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Digital Subscriptions > PlantBased > July/August 2017 > What happened when zen met zucchini…

What happened when zen met zucchini…

Learn the real art behind putting ‘Buddha’ in your bowl

The Times may have dubbed the ‘Buddha bowl’ as a trend back in 2016, but judging on the influx in plant-based protein-packed bowls on multiple social platforms and restaurant menus lately, we think it’s fair to say they’ve well and truly secured a place in 2017. Best described as deep-rimmed dishes overflowing with vibrant nutritious and delicious foods — all of which are carefully chosen and positioned so it’s not just your body that reaps its benefits, but you get a good food selfie too. Because if you didn’t photograph it, did it even happen?

You could say Gwyneth Paltrow, Nigella Lawson, Deliciously Ella and Oh She Glows have been partly responsible for leading the ‘Buddha bowl’ bandwagon.

Ella’s been serving her MaE bowls (aka Buddha bowls) for some months now, whilst Gwyneth started regramming her favourite bloggers bowls nearly a year ago. Though, constructing and photographing your ‘Buddha bowl’ isn’t the only art behind the clean-eating trend.

Believe it or not, opting for a ‘Buddha bowl’ (or ‘macro bowl’, ‘earth bowl’, ‘protein bowl’) is a form of mindfulness.

Known as ōryōki, eating health foods from a bowl is an ancient Zen art of meditation that is performed to make you more self-aware and considerate about the foods and nutrients you choose to nourish and fuel your mind and body with. There are two other parts to the practice of ōryōki, but the ‘Buddha bowl’ is the largest and most important as it represents the Buddha’s head that is flourishing with wisdom.

So, what exactly does your thought-fuel consist of? A good start is a bowl. Next, choose some greens to make a base in the bowl. Go for spinach leaves, lettuce, watercress, kale, broccoli, cabbage, or whatever you fancy. Now, let’s get grainy. Are you a quinoa, rice, lentil, or black bean kind of person? Just pile your favourite on top. Don’t forget to add your protein- tofu, chickpeas and nuts are popular options. Be sure to add some monounsaturated fats, whether it’s some chopped avocado or olives.

Though let us just highlight that this is just a basic formation of the food phenomenon. The possibilities are endless and you can tailor them to your favourite health foods and flavourings. For as long as there is a bowl, nutrientrich food, and plenty of thought, the ’Buddha bowl’ is your court. How are you going to serve it?

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About PlantBased

To encourage you to make the most of the outdoors we decided to explore Alfresco Dining. From big vegan Mediterranean hot pots, Mexican sharing platters, canapes, BBQ food, dips and desserts- you’ll have plenty of food inspiration to plan a great garden party. We’ve even thought about the best delicious drinks to quench thirst too. This month’s Essential Guide to Classic Cocktails will have you shaking, rolling and blending all kinds of fruit-infused alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) creations for your guests. But, if you’re not a fan of cocktails, rest assured as this issue’s Cook Like A Pro will teach you how to brew your own vegan beer. In between all the BBQ and cocktails you are going to consume — we’ve added in some clean-eating foods for those still on the Bikini body bandwagon. We’ve delved into the on-going health food trend of Buddha bowls, while this month’s Special Report explores probiotics. And there’s more — our Nutritionist Notebook looks at seaweed. Will you dare to try it? Speaking of new things- we have brought you some fresh features. Our first Cookery School feature discovers Demuths, whilst our first Foodtale tells the story of an incredible vegan cook/blogger travelling Europe. We also thought it was important to fuel our foodie inspiration beyond the kitchen — our first Food for Thought feature looks at how pro surfer Tia Blanco fuels her sport with plant-based food. On top of all of that, we have our round up of the latest vegan products, news, cook book reviews, a handy little guide to leftovers and Jacqueline’s round up of the summer veggie box. One last thing, this is the season where social gatherings and opportunities to try new things are all around us. Go at it full steam. Experiment in the kitchen. Taste new foods. Dine in the unordinary mise en scenes. But, most of importantly, make memories. Here’s to the good times and the good food.