A super flavorful and seriously satisfying vegan Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl, packed full with nutritious foods and drizzled with a simple cashew curry sauce. This meal comes together in just 30 minutes, plus it has 20 grams of plant-based protein and 16 grams of fiber!
*photos and recipe slightly updated February 2019*
What is a Buddha Bowl?
Essentially it’s an amazing dish loaded with nutrients coming from lots of vegetables and grains, paired with a dressing or sauce.
You may be familiar with the other names it goes by:
- power bowl
- macro bowl
- grain bowl
- superfood bowl
- hippie bowl
Whatever you want to call it, it’s a great way to pack a lot of punch into one meal. Some of my favorite meals are buddha bowls / power bowls because you can combine delicious roasted veggies with grains, greens and some raw veggies too. Oh and top it off with a flavorful sauce.
I’ve never been one for condiments but homemade sauces I can do.
Ingredients needed for my Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl
- choice of grain
- red bell pepper
- roasted sweet potatoes
- cashew curry sauce (recipe below)
This is one of those recipes that is really easy to change out ingredients for your favorite items. For example, if you don’t love red bell peppers, try replacing with shredded carrots. Or if tempeh isn’t your thing, maybe do chickpeas instead.
The choice of greens and grains is yours too. I used freekeh because I love the taste and texture.
What is Freekeh?
Have you ever had freekeh before? Pronounced “freek-ah”. Freekeh is considered an ancient grain, low in fat and high in protein as well as fiber. In comparison to quinoa, freekeh has more protein and twice as much fiber (serving for serving). Freekeh is also lower on the GI index, meaning it’s great for keeping blood sugar levels stable. AND get this: Freekeh is high in iron, calcium and zinc, with prebiotic contents, which can help promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut.¹
So basically it’s a powerhouse grain that you need in your life! Personally, I love it. It reminds me of a cross between rice and farro. I love the chewy texture and slightly nutty taste it has.
How to prepare Freekeh
But you can also boil it in a pot of water with a 1:2 ratio. So you need 1/2 cup freekeh with 1 cup boiling water. Allow the pot to boil and simmer until the water has disappeared, typically about 15 minutes or so depending on how much you’re preparing.
This is something that can be meal prepped ahead of time making this buddha bowl recipe super easy to throw together.
How to Cook Tempeh
I always find I enjoy tempeh most when it has been marinated for at least 30 minutes, or a day ahead if you remember and have time. For this buddha bowl recipe using tempeh, you just need to chop the tempeh into cubes and place in a shallow bowl with coconut aminos (or soy sauce), sesame oil and rice vinegar. Flip over after about 15 minutes if not fully covered. Or marinate in a reusable bag placed in fridge overnight.
Homemade Simple Cashew Curry Sauce
- cashew butter
- red Thai curry paste
- coconut aminos (or tamari)
- rice vinegar
Oh this delicious cashew curry sauce… where have you been all of my life?! This is probably my favorite dressing to throw on power bowl recipes and salads like this. Flavorful, filling and kind of addicting. It could probably even double as a fry dipping sauce… just sayin’.
The main idea behind the Buddha bowl is that you’re loading up a bowl with nutritious foods, and getting a good mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. Experiment and play around with your favorites.
Leave a comment and review here on the blog if you make this recipe! I love hearing from you and it helps others find the recipe too.
For the bowl
- 2 TBS coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 TBS rice vinegar
- 8oz package tempeh
- 1/2 cup uncooked freekeh (or quinoa, wild rice)
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 small sweet potato, chopped and roasted
- 1 small avocado, pitted, fleshed and chopped
Cashew curry sauce
Prepare the tempeh
- For the tempeh, I like to chop into cubes and let marinate in mixture of 2 TBS coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce), 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 TBS rice vinegar for about 10 minutes. Cook tempeh in medium frying pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until golden and crispy.
Cook the freekeh (or choice of grain)
- While tempeh is marinating, start the freekeh by placing 1/2 cup freekeh and 1 1/2 cups of water in medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until water has evaporated.
Make the curry sauce
- To make the sauce, add cashew butter, coconut milk, coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce), rice vinegar, and red curry paste in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until combined.
Assemble the Bowls
- In a medium serving bowl, add mixed greens, cooked tempeh and freekeh, layer in veggies, and top with curry sauce. This bowl is best eaten fresh, but leftovers will keep in fridge for a couple days.
Nutrition does not include cashew curry sauce
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 275
- Sugar: 4
- Fat: 10
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 40
- Fiber: 16
- Protein: 20
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SO TELL ME
- Have you had freekeh before?
- Have you heard of the Buddha bowl?
- What’s your favorite source of plant-based protein??
SOME OF THE PRODUCTS I USED IN TODAY’S RECIPE
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