Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl with Quinoa and Avocado

This week carried a distinct, somewhat eerie sense of calmness. Sleepy clouds settled in, I lost all resolve to wear anything besides yoga pants, and I found myself in the strange position of completing all of the urgent items on my to-do list. It was odd. On a more industrious week, I would have used the extra time to start on a long-overdue project or sort laundry. Instead, I made myself a Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl with Quinoa for lunch.

Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl with Avocado and Creamy Lemon Dressing - this healthy recipe with quinoa is gluten free, vegan and clean eating. A complete meal with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and it is DELICIOUS. @wellplated

It was a fantastic decision.

A marvelous mix of caramelized roasted veggies, creamy avocado, crispy tofu, and nutty quinoa tossed in an herby tahini dressing, this Buddha bowl recipe is both nourishing and delicious. After finishing my serving, I felt simultaneously wowed by its different elements of flavor and texture and as if the wholesomeness of the ingredients was radiating through me.

BUDDHA BOWLS, a.k.a. power bowls or quinoa bowls are the BEST way to get your protein, fiber, healthy fats, and veggies all in one meal! Clean eating, easy to make, and perfect for any leftover veggies you have on hand. Vegan, gluten free, and clean eating. @wellplated

If you raised your eyebrows (or snickered) at the name “Buddha bowl,” you are not alone. Forever behind on food trends, I  hadn’t heard the term until Lee introduced me to it a few weeks ago. Essentially, a “Buddha bowl” is a dynamo, all-in-one meal comprised of healthy ingredients like grains, roasted veggies, nuts, and greens piled into a bowl, then topped with a yummy sauce or dressing. Buddha bowls are a great way both to repurpose leftover odds and ends and to hit every food group in a single dish.

Buddha bowl aliases include: “glow bowl,” “nourish bowl,” “hippie bowl,” and “power bowl.” Technically this recipe is a “quinoa bowl” too, and although I don’t think you’ll find the name “healthy bowl of awesome” on a menu any time soon, it applies to this Buddha bowl too.

Roasted Veggie BUDDHA Bowl with Quinoa, Crispy Baked Tofu and Avocado! A complete meal packed with protein, fiber, veggies, and whole grains with an AMAZING Tahini Lemon Dressing. Vegan, gluten free, and clean eating. @wellplated

The Buddha bowl has several components, but they are largely hands off and can be prepped at the same time. On sheet pan number one, we have the veggies, simply roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I used a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, and red onion, but any vegetables you love or have on hand can be substituted.

Get your protein, fiber, vegetables, and whole grains all in one meal! Crispy Tofu and Quinoa Buddha Bowls with Avocado. Clean eating, vegan, and gluten free. @wellplated

On sheet pan #2, we have the tofu. While my favorite way to cook tofu is via this stovetop method, I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to fuss with the extra sauté pan, so I decided to try Dana at Minimalist Baker’s method for baked tofu instead. While I still love my ultra crispy “unfried” tofu the best, the baked tofu cubes were still nice and firm, and I liked that I could cook them in the oven at the same time as the veggies.

Crispy Tofu Buddha Bowl! A healthy lunch or dinner that’s clean eating, vegan, and gluten free. Quinoa, the BEST tofu, avocado, roasted broccoli in creamy lemon tahini sauce. @wellplated

Next, we have the dressing. Of all of the different components in these Buddha bowls, the tahini mint dressing might be the one I love the most. It’s creamy, alive with flavor, and adds just the right amount of zip to these Buddha bowls.

The best way to get your protein, fiber, vegetables, and whole grains all in one meal! Crispy Tofu Buddha Bowls with Quinoa and Avocado. Clean eating, vegan, and gluten free. @wellplated

If you aren’t familiar with tahini, it’s a paste made of ground sesame seeds and has a consistency similar to natural peanut butter. Tahini is a staple in Mediterranean recipes, including hummus, and I happen to have a jar that’s been giving me the stink eye from the back my refrigerator for longer than I care to admit. Now that I know how fabulous it tastes as a base for dressing, I don’t expect the rest of it to last long.

The final additions are quinoa (brown rice or farro would be nice too) and avocado. I also tossed in some fresh cucumber and toasted almonds for crunch. If you must, you can skip the last two, but I insist on the avocado. It’s critical to keeping the quinoa bowl mixture from tasting dry, and its creaminess makes the Buddha bowls feel comforting.

Roasted Veggie BUDDHA BOWL. A complete meal packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, with a STELLAR tahini lemon dressing that you are going to want on EVERYTHING. Vegan, gluten free, and clean eating. @wellplated

Admittedly, I didn’t attempt laundry immediately after polishing off my quinoa Buddha bowl, but if I had, I’m positive I could have matched my socks in record time. Consuming this much goodness in a single sitting will make a gal feel invincible!

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Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl with Quinoa and Avocado

Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl with Quinoa, Avocado and Crispy Baked Tofu. A complete meal packed with protein and fiber—Vegan, gluten free, and clean eating!

