Mexican inspired quinoa buddha bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

My favourite thing about these quinoa Buddha bowls is you prep them on a Sunday and you pretty much have lunch or dinner for the rest of the week. I am not a food prepper, sometimes I wish I was, and who knows maybe I will become one with the amount of times I make these bowls right now but generally speaking I don’t really do any food prepping each week. I guess I just like to make new and different things and experiment too much that I have felt that food prepping would hinder that. Even though some days I do open the fridge and think dammit I wish I had some things roasted so I could just easily throw something together, those are the lazy days! 

That is where these bowls have been coming in handy lately, the best part is they are so versatile. You can really play on the flavour and items you put into buddha bowls, making them more Mediterranean or Indian or Middle Eastern. Buddha bowls are endless, you can switch out the grains, the veggies, the garnishes, you can really make them your own. And for the lovers of food prepping they are pretty much the bees honey (is that even a saying?!?) when it comes to it. Store each component separately in glass ware (quinoa, bean medley, chipotle cashew cream, roasted veggies etc) warm everything up in the oven when you are ready to eat one and you have bowls for days!

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There are a lot of elements to these Buddha bowls that I love, each ingredient and flavour has a purpose. Whether it is for texture, like the carrot and cabbage slaw or the bean medley or a flavour explosion like the chipotle cashew cream, the fresh cilantro and lime, they are healthy, delicious and filled with nutrients.

They do take some time to make each element, but like I said above you make everythign on a Sunday and you don't have to worry for the rest of the week. 

I have also made these bowls completely vegan but you could add grilled chicken or chorizo, maybe a fried egg or some smoked tofu. The chipotle cashew cream is about my favourite thing at the moment. I have been spreading it on anything and everything, my most recent recipe for the reinvented BLT sandwich showcases the creamy spread as well (seriously you should make that sandwich, it is ridiculously good).

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mexican inspired quinoa buddha bowls {vegan, gluten-free}


bean medley 

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

1 large white onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 small zucchini

2 cups of strained tomatoes

1 cup water

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 tbsp chipotle puree (recipe below)

2 tbsp maple syrup

salt & pepper to taste

chipotle puree

1 can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce

1 can green chilis

balsamic slaw

1 large carrot

1/4 head red cabbage

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic glaze

chipotle cashew cream

3/4 cup soaked cashews

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

juice of half a lemon

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of chipotle puree (recipe above)

1 tbsp of honey

salt & pepper to taste


1 - 2 cups of cooked quinoa

4 stems of kale

1 large sweet potato

1 avocado

extra cilantro

limes slices


in a small bowl add your cashews and cover with boiling water. let soak for at least 45-1 hour. alternatively you can soak the cashews in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours in cold water) in cold water. 

preheat the oven to 400 degrees. line a backing sheet with parchment paper and chop the sweet potato into small bite size pieces. toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the are golden brown and crispy.

in a food processor blend together the chipotle peppers and chilis, set the sauce aside. this recipe will make a large amount of the chipotle sauce but it freezes great and you can add it to just about anything from spreads, to sauces, to soups, to chilis to salad dressings.

drain the black beans and kidney beans. mince the garlic and onion. chop the peppers and zucchini. in a large pan on medium heat sauté the onion and peppers. once the onions are browned and the peppers are simmered down (about 12 minutes) add in the garlic, sauté for a couple more minutes. make a well in the centre of the mixture and add in the cumin, cook for another minute then add in the rest of the ingredients; beans, strained tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar, chipotle puree and maple syrup. let this simmer on the stove for 20 minutes. 

in a small pot add one cup of quinoa and two cups of water, bring to a boil and then cook covered for 15 minutes. (add more quinoa for a larger crowd and change water ratio accordingly).

grate your carrot and roughly chop the cabbage, toss with the balsamic glaze. set aside. 

strain the cashews and add to a food processor. add all of the cashew cream ingredients and blend until smooth. set aside

right before you are ready to serve your bowl, de-stem four leaves of kale, massage with a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lime, season with salt and pepper. sauté in a large pan on medium heat for just a minute or two. you just want to warm the leaves up and bring out the kale's vibrance but not completely wilt the leaves. 

assembling the bowls

in a serving bowl add some quinoa, a couple of spoonfuls of the bean medley, some crispy sweet potato, some balsamic slaw, 1/4 of an avocado sliced, a spoonful of the chipotle cashew cream, and some sautéed kale. garnish with fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime.

if you are food prepping these bowls for the week I would drizzle the grated carrot and chopped cabbage with balsamic glaze right before serving so it doesn't get soggy sitting with the glaze for a couple of days. I would also sauté the kale fresh before serving.