From supercharged veggie bowls to tropical smoothie bowls, the quintessential smoothie and Buddha bowls have had an upgrade. We bring you the latest on the pretty bowl, recipes et al.
Not long ago, Instagram was filled with colourful food bowls that matched the aesthetic of the feed. Açai bowls and smoothie bowls were the trends to capture the fancy of Pinterest and food blogs in 2018. “Bowl food”, as a concept, finds favour with those dedicated to healthy eating. A few years later, Buddha bowls became a hot favourite with vegans, especially with those recipes on YouTube.
Chef Ravish Mishra, the Executive Chef at The Westin Goa explains, “A Buddha bowl is essentially a simple one-bowl meal, typically vegetarian or vegan, that includes rice, lentils, fresh vegetables, and other plant proteins. It was also known as a Beggar’s Bowl or hippie bowls, and they are a power-packed source of nutrients and energy. The same is the case with smoothie bowls. They are basically macronutrients bowls. In 2019, the popularity of single nutrient or micronutrient meals somewhat managed to get more space and popularity like the Keto bowl, the high protein bowl, the Paleo diet bowl, or the DASH diet. Also, the increasing popularity of veganism has affected their popularity.”
Although these bowls are still around, they have been upgraded in different forms. Smoothies have given way to organic and wellness juices in all myriad flavours and textures. Think Kale, Wild Rocket, Jerusalem Cucumber, and Celery juice. Think local grapefruit and Kinnow from Kotgarh, spiked with soaked chia seeds. Cold-pressed juices and combinations are ruling bars, restaurants, and palates alike, opines chef Sandeep Pande, the executive chef at JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity. However, because of the pandemic, chef Ranveer Brar feels they’re currently missing from the scene. “When lockdown hit last year, there was a massive hike in demand for basic recipes. People had to learn to cook to survive, sustain, or relieve themselves from boredom even, and discovering their inherent cooking skills encouraged people to experiment more and go beyond smoothies and buddha bowls. I’d like to believe that to be a more probable explanation for the reduced visibility of these dishes online,” he explains.
Buddha Bowls have now become Poke Bowl, and this Hawaiian import is literally making waves. “Goodness extends from a breakfast of overnight soaked Muesli “Poke” with fresh fruits and super seeds, to an Ahi Tuna, raw mango, and nori wrapped sushi rice, to the vegan favourite of avocados, sprouts, coconut shaving, and lime. The Poke is the next best trend to hit the shores, and comes in as many variations as the fish in the sea,” explains chef Pande.
Talking about the dos and don’ts while creating these healthy bowls, chef Mishra says that it’s important to have a homogeneous mix of ingredients. “Flavours of different ingredients need to complement each other. The other critical point while making a bowl meal is nutrition. The ingredients need to be highly nutritious and of the best quality. Seasonal ingredients should be given importance, like fruits and veggies of the season which are available locally.” Similarly, Brar opines that the main principle to follow is what goes into your bowl, literally. It isn’t about just making it look pretty for pictures, but making sure a little bit of everything that our body needs in a given meal is added. So, that would be a good mix of proteins, good carbs, fibre, and fat. “I’ve seen our Rajma-Chawal-sabji being presented in Buddha bowls too. At the end of the day it’s about balanced eating with recommended proportions. Here for example, kidney beans provide protein, while rice or alternate grains supply carbs, and so on. Likewise with smoothies, try adding indigenous grain flours, a fruit or two, and yogurt, paneer, or tofu. If nothing else, one can use poha and yogurt and get experimentative,” he says.
Talking from a fitness perspective, Paraj Primlani, Founder of ParaFits says, “Smoothie and Buddha bowls are excellent in terms of nutrition as they comprise a lot of micro and macronutrients. It is the best option for people who are always on the go. Easy to make, these bowls can be designed according to your preferences, making them an ultimate healthy choice while following workout schedules.”
Here are some of the recipes curated by Chef Pande and Chef Mishra that you can add in your healthy eating.
- Avocado ripened (half)
- 50gms Mung bean sprout
- 25gms Homegrown greens
- 50gms Zatar spiced chickpea
- 50gms Oven-roasted tomatoes
- 20gms Pumpkin seeds
- 20gms Hazelnut
- 20gms Pecan nuts
- 30gms Green goddess dressing
Arrange the ingredients in your favourite large bowl.
Make a dressing using hung curd, salt, pepper, olive oil, and basil puree and lemon juice.
Pour on top, and enjoy it cold.
SMOOTHIE BOWL (MANGO BERRY AND OATS GRANOLA)
- Mango (ripened half)
- 25gms Blueberries/ summer berries
- 50gms oats granola
- 150gms yoghurt
- 10ml honey
- 20gms pumpkin seeds
- Mint for garnish
Whip yoghurt with honey and place in a deep bowl.
Top the yoghurt with sliced fruits, berries, oats granola, and pumpkin seeds as shown in the picture
SMOOTHIE BOWL: (BANANA COCOA AND ALMOND MILK)
- 2 bananas ripened
- 25gms pecan nuts
- 25gms flax seeds
- 200ml almond milk
- 10ml honey
- 20gms dark chocolate nibs
In a deep bowl, add sliced fruits and nuts
Top with cold almond milk
AVOCADO AND CHICKPEA POKE
Raw or Blanched ingredients
- 150gms avocado
- 50gms boiled chickpeas
- 50gms roasted pumpkin
- 1 bunch vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 Japanese red radish
- 1 organic peppers
- 1 bunch assorted microgreens
- 20gms red slaw cabbage
- 1 small bunch assorted mesclun lettuce
- 20ml cream
- 10 gms ginger
- 15 gms cream cheese
- 50 ml whey
- Seasoning to taste
Arrange the blanched and the raw ingredients as shown in the recipe.
Blend the ingredients of the dressing, and lightly drizzle over the Poke.
ASIAN PRAWN POKE BOWL
Blanched or Raw
- 150gms deveined shrimps
- 50 gms mushrooms
- 50 gms tomatoes
- 50 gms noodles of choice
- 20ml sweet chilli sauce
- 10ml lemon juice
- 5ml soy sauce
- 20gms chopped garlic shallots and green chillies
Please place the fresh ingredients in the poke bowl.
Combine the ingredients of the dressing in a mixing bowl, and serve the dressing separately.