Carve Out a Moment of Mindfulness

We’ve all been living through a pandemic for over a year now. Lets all take a breath and give ourselves a pat on the back for all the challenges we have fought our way through. The losses, the pivots, the constant low hum of existential dread, it’s all been very real, and very hard. You did a good job. You deserve a moment of peace. You deserve to carve out a moment of mindfulness with a Buddha Bowl.

The food zeitgeist for this strange period of our lives has been all over the place. Stress eating and weight gain have been big topics of discussion, as are project cooking and sourdough. I’d like to suggest a different approach to stress eating. My Buddha Bowl is more than just a recipe.

The Buddha Bowl
The Buddha Bowl

When you make a true Buddha Bowl, you are making nourishing food, above all. But I like to add an element of mindful practice to the assembly and eating of the bowl, too. Take a moment to center yourself and breathe before you start cooking. Take a moment to look at your gorgeous ingredients and think about all the people who grew them, harvested them, and transported them to you. It may seem like a simple beet or bunch of kale, but it’s the result of many hands and hearts. Let yourself feel gratitude for all the people and all the energy that went into your meal. Be grateful to be here, able to have all this, right now.

Be patient and present as you cook your grain and chop your vegetables. You deserve to have little cubes of beet on your bowl, you really do.

When it’s time to serve, take the time and attention to compose your bowl in a way that pleases you. I lay mine out like a pie chart, but you might want to be more random, or make a different composition. Go for it. Look at the way that they golden dressing interacts with the colors of the vegetables.

Then, give yourself some time to eat your bowl. Focus on tasting all the vegetables individually and together, on the way the grain tastes with them all. Be present. Chew.

Your Buddha Bowl is a gateway to mindfulness, if you let it be. Mindful eating is the opposite of mindless eating. Instead of inhaling a bag of chips while sitting on the couch, you are indulging in the sensations and experiences of a healthful meal. You are aware of all the people and energies that went into it, and your part in this cycle, seed to plate.

Great Bowls of Food

Of course, I took a deep dive into bowl food when I wrote my book Great Bowls of Food, and this recipe is adapted from the Buddha Bowl recipe in that book.

Build Your Own Bowls.

The Buddha Bowl

Course Main Course
Keyword #wholegrain, Avocado, plant based recipes
Servings 4
Author Robin Asbell


  • 2 cups semi-pearled Farro or other whole grain


  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkinseeds shelled
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and sliced
  • 2 large dates pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons flax or hemp oil
  • 1/4 cup plain kombucha or water


  • 4 ounces kale half a bunch, stemmed and finely sliced
  • 1 cup finely sliced red cabbage
  • 1 medium yellow beet peeled and diced
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, or 2 cups edamame
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 cup pea shoots
  • 1 cup microgreens


  • Cook the Farro- Place the farro in about 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes. When tender, drain the farro in a wire mesh strainer. Let cool.
  • Make the dressing:
    In a food processor, combine thepumpkin seeds, garlic, turmeric, ginger, dates, and salt. Process to mincefinely and scrape down, then purée to a smooth paste. With the machine running,drizzle in the vinegar, scrape down, then drizzle in the oil and kombucha. Scrape the dressing into a small pitcher or bowl.
    In a blender, plut the liquids in first, add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth.
  • Warm the grain and toss with 2 tablespoons of thedressing. Spread one cup on each wide bowl.
  • Top each bowl with kale, avocado, red cabbage, yellow beets, chickpeas and pea shoots.Drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with microgreens.