Buddha Bowls and Healthy Salads

Thanks again for attending Chef Wendy Joyce's cooking workshop! All the recipes we made can be found at left in a downloadable pdf, or you can read them online below. Happy cooking :) 

Buddha Bowls RECIPES

Buddha or 'bliss' bowls are quick, healthy, vibrant meals built around fresh vegetables, herbs, a grain, some protein, and whatever dressing you fancy. The variations are endless! You can incorporate interesting flavours (think dried or fresh seaweeds), edible flowers, and the best part about these bowls is each person in your family can choose from the components and build their own 'buddha bowl.' 

This class will focus on how:

1) to create nutritiously balanced vegetarian or vegan bliss bowls.

2)  To prep and cook a variety of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers grown in our Wellington organic garden.

3) To use chopping techniques and discuss how important texture is and how you can play around with the shape and size of your raw vegetables to alter the texture

4) to add fresh herbs to add pizzazz (and which complementary herbs go well with particular vegetables)

5) to make delicious, easy salad dressings to go on your buddha bowl and how to store them

6) to create grain and protein pairings to increase digestibility and your body's ability to absorb the nutrients.

7) We'll also discuss the importance of prep to save you time at mealtimes and ways to create your own home 'salad bar' with on-hand pre-chopped ingredients in your fridge to use to build your Buddha bowls. 

8) How to combine plant-based foods to increase our body’s absorption of protein. Most plant-based foods are incomplete proteins. Being incomplete doesn't mean plant-based foods are low in protein. You can get plenty of protein from plants, but almost every plant-based food is low in one or more essential amino acids that your body needs to thrive. As long as you eat a variety of protein sources every day you'll be just fine. The combination of different protein sources will ultimately ensure you get an ample supply of all the amino acids every day.

All proteins, no matter what food they come from, are made up of amino acids. When you eat round steak or baked beans (or anything that contains any protein at all, even a tiny amount), your digestive system breaks it down into amino acids that are absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, the amino acids are used to build the proteins that make up your muscles, organs and lots of other tissues.

These are the essential amino acids:










Animal proteins all contain every single one of these essential amino acids, so they're called complete proteins. If you're an ovo-lacto-vegetarian (you eat eggs and dairy products), you can get complete proteins from those foods.

Plant proteins are a little different. Each plant that you eat has a different amino acid profile. For example, grains and cereals are extremely low in lysine. So low that they can't even be considered a source of lysine. If you only eat grains and cereals, you won't get enough lysine, and that's bad.

However, legumes, such as peanuts, peas, dry beans, and lentils, contain a lot of lysine. On the flip side, legumes aren't good sources of tryptophan, methionine, and cystine, but those amino acids are found in grains and cereals. As long as you eat some grains and some legumes, you'll get some of each essential amino acid.

Complementary Proteins

Grains and legumes are called complementary proteins because when you combine them, you get all of the essential amino acids. Nuts and seeds are also complementary to legumes because they contain tryptophan, methionine, and cystine.

Combining Proteins

You don't need to eat complementary proteins together at every meal. As long as you get a variety of proteins throughout the day, you'll get ample amounts of each amino acid. But if you're interested, here are some ways to combine your complementary proteins.

Grains and Legumes

Bean soup and crackers

Black beans and rice

Pasta and peas

Whole wheat bread and peanut butter

Nuts and Seeds Plus Legumes

Hummus (chickpeas and tahini)

Lentils and almonds

Roasted nuts, seeds, and peanuts

Complete Protein Combinations for Vegans

Plant-Based Complete Proteins

Soy is one plant protein that contains all the essential amino acids.1 It's also a good source of healthy fats and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that may be good for you). It's usually served as tempeh or tofu, and soy milk is a popular replacement for milk. Edamame is another easy source of soy protein.

Amaranth, quinoa, hemp seed, and chia are also complete proteins, so adding any of these foods, along with combining your other protein sources, will help you get all your essential amino acids met every day.

Use whatever grain you have on hand—I love using up leftover cooked brown rice-- and all the green veggies you've got: roasted, steamed, raw, whatevs. The only real prep comes in making the dressing. Toss the grains in the dressing, bowl it up with the veggies, drizzle on more dressing, and bam: suddenly, you'll be eating like Buddha, too.



Fermented shitake mushroom

Cucumber Chilli Pickle (quick)

Chilli or wasabi mayo

Soy egg



Maple miso

Classic French vinaigrette with Dijon

Soy ginger


Classic Poke*

Flavours of Asia dressing*


Pearl barley

Brown rice

Red rice and black rice



Beans and pulses

Chickpeas (from a tin, for ease)

Spicy fried Edamame

Cannellini beans (from a tin, for ease)*

Lentils (make up a big batch and freeze portions)*


Red cabbage, sliced and/or pickled in some apple cider vinegar

Spiralised raw carrot or zucchini/courgette, beetroot

Teriyaki roasted cauliflower

Charred broccoli

Raw onion: red and spring onion

Salad leaves: kale, spinach, rocket, spoon mustard, beetroot leaves

Radish (pickle it with 4 T rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, ½ t salt and 4 radishes, sliced)

