotic Buddha Bowl Sauces (pictured), including Creamy Garlic Avocado and Soy-Free Honey Teriyaki. This Eggplant Bliss Bowl with Mint + Cilantro Chutney at Healthy Nibbles and Bits also looks totally divine.
Use what you have and get creative. There’s really no wrong way to dress up a Bliss Bowl. And if you need a refresher on how to whip up a salad dressing without a recipe to help you get creative, we have you covered.
Bliss Bowls with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing | Nutritional Foodie
3. How to make a Bliss Bowl: Finish with yummies on top.
I love the flavor of veggies, but I’ve found that the very best Bliss Bowls have a little something extra to take them to the next level. Grains plus veggies equals a lot of earthy flavors, so it’s nice to add topping ingredients that lend a bright note, like citrus, berry, or even pickled onion.
I love how Sierra at Nutritional Foodie throws pomegranate seeds onto her Bliss Bowl with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing (pictured) for an unexpected fruity touch. Or throw on some nuts and seeds, or avocado for textural interest. You’ll thank me, I promise.