From Buddha to poke to smoothies, ramen and chia, the humble bowl is currently trending in food as hard as it was in boys haircuts when I was starting school a couple of decades ago. I’ve already fallen in lust with the new Hokey Poke in Cape Town which has rapidly franchised from its Gardens branch to the Mojo Market in Sea Point (see one of their creations on my insta feed), but now that I’m in London, wallet-destroying foodie capital that it is, it’s probably for the best that I start whipping up my own meals a lot more. This strategy will also ensure I have more money to explore Europe on a whim- #priorities
I created these simple, quick and nutritious Mexican-inspired Buddha Bowls for a filling lunch. Here’s what went into them.
Makes 2 Lunch Bowls. Adjust quantities as required. Prep time: 20 mins
- A grain base. I used a mixture of wholegrain rice & quinoa which you can buy in a pre-cooked bag in the UK (no flavourings or other additives). I’m pretty sure you can find similar in SA but probably minus the quinoa.
- Small tin of kidney or black beans
- 1 Cob of corn
- 2 Handfuls of mushrooms, sliced
- Half a tomato
- 1/4 cucumber
- Half a lemon
- Clove garlic
- 1 Jalapeno chili, or something hotter if you prefer
- 2 Tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- Handful coriander (cilantro)
Cook your grain mix (this one had a stir-fry or microwave option, I went for the latter). Start cooking the sliced mushrooms with a squeeze of lemon juice and boil the corn (approx 4 mins). Just before the mushrooms are finished cooking, add a clove of chopped garlic (don’t do this sooner or the garlic will burn). Cut the corn off the cob. Season your grain; I just added a little salt and some lemon juice for extra moisture. Rinse the grain under cold water, then place with the mushrooms and corn in the fridge to cool.
Prepare your salsa. Salsa is one of my favourite things to make. There are so many different combinations of ingredients you can get creative with! Just chop ’em up fine and soak in vinegar for a pickled-style salsa or leave naked. You may want to let it steep for a while if you’re using something very strong like onion but this one is onion-free. I just finely chopped up cucumber, tomato, chili and coriander, placed in a small bowl and added a tablespoon of white vinegar.
To make the dressing, just squeeze the rest of the lemon into the creme fraiche and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the beans.
Build your bowl by layering the toppings over the grain. Finish off with sliced avo, the cream dressing and nacho chips.
South American-style saints bracelets from a Chinese store (I do love my kitsch wristware!) and embroidered canvas loafers from Primark.