I’ve fallen in love with Buddha bowls of late, especially when I’m looking to eat something wholesome and satisfying, but light. There are endless variations on it, so you can use whatever you have to hand, whatever you like, and never get bored. And that’s because the dish describes more of a state of mind–an approach–than a concrete set of ingredients. The method: some kind of grain or starch, some protein, and vegetables. There may be a dressing on top. It can include meat, or it can be vegetarian, or even scaled back to vegan standards. One night, I might have a chicken and couscous bowl with red onion, tomato, and cucumber, and the next I might do a quinoa, chick pea, and tofu bowl.
The main idea is just to find balance, to not eat too much of any one thing. And trust me, with these artfully arranged bowls of bliss, every bite is varied but delicious. All in all, it’s very zen–perhaps that’s where it gets its name.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce or your favorite greens
2 tomatoes, diced
½ a medium onion, diced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
For the aioli:
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
The juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
2 TBSP honey
½ tsp Dijon mustard, or more to taste
Salt to taste
½ a cup mayonnaise, or more to achieve desired viscosity
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. While that’s cooking, toss the tomato and onion with some salt and allow to drain in a fine mesh colander. Add salt and pepper to the avocado, set aside.
Make the aioli: combine the ingredients and whisk until well emulsified. Set aside.
Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and seasonings to taste. Heat a large pan over medium-high, and once preheated, add the shrimp. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.
Spoon quinoa onto one side of each bowl; fill the other half with the salad greens. Top the salad greens with the tomato and onion. Pile the shrimp across the middle of each bowl and drizzle with aioli.