I think we can all agree on one thing when it comes to Sunday nights: in a perfect world it definitely includes meal prepping. If you’re like me, it also includes one last delicious and indulgent meal to end the weekend on a perfect note. But what if you only have an hour to cook and you have to choose between the perfect dinner or a weeks worth of lunches? Your head tells you meal prep… but your heart and tummy tell you to make one last perfect weekend dinner. Well debate no more, head and heart, because you can do BOTH with this delicious, nutritious, Buddha Bowl composed of healthy week day recipes that will keep in the fridge for the work week ahead!
For my work week lunches, I like to have a big bowl of ready-to-eat greens so that I can quickly throw together a salad with any toppings I’m in the mood for. The thing about most salads is that they wilt and get soggy with time, leaving them basically inedible. I also struggle with bringing dressing with me in the morning, it just takes too much extra time and leaves me lots of Tupperware dishes to wash and lug around. Fortunately, superfood Tuscan Kale exists!! Unlike other types of greens, Tuscan Kale keeps its crunch if left in the fridge with dressing for a few days. It makes the perfect work week salad base, which is why I like to make a huge container of a simple, vegan Tuscan Kale Caesar(ish) Salad (recipe below)!
I think it has become clear at this point that I’m extremely into spicy food. The more flavorful, the better! Any simple meal can be vastly improved with just a little bit of fun flavor, so I always like to keep some versatile little “flavor bombs” of some sort on hand that I can toss into any dish to spice it up. I’ve been on something of a garbanzo bean/chickpea kick lately, so this week I decided to stick with the trend and make some Crunchy Smoky Paprika Chickpeas to use as croutons and toppings on anything and everything (recipe below)!
The sweet potato lover that I am, I can’t last the week without a batch of my Sweet Potato and Heirloom Carrot Hash. I can’t get over this dish because of the versatility of it; I can seriously eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three. It tastes great with a salad, on some quinoa, in a pita pocket, or even by itself! Another thing I can’t last a week without is a copious amount of ready-to-eat quinoa. Right now I’m really into white quinoa because I love that it goes so well with breakfast foods as well as lunch and dinner recipes. It absorbs and really highlights the flavors and textures of whatever it is paired with, so I like to prepare a good amount of it on Sunday nights so I can quickly put together a filling quinoa bowl in a pinch.
Anyway, I digress.. Back to the star of the show: my Spicy Smoky Sunday Night Buddha Bowl! After preparing all of these work week dishes I was starting to get pressed for time as well as just plain lazy, so I decided to combine all of my meal prep elements into one perfect dish! All I needed to perfect this combination was avocado (of course) and some home made Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe below). Below, you’ll find all the information you need to recreate my little meal prep masterpiece, but don’t be afraid to go off book a little bit and add or subtract any ingredients you want! Cooking is a journey of trial and error… with an emphasis on the error if you’re anything like me. Everything tastes great when it’s tailored perfectly to your tastes, so go ahead and individualize everything (or just stick to my recipes, because I think they’re pretty darn good)! Also remember that some of these recipes make way more than you’ll need for the Buddha Bowl because they’re meant to be kept in the fridge and used as lunch or dinner elements through out the week!
Tuscan Kale Caesar(ish) Salad:
- 10 cups Tuscan Kale Leaves (if you can’t find it fresh at your supermarket, you can also use 1 bag of organic Tuscan Kale but make sure to still measure out 10 cups)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Chili Pepper, Salt, and Pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, shred the Tuscan Kale leaves into somewhat small, bite size pieces (omitting any stems or spines)
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped and crushed garlic, salt, pepper and chili pepper
- Pour dressing mixture over shredded kale, and toss until leaves are evenly coated
Crunchy Smoky Paprika Chickpeas:
- 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat Oven to 425 degrees, drain and rinse chickpeas and dry them off a little bit with a towel or paper towel
- Combine all spices in to a small bowl
- In a larger bowl, combine chickpeas, olive oil, and about 1/3rd of the spice mixture and mix them together until the olive oil and spice mixtures are spread evenly
- On a cookie sheet, spread out the chickpeas and cover them with the remainder of the spice mixture, making sure they are fully coated with the spices
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until they are crunchy
Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce:
- 1/4th cup all natural peanut butter (I like crunchy)
- 1/4th cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1-2 teaspoons (or to taste) Sriracha Chili Sauce
- 1 clove of garlic
- lemon or lime juice to taste
- I’m going to be honest with you here, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to prepare traditional peanut sauce, so I’m just telling you guys what works for me (as someone who is not above cutting corners for the sake of efficiency) – Step 1: Melt the peanut butter over the stove or even in the microwave
- Combine all ingredients until combined into a creamy sauce texture. If you are looking for a thinner consistency, add small amounts of water (maybe a teaspoon at a time) until you have achieved your desired consistency.
Spicy Smoky Sunday Night Buddha Bowl:
- 1 -1.5 cup cooked white quinoa
- 1 cup Tuscan Kale Caesar(ish) Salad
- 1/4 cup Crunchy Smoky Paprika Chickpeas
- 2/3 cup – 1 cup Sweet Potato and Heirloom Carrot Hash
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1/4 cup Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Black Sesame Seeds or Garnish of Choice
- In a bowl, lay down a base of quite quinoa, adding the kale salad and sweet potato hash second, and the avocado and chickpeas afterwards
- Drizzle peanut sauce overtop of the quinoa. Sprinkle black sesame seeds or garnish of choice over top
I hope you guys enjoy this awesome and nutritious Buddha Bowl as well as the recipes included in it! I know I’ll be enjoying them all week 🙂 I would love to hear if you have any great tips to improve any of my recipes or if you made any yummy or nutritious changes. Have a great week, keep it simple y’all!!