This nutrient-dense Nourishing Buddha Bowl (AIP, Paleo, Whole30) is packed with roasted cauliflower, crispy sweet potato, protein-packed salmon, probiotic-rich fermented kraut, luscious avocado, and a flavorful dairy-free nut-free arugula pesto, all on a bed of crisp romaine. Not only is it delicious on day one, it’s also great for quick and easy meal prep!
What is a Buddha Bowl?
According to Wikipedia, “A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian meal, served on a single bowl or high-rimmed plate, which consists of small portions of several foods, served cold. These may include whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice, plant proteins such as chickpeas or tofu, and vegetables.” Buddha bowls get their name from their appearance – a bowl packed so full of food that it has a rounded top, similar to the rounded belly of the Buddha. They are also commonly known as grain bowls, nourish bowls, hippie bowls, power bowls and macro bowls.
Buddha bowls are great because they pack in a ton of fiber, antioxidants and nutrients into one easy-to-prepare nutrient-dense meal. And they make fantastic leftovers for meals later in the week!
Many recipes for Buddha bowls you can find on the internet and in cookbooks are vegetarian or vegan, since that’s the community they originated from. This means they frequently include plant-based protein sources, like grains and legumes, or nuts and seeds. But, because I’m following the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) (see here for why I chose to follow the protocol), I need quick and easy, nutrient-dense meals that follow more of a paleo template. This means no grains or legumes. And AIP also restricts nuts and seeds. So I decided to create my own AIP Buddha bowl free of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs and nightshade vegetables!
What’s in a Buddha Bowl?
Typically, Buddha bowls are comprised of these basic elements:
- Healthy Fat
An AIP Buddha Bowl
And here’s how I converted these basic elements into an AIP Paleo Buddha Bowl:
- Typical Buddha bowls call for rice, quinoa, or another grain, but for an AIP Buddha bowl, a starchy vegetable works great, such as sweet potato or winter squash. For this recipe, I chose roasted sweet potatoes.
- The more colorful veggies you can pack in, the more nutrient-dense your meal! I chose cauliflower and chopped romaine for my veggies, in addition to the sweet potato already included in the “starch” category.
- Buddha bowls often call for plant-based protein sources, such as beans, nuts or seeds. Or even sometimes a boiled egg, for many paleo versions. But for an AIP Buddha bowl, I don’t see why you can’t incorporate meat or fish! I chose canned wild salmon for this Buddha bowl, because it’s not only packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, it’s also beyond easy to prepare. Just crack open a can, drain and stir!
- Healthy fat
- Some healthy fat options include minimally-processed oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or some sliced avocado. Non-AIP Buddha bowls can also include nuts and seeds in this category. For the healthy fat in this AIP Buddha bowl, I included some sliced avocado.
- Many Buddha bowl dressings include dairy, nuts, seeds or highly-refined oils, such as vegetable or canola oil. To jazz up this AIP Buddha bowl, I thought I would take the opportunity to show how you could use the AIP Arugula Pesto already on the blog! You could also just make a super simple dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt, if you don’t feel like making the pesto.
- Bonus: Fermented veggies!
- Fermented veggies are SO good for you! They are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and probiotics, which can help improve digestion, immune function and heart health. Eating just a forkful a day can help you reap these benefits. Plus, they’ll add that extra zing! to your AIP Buddha bowl! For this Nourishing Buddha Bowl, I included a big forkful of organic fermented beet and cabbage kraut.
- Side note: if you are struggling with gut dysbiosis or SIBO, it’s best to avoid fermented foods until your infection clears, as they can cause digestive distress.
What’s really great about this Nourishing Buddha Bowl, is that it also makes excellent mason jar salads for your weekend meal prep! Just arrange the ingredients in mason jars from heartiest to most delicate. Bottom to top: salmon, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, lettuce. To serve, dump mason jar into a bowl, top with a forkful of kraut, sliced avocado and a dollop of arugula pesto and enjoy!
Boom! Four meals in forty minutes! ??
Do you think you’ll give this AIP-friendly Nourishing Buddha Bowl a try? If you do, I’d love to see it! Share your thoughts in the comments or take a photo and tag #hurriedhealthnut on Instagram or Pinterest.Print
Nourishing Buddha Bowl (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salads
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
This nutrient-dense Nourishing Buddha Bowl (AIP, Paleo, Whole30) is packed with roasted cauliflower, crispy sweet potato, protein-packed salmon, probiotic-rich fermented kraut, luscious avocado, and a flavorful dairy-free nut-free arugula pesto, all on a bed of crisp romaine. Great for quick and easy meal prep!
For the Buddha Bowl
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 lb (~1 large) sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I like it with the skin, for the added nutrients and crispiness, but you can peel first, if you’d like)
4 cups chopped romaine (or other leafy green of choice)
2 5-oz cans wild salmon
1 cup fermented kraut (I used a combo beet/cabbage kraut)
2 ripe avocados, sliced
For the Arugula Pesto
4 cups baby arugula, loosely packed
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop cauliflower and sweet potato (the smaller you chop them, the quicker they cook). Arrange on a sheet pan, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and roast for 20-30 minutes until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, stirring half-way through.
Meanwhile, make the Arugula Pesto by blitzing the arugula, garlic cloves, 1 tsp sea salt, lemon juice and EVOO in a food processor. Reserve extras for another dish.
Arrange chopped romaine, cauliflower and sweet potato into bowls (or plates). Top with shredded wild salmon, fermented kraut, sliced avocado and a dollop of arugula pesto and enjoy!
To meal prep: arrange ingredients in mason jars from bottom to top: salmon, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, lettuce. To serve, dump mason jar into a bowl, top with a forkful of kraut, sliced avocado and a dollop of arugula pesto and enjoy!
Mason jar Nourishing Buddha Bowls will last for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Feel free to use another topping other than the arugula pesto, if desired. Olive oil, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt is my go-to quick-and-easy way to dress up any dish.
All nutrition information is an estimate, only, using an online nutrition calculator.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 491
- Fat: 33.3g
- Carbohydrates: 40g
- Fiber: 15.6g
- Protein: 15.8g
Keywords: buddha bowl, nourish bowl, aip, paleo, whole30, salad