July 15, 2017
Thanks to Shirley for taking on the June cooking class while I visited my grandchildren. The theme of her class was Buddha Bowls. Buddha Bowls are a great whole meal-in-a-bowl and adaptable to whatever grain, veggies or salad fixings you have in the house.
As per our tradition, Shirley started the class with a Green Smoothie. This Digestive Green Smoothie is a favorite of mine.
Digestive Green Smoothie
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup banana chunks, fresh or frozen
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (or to taste)
- 2 cups parsley
- 2 cups water
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
The Buddha Bowls are many and varied but basically consist of:
- A cooked whole grain or noodle
- Cooked and/or raw veggies
- A flavorful sauce
- The grain layer – There are so many different choices for the base of your Buddha Bowl. The most common are cooked brown rice (basmati, short grain, Jasmine, red or black rice are all great options) or noodles (soba, vermicelli, ramen or spaghetti noodles). However, any cooked whole grain can also be used, so don’t feel limited. Try pot barley, millet, quinoa or couscous for a change.
- The Veggie Layer – you will need about 2 cups of veggies for each person. Good choices are onions, peppers, carrots, celery, snow peas, broccoli and mushrooms. You can stir fry your veggies or add them raw, or use a mixture of cooked and raw. One of my favorite options is a stir fry onions, mushrooms peppers and broccoli then topping with raw shredded lettuce, cabbage and carrots. Raw cucumber or tomato are also options.
- Shirley presented two sauce options in the class – a teriyaki and a Thai Peanut Sauce. Both are fabulous.
- 4 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- pinch ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and store in a glass jar in the fridge.
THAI PEANUT SAUCE:
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 3 Tbsp natural smooth peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
- 2 Tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, tahini, peanut butter, ginger (if using), lime juice, tamari, maple syrup, and 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Process until combined. Taste and add more lime juice, if desired. Thin with water until desired consistency. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.
4. Topping Layer – your choice of toppings is endless. My favorite are green onions, sesame or sunflower seeds, peanuts, marinated tofu, or edamame beans
- 1 – 350 gram package of extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp dry ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup water
Drain tofu and slice into ¼ inch sticks. Place tamari, ginger, garlic and water in a non-stick frying pan and mix well. Add tofu and coat thoroughly in marinade. Slowly cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid absorbed by the tofu; this will take about 30 minutes depending on the amount of heat used.
(Note, you can also make this in a low oven (250F). Store in the fridge, will keep for at least a week. It also freezes well.
To make your Buddha Bowl – prepare all your layers first – cook your grains or noodles, make your sauce, prepare your veggies and your toppings. When ready to serve, warm up your grains or noodles (optional – you can add chopped onion, minced garlic, soy sauce and ground pepper to your grain). Serve in a bowl.
Buddha Bowls are also great for picky eaters – provide a choice of veggies and toppings, each in a separate bowl, and let them choose their favorites.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
For dessert, Shirley made a fruit crisp. A lightened up version of everyone’s favorite strawberry rhubarb crisp with a delicious oat-pecan topping and a touch of vanilla. It can be made gluten free by using gluten free oats and oat flour. Serve with your favorite ice cream or whipped coconut cream, if desired.
You can make this crisp oil free by substituting the coconut oil with apple sauce. The toping will be more of a cake consistency.
- For the crisp topping:
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1/2 cup oat flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3/4 cup chopped pecans
• 1/4 cup coconut sugar
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- For the filling:
• 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
• 5 stalks rhubarb, diced into 1 inch pieces
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• seeds from 1 vanilla bean
• 2 tablespoons oat flour
Make the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, oat flour, cinnamon, pecans, coconut sugar and coconut oil; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan with coconut oil (or line with parchment paper).
In a large bowl, add coconut sugar, vanilla bean, strawberries, rhubarb and oat flour; toss a few times to evenly coat the fruit with the sugar and flour. Pour into prepared pan and evenly sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling begins to bubble and the top is golden brown. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with your favorite ice cream, if desired. Serves 9.
You can also use softened or melted butter in place of the coconut oil if you are not vegan.
You can also use brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar if that’s what you have on hand. Recipe from The Ambitious Kitchen.