I’m always on the lookout for great dressings and sauces I can use to make my veggies, grains and beans that bit more exciting.
I also have a bit of a thing for Buddha bowls – large bowls stuffed full of cooked or raw veggies, grains, beans and pulses, with a delicious dressing to boot.
It was through my usual experimentation (and a craving for something warm and gingery) that inspired the recipe for this delicious ginger-miso Buddha bowl.
With fluffy caramelised sweet potato, hearty protein-rich black beans, gut-boosting alfalfa sprouts and crunchy raw veggies, it packs in plenty of nutrition without being heavy on the stomach.
And the best part is that it comes with a sweet, warming miso-ginger dressing that is insanely addictive. You’ve been warned.
Buddha bowl benefits
Buddha bowls may sound just like any other vegan dish, but they are clever in that they contain a bit of every macro, ensuring you get a healthy, non-complicated, well balanced meal (they’re also sometimes called macro bowls).
They may sound boring if you’ve never had one before, but trust me, once you get into the fun of creating them, you’ll realise there are endless possibilities. You can constantly switch up the vegetables, grains, beans and pulses used for colour and flavour, and try different dressings and sauces that compliment your ingredients. Search for recipes online, or make up your own! When it comes to Buddha bowls, anything goes.
Most Buddha bowl recipes (including this one) aim to include a variety of colours to ensure maximum nutrition. In this ginger-miso Buddha bowl, you’ve got:
- Sweet potatoes – high in fibre, good source of complex carbohydrates, good source of protein, high in beta-carotenes (which convert into vitamin A) as well as essential B vitamins
- Black beans – high in protein and fibre, also a great source of calcium, iron and zinc and can contribute to healthy strong bones and a healthy digestive system.
- Alfalfa sprouts – Help to maintain gut health and are a concentrated source of vitamins C and K, as well as calcium, iron and folate.
You can also add whatever other veggies you like, such as steamed kale, pak choi or broccoli; sliced pepper and shredded carrot or purple cabbage.
Oil-free, vegan salad dressing
I love to find different bases with which a healthy oil-free vegan salad dressing can be made, as well as various flavour combos that have the power to turn an otherwise boring salad into something quite incredible.
It can be hard to keep salad dressings oil-free yet still make them creamy and satisfying. Though some people might think that a salad without oil is a bit crazy, my personal view is that it’s better to gain our daily fats from whole, minimally processed ingredients that come as ‘package’ foods (meaning they contain other nutrients and macros besides fat).
Though oil might add a certain creaminess to dressings and offer a dose of omega 3s and 6s, they are still a highly processed food and don’t contain any other nutrients. It may sound like a challenge, but I’ve had great success creating some delicious dressings without oil, and also turning other dressing recipes oil-free by subbing water or veg-stock.
The base of this salad dressing is dark brown miso paste, a fermented food made from whole soybeans and cultured brown rice. It’s thick, rich and has an intense salty flavour, making it an excellent base for most asian-inspired dressings and sauces. Usually white miso is the one to use for salads, but I went against tradition and used dark to get a deep, umami flavour. It does not disappoint.
Throw in some warm immune-boosting ginger and a splash of maple syrup to sweeten, and you’ve got yourself an easy-peasy dressing that’s strong enough to carry any meal.
Ginger-Miso Buddha Bowl Recipe
Serves 1; dressing serves 2
For the bowl:
- 1 medium sweet potato, dark patches removed, pricked all over
- 1/2 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large handful shredded romaine
- 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
- 3cm block diced cucumber
- 1 tomato, diced
- Shredded carrot
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Steamed kale, broccoli or pak choi
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup brown miso paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- Thumb-sized piece ginger, sliced or grated
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
Optional: sesame seeds, to garnish.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Place pricked sweet potato on tray and bake in centre of oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Arrange the black beans and the chopped or steamed veggies in a bowl.
- Blend all dressing ingredients together in a high speed blender. Taste and add more ginger (if you like it hotter) or more maple syrup (if you want it sweeter).
- When sweet potato is cooked (it should be squishy and caramelised), cut in half and add to the bowl with the rest of the veggies and drizzle dressing over the top.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
What did you guys think of this recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment below, or sharing your version with me on Instagram – #everythingspeachy. 🙂