If i were to offer any advice about health and nutrition it would always be, first and foremost- listen to your body. In fact in life in general- listen to your heart, go with your gut instinct.
Funny then, that i realised (or was helped to realise) that i had been doing the exact opposite of this recently. To skip the detail, i’d gotten myself into a woeful habit of completely ignoring my inner self. In so many ways but especially with food. I’m an all or nothing kinda person and that can and does lead me to create very strict rules for myself. I stick to these rules vehemently and as you can imagine, it leads to all sorts of problems.
As you may know, i’ve been all up in the raw food thing for a while now and while it is great i fear i had taken it to the extreme. I got myself so caught up in adhering to the “rules” i had imposed on myself that the rules themselves took control over what i ate and sadly, how i felt.
It got to the point where i actually didn’t enjoy what i was eating. Food no longer made me happy and instead of boundless curiosity and imagination, i just felt a void. I’d restricted myself so much that i had lost one of the single greatest human experiences (to me at least)- taste.
And so, i am slowly trying to loosen the reigns on my crazy (fantastic) mind. To get back to what good eating and cooking are to me- the magical, amazing dance of textures, colours and flavours. And to what life should be- exciting, balanced and harmonious.
These Buddha Bowls are the perfect meal, not only in general but specifically to heal what my mind was going through. In their simplest form- a bowl (or plate) combining a mixture of cooked and raw components. The real beauty is getting a healthy mix of nutrients- fats, proteins, carbs, greens and colours. Yup, my fav- the more colours in your bowl the more phytochemicals- i.e. a techni- colour party of goodness in your body.
I started with a base of beautiful organic Butter Lettuce (is it just me that can’t get this out of my head whenever i say/see/eat the stuff??). For some fat, i thinly sliced some super creamy avocado and gave it a good lick of lime juice. Carbs (and heaps of vitamins) came from the perfectly roasted sweet potatoes which i encrusted with duqqa. Protein came from the heavenly fluffy, quinoa. I (very) lightly steamed some green beans and purple broccoli before adding some crisp and fresh diced tomatoes and spring onions.
The dressing is probably my favourite ever- tahini, miso and mustard. Freshened up (and alkalised) with a good squeeze of lemon juice and sharp cider vinegar. From there, its just a case of arranging (and then mangling if you’re anything like me) all the goodies together. Every bite is utter bliss. The absolute best part of this dish- it never gets boring. So long as you keep a good balance of nutrients you can add any cooked/ steamed/ roasted/ raw/ fermented ingredients and flavours.
(As i’ve already detailed what went in our bowls i won’t go into it further, other than to give amounts and then suggest some further possibilities. This made 2 large bowls).
- 1/2 head Butter Lettuce
- 1 Avocado, halved, sliced and coated in Lime juice
- 3 large Tomatoes, diced
- 3 Spring Onions, roughly sliced
- 2 cups Quinoa, cooked
- handful Green Beans, steamed
- 8 florets of Purple Broccoli, steamed
- 1 Sweet Potato + 6 gloves Garlic + Duqqa
- To cook the potato: Heat your oven to 200c
- Chop potato into equal sized, small chunks and pop into a bowl
- Melt 1 tbsp Coconut Oil and pour over the potatoes
- Sprinkle over 1 tsp of : Cumin, Coriander and Sesame Seeds and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- Coat well and arrange on two (parchment lined) roasting dishes, making sure theres plenty of space between each chunk
- Roast for 25- 35 minutes until they reach your desired crispiness.
Tahini, Miso & Mustard Dressing:
- 3 tbsp Tahini
- 1/2 tbsp Miso Paste
- 1/2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
- juice of 1/2 a Lemon
- 1 tsp Cider Vinegar
- 2-4 tbsp Water
- Combine in a mug and whisk with a fork, adding enough water to reach the consistency you like.
- Kale (raw/ steamed/ massaged)
- Peas & Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Tofu/ Tempeh
- Adzuki/ other beans
- good quality Oils- coconut/ avocado/ flax/ hemp
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
(Any and all but…)
- Red Cabbage
I’ve learnt a lot recently (isn’t life great like that) but mainly i’ve been reminded of what i knew all along- listening; fully and without judgement, to myself/ ourselves. Finding what works for me, knowing what my body wants and needs. I hope this reminds you too (or encourages you) that the best choices you can make for yourself are the ones where you fully consult yourself. Don’t let others make the choice for you- its your body, your mind and your happiness. Oh yeah, and always, always eat delicious food!