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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Easy Southwest Vegetarian Buddha Bowl with Sauce or Dressing

Sep 25, 2017 11:00AM ● By Lana Granfors

What's Cookin'

By Lana Granfors
Photo by Kara Stewart
October 2017

Parents, singles, and students with busy schedules appreciate easy, satisfying meals. Whether for a quick dinner or for lunch tomorrow, the ingredients can vary based on individual choices, so this will serve for a guide of items that can be used.    

These deliciously wholesome bowls of fresh veggies, full of flavor and texture, are served warm or cold, and with a great sauce or dressing.  Dressings vary from peanut dressing to creamy ginger dressings.  I have shared two below which are family favorites.  

This is a vegetarian version, but can easily be made with your choice of protein.  Pick your own ingredients and start building! Enjoy!


1 large sweet potato, cut in cubes  

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 

2 tsp. maple syrup 

1⁄2 tsp. paprika

1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder

Pinch of salt and pepper

2-3 cup brown rice, quinoa or wild rice, cooked 

4 cup baby kale or spinach, chopped

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans sweet corn, drained and rinsed 

1⁄2 cup grated carrots

1 English cucumber, cut in chunks or slices

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

1 small red onion, sliced thin 

1 cup cabbage, chopped or sliced 

1 avocado, sliced

1⁄4 cup sprouts of choice

4 T toasted seeds/nuts, your choice (pumpkin, pine nuts, sesame seeds, almond slices)

1⁄3 cup crumbled feta cheese or shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped

1⁄2 cup crushed corn tortilla chips

Red Pepper Sauce INGREDIENTS

1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed 

2 T olive oil or other neutral oil 

Juice from 1 lemon 

1⁄2 tsp. pepper 

1⁄2 tsp. salt 

1⁄2 tsp. paprika 

1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 

Water as needed to thin

Turmeric/Sriracha/Tahini Dressing INGREDIENTS

4 T tahini

4 T warm water

1 tsp. maple syrup

1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1⁄2 tsp. turmeric

1⁄2 tsp. sriracha

Salt to taste

Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 – 35 minutes


STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cubed sweet potato on a cookie sheet and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes stirring halfway through. Remove and allow to cool. 

STEP 2: While the potato is cooking, prepare the garbanzo beans. In a bowl, place the maple syrup, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Heat a saucepan and then add the garbanzo mixture into the saucepan to cook for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring often throughout the cooking.  Remove and allow to cool.     

STEP 3: Prepare the rest of the ingredients, placing in their individual bowls or on a large platter. The prep time involved will vary depending on the number of ingredients you are preparing.    

STEP 4: To build your bowl, start with a base layer of brown rice, quinoa or wild rice. Top with a good serving of the greens.  Top with beans and add your choice of as many veggies you want.  Top with sliced avocado slices, sprouts, nuts, seeds and cheese.  

STEP 5: Generously drizzle the dressing or sauce all over the bowl ingredients, garnish with cilantro and crushed tortilla chips, and enjoy.  

Red Pepper Sauce DIRECTIONS

STEP 1: To make red pepper sauce, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add water, about 1 tsp. at a time, to the desired consistency.  

Turmeric/Sriracha/Tahini Dressing DIRECTIONS

STEP 1: To make dressing, whisk all ingredients together.  Sample and adjust spice level as desired by adding a splash more of the sriracha.