What are Your Favourite Items for a Vegan Bowl?

So, what are your favourite items for a vegan bowl? For me it’s an easy question – but with an infinite amount of variations!

First let’s break down the components of a fully balanced vegan bowl, so you can invent your favourite items and switch them out as necessary.

If you’ve ever wondered what to add to your vegan bowl, this post is for you.

Vegan bowl with nutritional yeast on top
Delicious vegan bowl full of nutritional goodness

What’s the Difference Between a Vegan Bowl and a Buddha Bowl?

There isn’t any difference except for the name.

A vegan bowl is a complete vegan meal served in a bowl.

A buddha bowl also refers to a complete meal served in a bowl. The name buddha bowl gives it a nice ring but the concept is the same.

Is a Buddha Bowl Always Vegan?

A buddha bowl isn’t necessarily vegan. It can be vegan or vegetarian, or it can also contain fish or meat. So the actual name buddha bowl doesn’t guarantee you a vegan experience.

They do tend to contain a lot of veggies even when not vegan though.

What are the Essential Components for a Vegan Bowl?

Let’s break down the essential components of a vegan bowl before we go into detail, because it’s the combination of those essential ingredient groups that will make sure your bowl is a balanced meal.

  1. A type of green leaf
  2. A bed of whole grain rice or quinoa or other whole grain
  3. A source of plant protein
  4. An assortment of vegetables with or without a sauce
  5. Some salad items
  6. A topping of nuts or seeds
  7. A sauce to go with it
Favourite items for a vegan bowl - whole grain rice, green leaves, chickpeas, tofu, sweet potato, cherry tomato, avocado, cilantro pesto, cashew sauce, chopped cilantro
Add chopped cilantro, cilantro pesto and cashew nut sauce

Now, that’s kind of the skeleton of making a vegan bowl, so what are the options for each category?

What are the Ingredients of an Incredible Vegan Bowl?

I often use leftovers in my vegan bowls. You don’t have to make everything new. Feel free to always make too much quantity of a whatever you’re eating and use the extra leftovers to create a delicious vegan bowl the next day.

Here are some of the component ingredient options for making a delicious and balanced vegan bowl.

#1 A Type of Green Leaf

The green leaf lining the bottom of the bowl gives the vegan bowl its delicious combination of texture, blending the crunch with the soft, and the hot with the cold. It’s definitely one of my favourite parts of a vegan bowl and I wouldn’t omit it unless I didn’t have any green leaves in my kitchen at the time.

  • Raw spinach
  • Lettuce or baby salad leaves
  • Lambs leaves
  • Rocket

#2 A Type of Grain

My favourite grains for making a vegan bowl are black rice and whole grain rice but you can choose whatever you like. . .

  • Whole grain rice
  • Black rice
  • Red rice
  • Quinoa

#3 A Source of Plant Protein

Choose one or more ingredients to supply a healthy amount of plant protein to your vegan bowl. My favourites are chickpeas, black beans and tofu.

  • Chickpeas
  • Borlotti beans
  • Butter / Fava beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • White beans
  • Black eyed beans
  • Bean salad
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Lentils

Start with a green leaf, add a whole grain and then add a form of plant protein and a legume.

#4 Add an Assortment of Vegetables

Sweet potato has to be my number one favourite ingredient to add to my vegan bowl! I also almost always add some leftovers of veggies in tomato sauce from a meal the day before. There’s no limit really to which vegetables you can add.

#5 Salad Items

My favourite salad toppings are cherry tomatoes and finely cut cucumber.

  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Cherry tomato
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Raw cauliflower florets
  • Cauliflower rice salad

#6 Topping of Nuts or Seeds

It’s really nice to sprinkle some seeds or nuts on top of the vegan bowl when it’s done. My favourite is hemp seeds.

#7 A Sauce to Go with It

My favourite all time sauce is a cilantro pesto sauce and I’m a huge fan of tahini but I love them all.

Add the sweet potato, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cashew sauce, cilantro sauce, chopped coriander and sprinkle with chopped cucumber.

Vegan bowl with sweet potato, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, cashew sauce, cilantro sauce, rice and green leaves
The final vegan bowl of today’s recipe, missing only the final sprinkling of a seed or other final topping

Are Vegan Bowls Healthy?

Vegan bowls are extremely healthy and come packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and a wide range of nutritional variety due to the wide range of fresh foods.

When made following the method laid out in this post, you’ll get a balanced meal of whole grains, vitamin-rich vegetables, plant protein and super-food health-boosting seeds on top.

How to Prepare Several Days of Vegan Bowls in Advance

Ingredients to Stock/Buy

  • Rice / Quinoa
  • Fresh vegetables: e.g. zucchini, eggplant, red pepper
  • Fresh tomatoes / 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 packets tofu
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce, lambs leaves, spinach or rocket
  • Beans of choice
  • Chickpeas
  • 2 avocados
  • Cilantro pesto
  • Tahini

Preparing the Ingredients

  • Cook enough rice to last several days. I cook 3 measuring cups of the rice cooker.
  • Sauté the fresh vegetables, either in a little olive oil or in a little water if you’re eating oil free. Add herbs and spices if you like. Add the fresh or tinned chopped tomatoes and reduce until you have a veggies in tomato sauce.
  • Cook 1 sweet potato and 1 packet of tofu in the air fryer. You can repeat this on another day. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can roast them in the oven instead or use lemon roasted vegetables instead (be sure to add the tofu).

Putting together the Different Vegan Bowls

All the bowls will begin with green leaves and and a layer of rice. On top of that, you can vary your ingredients each day. A little veggies in tomato sauce, some avocado, tahini or cilantro sauce etc.

One day add chickpeas and another add beans. One bowl can have sweet potato and tofu and another bowl just the veggies in tomato sauce, or pile it all on.

If you get used to making too much food, you’ll always be able to rustle up a delicious vegan bowl.

And the beauty of this is it’s so time-saving.

Once you have all these items in the fridge, you can get home and have yourself a full bowl of goodness in just a few minutes with zero cooking.

You can serve the bowls cold, or heat up the rice and the vegetables and serve them with a mix of hot and cold.

Conclusion on My Favourite Items for a Vegan Bowl

I hope this post helps you to enjoy your favourite vegan buddha bowl!

Once you adopt this easy way of making a meal, who knows, you might end up eating it almost every day!

With a slight variation of the ingredients I just can’t get bored of vegan bowls.

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