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Buddha Bowl and Quinoa:

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 pound cut broccoli florets
  • 3/4 pound cut cauliflower florets (about 1/2 medium-sized head), cut into slightly smaller pieces than the broccoli
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rings, rings mostly separated but still left “chunky” (no need to split every layer)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for cooking the quinoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (12 to 14-ounce) block extra firm tofu (do not use firm or silken), removed from packaged and pressed dry
  • 2 small, ripe Hass avocados
  • Optional for serving: Sliced cucumbers, toasted almonds or pistachios, additional fresh mint and parsley

For the Tahini dressing:

  • 1/2 cup tahini*, well stirred
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves (about 1 of the herb packs)
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and the quinoa. Return to boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, then recover and let stand for 15 minutes. (This is the cooking process for the brand of quinoa I use. Check the package of your quinoa and cook according to its directions.) Set cooked quinoa aside.
  2. Place a rack in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. While the quinoa cooks and the oven preheats, place the tofu between two kitchen towels and set on a plate. Place a second plate on top, then press firmly to press out as much water from the tofu as you can, changing out the towels as needed. Dice into 3/4-inch cubes, then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Place the broccoli, cauliflower, and onion on a second baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper, toss to coat, then spread into an even layer. Place both baking sheets into your oven. Bake the tofu until dry and firm, about 20 minutes, and the vegetables until caramelized and tender, about 25 minute.  Flip the vegetables once half way through, and rotate the top and bottom rack positions of the baking sheets. Set aside.
  4. While the vegetables and tofu cook, prepare the dressing: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, place all of the dressing ingredients—tahini, lemon juice, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper, and add 1/2 cup water. Blend until smooth.
  5. Once the tofu is cooked, let cool slightly and then place the tofu cubes in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently to coat. To assemble the bowls, scoop quinoa into a bowl, then top with the roasted vegetables, dressed tofu, and avocado, along with cucumber, almonds, and additional fresh mint and/or parsley as desired. Serve remaining dressing on the side and use as a dip or spoon over the top as desired.

I recommend saving the different components of the Buddha bowl (tofu, veggies, quinoa, and dressing) separately, then combining and reheating just before serving. Saved in this way, the veggies can keep for several days in the refrigerator and the tofu for 1 week. The dressing will last in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

*Tahini substitute: I haven’t tried it, but I suspect natural creamy almond, cashew, or peanut butter would be a delicious substitute for the tahini. Because nut butter is thicker than tahini, you may need to thin the dressing with additional water to reach a sauce-like consistency.

Other veggies: Not a fan (or out of) broccoli and cauliflower? Try this recipe with roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini. or any of your other favorite veggies!

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 4) with 3 tablespoons tahini dressing and 2 teaspoons sliced almonds

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 582
  • Total Fat: 37g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 44mg
  • Sodium: 389mg
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Fiber: 15g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 28g

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About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

17 comments

  1. Oooo I LOVE Buddha Bowls. The tahini sauce looks fantastic and delicious! I’m glad this week was calming for you too, those weeks are the best. :) Thank you for sharing Erin! <3

  2. That looks perrrrfect. I’ve never had tofu that way!

  3. I have been calling them “power bowls” lately whenever I combine vegetables, whole grains, and protein. I love the idea of calling them Buddah bowls! This one looks phenomenal. I did make your black bean burgers on Tuesday for dinner, and Matt and I loved them! I am really thankful he is open-minded and loves trying all types of dishes with me. We enjoyed them for lunch yesterday and are looking forward to eating the rest. I did have to make a few tweaks based on ingredients I had on hand, but I so appreciate the recipe! {I did share a few photos on Instagram too. :) I wish the lighting had been better, but they were really fun to prepare.}

  4. I totally feel you about this week! It felt really chilled out and kinda sleepy- although I personally had this sense of underlying frustration that I wasn’t getting more done, I was actually pretty productive! This buddha bowl looks delicious- so much protein and so many colors :) Pinning!

  5. Love buddha bowls, especially when they are as green and nourishing as this! Gorgeous photos too.

  6. hey girl this looks really good! but I don’t know about that tofu, I’ve never had it! 

  7. I love that when you were overwhelmed you turned to the kitchen. That’s completely my MO too. There’s something about getting my hands on food and making something unctuously satisfying that just puts me at ease – especially when that something involves a large portion of vegetables so I don’t feel AT ALL guilty for eating seconds (or thirds). 

  8. Buddha bowl is a great name! Looks yummy and nourishing!

  9. This has been my lunch this week, so good. The tahini dressing is so good! I usually do some variation of power bowls to take to work for the week, this will definetely stay in the rotation. I used cauliflower, brussel sprouts and some sweet potatoes.

  10. This was so delicious!  Thanks so much for the recipe.  I loved the dressing.

  11. Really good recipe! I love it.

  12. This recipe sounds incredible, thing is my partner really can’t stand mint, in any form, is there anything else you think would make a substitute that would work with this?

    I know nothing really tastes like mint, but maybe something else with a fresh or cool taste if complimented by this recipe? Thanks :)

    • Hi Lily! You can use any herb you really love in place of the mint. If you’re really craving freshness, I think basil would be great. I hope you enjoy! :)

  13. Erin, this Buddha bowl is a must and looks amazing! Sharing!

  14. Made this for supper for me and my husband this evening. Halved quantities for two. Used herbs fresh from my garden and swapped courgettes For broccoli. Delicious and will certainly be making it again. Great recipe.

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so excited to hear that the recipe was a hit, Nicola! Thank you for taking the time to share your swaps—your version sounds just as delicious!

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