Buddha Bowls: 100 Nourishing One-Bowl Meals by Kelli Foster – Review

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By Barney Bardsley

This is such a neat and appealing idea: construct a balanced meal, consisting of four elements – grains/noodles, protein, vegetables/fruit, dressing or sauce – and put it all in one bowl. Looks pretty. Feels easy to do. Tastes good. And there you have it – the Buddha Bowl.

Kelli Foster has provided a wealth of ideas for making your Buddha Bowl, including fish and meat, as well as tons of tasty vegetables and fruit. But, as with all good cookbooks, the main aim – or at least, the result in this case, for me – is to provide plenty of inspiration. A template, from which you can happily deviate, to invent your own delightful meals-in-one-place.

buddha bowls kelli foster book review coverSince looking at the “Buddha Bowls” book, I simply cannot stop making them. It is a really satisfying endeavour. And, truthfully, I rarely have all of the ingredients listed, but it doesn’t matter. The concept is so simple. You cannot go wrong. Make it up to suit yourself!

“As appealing on the eye, as it is to the tongue”

As for particular favourites from the book, I find the fish and chicken bowls are top of my list. Salmon lends itself especially well to being cooked and flaked, and then nestled in besides a dollop of wild rice and some steamed green broccoli, topped off with a herb sauce, which is packed with chopped coriander and parsley, inside a simple blend of lemon, garlic and olive oil. As Foster says in her introduction, the sauce is the essential part of the dish, bringing together all of the other elements, and she includes some lovely and varied examples – from creamy and chalky cheese blends, to sharp and spicy vinaigrettes.

The author even takes the time to discuss the right size and shape of container for your Buddha Bowl – deep and narrow for broth, wide and shallow for the more solid “dinner” bowls.

Basically, anything that makes daily cooking fun to do, is a winner for me. And the concept of the Buddha Bowl – as appealing on the eye, as it is to the tongue – is one that will provide plenty of scope for the adventurous cook, and safe and certain boundaries for the one who is a little less confident. Strange but true – everything tastes better in a bowl!

‘Buddha Bowls – 100 Nourishing One-Bowl Meals’ by Kelli Foster is published by Harvard Common Press, £14.99 hardback


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