Nourishing Buddha Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Buddha bowls. My favorite bowls. 

Have you ever had a Buddha Bowl? If not, you need to make one ASAP. A Buddha Bowl consists of a grain, a green, and a bean (gosh I love when food rhymes), and is usually accompanied by a tasty dressing. It is packed so full that it has a rounded "belly" appearance on the top, much like the belly of a Buddha. It is always vegetarian and usually vegan. They are bright, colorful, satisfying, and incredibly nourishing. The best thing about Buddha Bowls is that you can make one however you want. Don't have purple cabbage? No prob! Want to use another veggie instead of broccoli? By all means! The possibilities are endless.

I think the main reason I like Buddha Bowls so much is because I really just like big bowls of food...let's be honest. You might notice that most of the recipes I share here are served in bowls. What can I say, I just love diving fork first into a big bowl of yum!

This is the type of meal you make when you don't really have time to do much else. Or when you are cleaning out your pantry and fridge. Here is the basic formula: 

Pick a grain

Pick a bean

Pick a green + some additional veggies if you want

Make a simple sauce


But seriously, it's that easy. I also love these bowls because they provide so many nutrients. Thanks to the combination of beans, grains, greens, and other veggies, you are getting a bowl full of complete proteins. That means you are getting all the essential amino acids your body can't make alone. Woohoo! 

The recipe I am sharing with you today seems to pop up in our dinner rotation regularly. To me, it's the perfect combination. I often make this for my work lunches as well. It is so nice to have something light, yet incredibly nourishing and filling to eat during the day at work. Sometimes thinking about the good lunch I have waiting for me is the only thing that gets me through a busy morning. Please tell me I'm not the only one ;) Although this is a short work week (BTW, I hope you all had a FABULOUS Labor Day weekend!), it is an incredibly busy one, which includes something pretty exciting. More on that later! I made these bowls for my lunches this week and I know I will be thankful I did. 

This particular bowl is filled with pretty much all my favorite things. Quinoa (complex carbohydrate + protein), garbanzo beans (complex carbohydrate + protein), roasted broccoli and kale + raw purple cabbage (heeeellllooooo fiber!), avocado (healthy fat), and a creamy lemon tahini dressing (YUM). 

Tahini is an ingredient I always have on hand at home. Tahini is made from ground hulled sesame seeds and is similar in consistency to nut butters. It is creamy with a mild nutty flavor and absolutely delicious. I use it when I make hummus, but I use is most often to whip up quick sauces or dressings. This lemon tahini dressing is simple, but wonderfully flavorful and is the perfect final touch to this Buddha Bowl, bringing everything together nicely. 

So, are you ready to jump on the Buddha Bowl bandwagon now?

HOP ON! You will be so happy you did. 

Nourishing Buddha Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing (V + GF)

| Serves 4 |


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water + 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 2 large broccoli crowns)
  • 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale, stems removed and large pieces torn in half
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1 avocado, sliced

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 3 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • a dash of maple syrup to taste 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water *see note*


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F) and place broccoli florets on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure the broccoli is well coated. Sprinkle with garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  2. While the broccoli is roasting, put kale into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and massage until well combined, then sprinkle with salt. 
  3. Add the kale to the same pan of broccoli and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  
  4. While vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa by heating a medium saucepan over high heat. Once hot, add quinoa, water, and vegetable bouillon cube and bring to a boil, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to low (simmer), cover, and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water has completely absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. 
  5. Prepare the dressing by adding tahini, lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and maple syrup into a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add water a little at a time until it forms a pourable sauce. 
  6. To serve, divide the quinoa, chickpeas, roasted veggies, and purple cabbage between serving bowls. Top each bowl with avocado slices and drizzle with tahini sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bit more flavor. 
  7. Enjoy! 


*Amount of water needed may vary. Sometimes I only need 1/4 cup, other times I need about 1/2 cup. Start slow and add more until you achieve your desired consistency. 

*Leftovers may be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It is best if the tahini dressing is stored separately.