Roasted veg (leftover pumpkin, beetroot, potato, carrot, whatever is on hand)


Crunchy nuts and seeds

Macadamia coconut crunch


Pickled ginger

Seaweed sprinkles aka dulse flakes

Edible flowers


Sesame seeds: black and white


Herbs: parsley, coriander, basil, chives, mint

Goat or sheep feta

*items with * are suggested for you to include at home, and won’t be made today)



Soy ginger

1 T grated ginger

1 clove garlic

1 T rice vinegar

1 T toasted sesame oil

2 T maple syrup

3 T lemon juice

4 T soy

Black pepper

Classic French vinaigrette

2 T white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch sugar

6 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

Fresh pepper

Method for both: Put everything in a jar, shake it up and store in the fridge for up to two weeks (or longer)

Flavours of Asia

1 lime

Small bunch coriander, chopped

4 T fish sauce

4 T soy

3 T sesame oil

100 ml grapeseed oil

Small pinch brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients (zest and juice of the lime) in a screw top jar. Shake and store for up to 3 weeks.

Maple miso

1 T white miso

1 T maple syrup

1 T soy

1 T rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

Classic poke dressing

1 cup soy

50 ml sesame oil

50 ml rice wine vinegar


2 T rice wine vinegar

150 ml mirin

1 cup bonito flakes

Juice of 2 limes and one lemon

100 ml soy

Method for all of the above: Put everything in a jar and keep for up to a week in the fridge.


Fermented shitake mushrooms

500 g shitake

10 g sea salt

2 cups water + 9.6 g sea salt (brine)

In a bowl, toss the shitakes and salt. Pack the mushrooms into a brining vessel or clean jar. Pour over the brine and weigh them down. Cover and place in a dark place for 5 days. Check the mushrooms for taste with a clean implement after day 5. When the fermentation reaches your desired level, place in the fridge.

Chilli Mayo

¼ cup sour cream

¼ kewpie Japanese mayo

2 T hot red pepper paste or wasabi

¼ tsp black sesame seeds to garnish

Stir everything in a bowl. Can be made 2 weeks ahead.

Cucumber Chilli Pickle

1 telegraph cucumber

2 pinches sea salt

1 long red chilli

100 ml sushi vinegar (make up 100 ml rice vinegar + 60 g caster sugar + 10 g salt + kombu seaweed: cook it to dissolve sugar, then cool)

Halve the cuc lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; slice cuc into bit size half moons

Sprinkle with salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes

Blacken the chilli over an open flame. Finely chop to a coarse paste

Wash the salt off the cuc, pour over the vinegar and add the chilli paste.

Soy egg

Mix 100 ml soy, 150 ml water, 2 T caster sugar and 1 T white wine vinegar.

Boil water in a small pot. Place 6 eggs carefully in the water and boil for 7 minutes. Immediately remove them, place in iced water for 10 minutes. Peel the eggs, then place in a jar and cover with the soy mix. Store in fridge for up to a week.


Crunchy nuts and seeds

1 T olive oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

3 T sesame seeds

3 T sunflower seeds

3 T slivered almonds

1 tsp salt

Heat oil in frying pan, add all the ingredients and cook on low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. It burns fast so be careful!

Macadamia coconut crunch

½ cup macadamia

½ cup coconut flakes

¼ cup white sesame

¼ tsp chilli powder

Preheat oven to 160c. Combine all ingredients on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to food processor and pulse till mix resembles coarse bread crumbs. Set aside to cool. Store, in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.


Teriyaki roasted cauliflower

6 T tamari or soy

2 tsp grated ginger

¼ cup water

3 T rice wine vinegar

4 T coconut sugar

1 T cornflour

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets


Mix tamari, vinegar, grated ginger and sugar in a medium pot. Bring to boil, then simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Dissolve cornflour in small amount of water. Add this to the pot to thicken the mix. Simmer for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.

Add cauliflower to the pot and mix to combine (or do this in a large bowl).

Spread cauliflower on a lined baking tray.Roast for 20 minutes at 200c.

Charred broccoli

Cut broccoli into florets. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes if you have time because allowing the raw broccoli to sit is necessary to release its cancer-flighting properties. I sometimes parboil the broccoli in salted water for 3 minutes at this point, then dry it thoroughly. I then get my iron skillet really hot, brush the florets with oil, then cook them on all sides till charred. You can also do this on a bbq or in the oven at a grill setting.

Spicy edamame

Buy frozen shelled edamame (soy beans) from the frozen food section of the supermarket. Thaw 400 g of them. Heat some sunflower oil in a pan, add garlic and ginger (about 2 tsp of each, grated or minced) along with a chopped chilli. Cook for about 30 seconds to one minute, then add the edamame. Fry for another minute. Add 3 T soy sauce, 1 T oyster sauce (or vegetarian alternative) and 1 T sesame oil and cook for another minute until sauce thickens. Cool.


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