Food Friday: Falafel Buddha Bowl

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Yum...buddha bowls! There is something about the name buddha bowl that just oozes warmth and joy for me. That is what this meal feels like, especially during a busy week when a little prep goes a long way. On cold winter days the last thing I want is a cold smoothie or raw veggies in a salad, so adding some roasted veggies with a delicious dressing is just right. 

This recipe is adapted from www.pinchofyum.com but the great thing about buddha bowls is that they can be changed around to your liking. I recommend sticking to this dressing from Oh She Glows though if you are adding the falafels as the flavours match so well. I love falafels as well since they have so much flavour and so easy to make. The other benefit of this meal is that each step could be made on a different day depending on your schedule. For example, I made the falafels ahead one evening, then roasted the veggies and made the dressing on the weeknight I had planned the meal for. Finally, this meal is gluten free and grain free depending on what flour you use for the falafels :) So enjoy and let me know if you come up with other delicious adaptations. 

Ingredients:

Servings - 3-4 bowls 

For the Falafels:

  • 2 cups cooked lentils - barely cooked for better falafel texture (or chickpeas for alternative)
  • 1 huge handful (a cup or so) fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 huge handful (a cup or so) fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • half a jalapeño 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-4 tbsp gluten free flour - eg. Bob's 1:1 flour (or almond flour)

For the Roasted Veggies:

 No room for brussels sprouts on this pan. 

No room for brussels sprouts on this pan. 

  • 3 carrots. peeled and cut into strips 
  • 1 head cauliflower, cup into bit size pieces 
  • large handful brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved  
  • 1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

For the Dressing: (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2.5-3 lemons)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

For the Buddha Bowls:

  • 1/4-1/2 head red cabbage, sliced/chopped
  • arugula or spinach 
  • roasted nuts and seeds - I did cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • sprouts - optional 

Directions:

 Then the dressing...the missing piece!

Then the dressing...the missing piece!

  1. For the falafels - Preheat the oven to 350F. Pulse all ingredients except flour in a food processor until combined. The mixture should form semi-dry crumbles that stick together when you press them. Stir in the flour – just one tablespoon at a time, until it’s just dry enough to handle. Form into 7-9 patties and bake for 18 minutes, flipped half way. Remove from oven. Refrigerate for a few days or freeze.
  2. For the dressing - In a mini/small food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Taste seasoning and adjust nutritional yeast, olive oil and salt and pepper if needed. The dressing can be kept in the fridge for up to a week but will thicken in the fridge. 
  3. For the roast veggies - Preheat the oven to 400F. Place all the veggies on a roasting pan prepped with parchment paper. Drizzle all veggies except brussels sprouts with oil and sprinkle with cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss around on the pan to combine. Bake for 30 minutes – stir occasionally, but not too often otherwise you’ll disrupt the browning process. To get more browning, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. When the veggies are done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. To assemble buddha bowl - Add arugula/spinach, cabbage to a bowl then top with roast veggies, nuts/seeds, falafel and drizzle with dressing. Take a bite! Or...Add all to a container for lunches and keep dressing separate until lunch time. I like to warm up the roasted veggies and falafels at work if I can and then mix all together, or even toast the falafel in a toaster oven if possible. 

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen