BUDDHA BOWL WITH MISO DRESSING

Buddha bowl with miso sauce became my lates favorite dish. It is a great dish for cold winter days, since it is warm and having holistic nutrition. It is packed with good nutrients as fiber, wide range of amino-acids, protein, microelements and healthy microorganisms.

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What is Buddha bowl? This is just a commercial name of a dish consisting of any whole grains or beans you have, or mix of both, any fresh and roasted veggies, greens, tofu and miso, topped with seeds or nuts of your choice, and everything in one bowl.  The original Buddha Bowl is a big bowl of whatever food villagers had available and could afford to share, by fact no processed food, only wholegrain and pretty simple, maybe rice and a simple curry.

In Japanese culture this kind of eating way is called Macrobiotic. And this is what I would like to tell you about today.

It is fasting time now and I was thinking for a long time what kind of new challenge could I take up, taking into consideration that I almost gave up eating dairy, meat and fish, drinking alcohol. But when I got familiar with Macrobiotic eating philosophy I realised that I could accept this eating way for the fasting period. There is still challenge for me!

I have been at the food exhibition BioFach 2018 recently, where I have met very nice Japanese lady. She gave me a sample of miso paste, which she is using every morning with just a hot water or as miso soup by adding seaweed and tofu to it.

I got to know from her about macrobiotic eating, which by fact is in accordance with what I was cooking past days. I met her at the right time, this is how life treats us bringing us what we were looking for even if we did at the back of our minds. I believed in it and made sure once again.

MACROBIOTIC

Macrobiotic food has a deep philosophy under the meaning basing on yin and yang philosophy. Modern people tend to divide all surrounding us objects by its individual differences, but macrobiotics learns us to see all objects alike:

  1. all objects are created by Universe
  2. all objects are being changed constantly
  3. all objects has an end
  4. all objects has a front and a back.

Every object has its own speed of change. Depending on speed of change, time and space getting changed as well. If speed becomes higher, then space becomes larger and time shorter. In macrobiotics,  food is understood in terms of yin (expansion) and yang (contraction). We have to eat more food with balanced energy flow to keep our energy in balance as well.

In modern life we see a food conditional and limited way, but this philosophy is expanding our understanding of things around us, which have an energy flows going inside and outside the objects and ourselves. That’s why we need to the pay attention to food we eat. It is vital to eat more ecological food, native to the climate and environment in which we live.

Macrobiotic diet is based on:

  • 50-60% of  whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, barley, millet, buckwheat, oat and etc.
  • 20-30% of vegetables
  • 5-10% of beans (including such products as such as tofu, miso and tempeh) and sea vegetables

Everything mostly cooked and warm. A lot of soups as well, which may be made with vegetables, sea vegetables, grains, or beans. Seasonings include miso, tamari  and sea salt.. No dairy at all, occasionally white-meat fish. No sugar as well, as exception grain based sweeteners: rice syrup, barley malt, amasake, and mirin. Fruits only 2-3 times per week and mostly seasonal local fruits as apples, plums and berries.

Considering how much I love sweet breakfast bowls and fresh fruits in the evening, this gonna be a real challenge for me. But it is always great to start healthier life style and notice good changes.

So what do I have for a challenge on my plate?

  • 80% of meals based on whole grains and vegetables
  • Eat only when I am hungry
  • Eat slowly to take time to be mindful of each bite
  • Drink only when thirsty
  • Only using natural materials such as wood, glass and china to cook and store food
  • Avoiding flavoured, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks (I have to stop drinking coffee for one month!!!)

If you are interested in learning more about macrobiotic eating, you can read basics here: https://www.kushiinstitute.org/what-is-macrobiotics/

MISO

Just a few words about miso.

Miso is a traditional Japanese product made from fermented soybeans, sometimes barley and rice. It has very rich flavour and has been proven for centuries by it’s health benefits. Studies show that people who consume miso on daily basis or at least 2-3 times per week has lower risk of stomach cancer.

Note! Soy products are widely produced from genetically modified (GM) soybeans. To make sure miso is made from organically grown, not genetically modified soy beans, make sure to read the label. The label will also indicate if the miso is gluten free. 

Miso is widely used in Japan, but also got well known in other countries. It is mostly used to make traditional miso soup, as well as seasonings and marinades. It is great as marinade for cooking fish or frying tofu.


My today’s recipe is in accordance with macrobiotics diet, which contains all mentioned ingredients: whole grains, beans, vegetables, miso paste and seaweed. This recipe is very opened for your own fantasy and creations and can be adapted to your grocery options. I just give some ideas and advises basing on my cooking experience in this kind of bowls.

COURSE: Lunch, Dinner

CUISINE: Plant-based, Vegan, Gluten-free, Macrobiotic

PREP TIME: 15 min

COOKING TIME: 35 min

SERVINGS: 2

CALORIES/dressing per 2 servings:  146 calories (carbs 9,5 g (*sugars 3,3 g), protein 5,7 g, fats 10 g)


INGREDIENTS for bowl

Grains + beans – 100g (of uncooked)

* quinoa, brown rice, barley + lentils, mung beans, black beans, edamame

Vegetables – 700g

*pumpkin, brussels – are my choice; any other roots and veggies of your choice will suit it perfectly as well. You can also add some fresh veggies as grated carrots, red cabbage, sprouts.

Olive oil – 4 tsp

Lemon juice – 2 tbsp

Garlic – 1 clove

Nori – few strips

Fresh cilantro – bunch

INGREDIENTS for dressing 

Miso paste – 2 tsp

Rice vinegar – 2 tbsp (sake as alternative)

Soy sauce or tamari – 2 tsp

Fresh ginger juice – 1 tsp

Sesame oil (*or tahini) – 2 tsp

Lime juice – 3 tbsp

Sesame seeds – 2 tsp

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COOKING PROCESS

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 190°C.
  2. Cut all prepared for baking vegetables in medium pieces and marinade it for 10 minutes in mix of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Bake them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your grains and beans boiling in the water according to instruction.
  4. Grind fresh vegetables and fresh greens.
  5. Blend all ingredients for dressing together until smooth.

If you want to make the dish more nourishing, it is always a great idea to add cut in smaller pieces tofu. To make your tofu crunchy, bake it in a frying pan adding any spices to taste (especially miso sauce is great!).

When all parts are ready, place them in the bowl by parts and drizzle over miso sauce. Add some nori strips, fresh cilantro and hemp seeds on top. Additional lime juice sprinkles will give more fresh look and taste to your dish.

Note that miso can be high in added salt, which is not suitable for people who are on low-sodium diet.

Bon appetit, my friends!

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