When we lived in LA, Buddha Bowl’s were on every menu in town and I made it my job to try as many of them as I could! Since we moved to a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia we don’t have a huge selection of restaurants at our fingertips anymore to satisfy my cravings, so I have had to learn how to build Buddha Bowls at home! Currently, my favorite bowl that I have built would have to be this Harvest Buddha Bowl. It is the perfect blend of grains, raw fruits, roasted veg, pickly bits, cheese, and nuts.
This Harvest Buddha Bowl has quite a few ingredients, but most of them I already keep on hand and prepped in my kitchen during the fall months, so assembling them is a cinch – even on a busy weeknight!
My preferred grain of choice for this Harvest Buddha Bowl is brown rice, but you could use quinoa or faro instead. To keep things simple on busy weeknights I keep a stash of precooked brown rice packets in the pantry, 90 seconds in the microwave and they’re ready to go!
Stemilt apples are at their peak right now and my Harvest Buddha Bowl showcases three types of them. I LOVE the crunch of raw apples, and by pairing thinly sliced Granny Smith apples and sweet Golden Delicious apples together each bite has an irresistible sweet-tart flavor combo. This particular Buddha Bowl has a pickled element as well in the form of my Quick Pickled Pink Lady Apples which soak in a brine of pickling spice, whole cinnamon, and star anise! I know, pickling fruit sounds crazy, but it’s just crazy delicious!! Don’t be scared!
Since my fruit bowl is also currently overflowing with Bartlett Pears I couldn’t resist adding a few tender slices to the mix. Bartletts are extremely aromatic and can be used in a variety of ways! When roasted and pureed they make a wonderful pear sauce that can be eaten as-is or mixed into granola, cocktails, and marinades. Bartlett pears are a superstar in baked goods as well, like our Dark Chocolate Pear Scones.
Every Buddha Bowl needs a pile of fresh greens and since arugula is my family’s current green of choice it had to be featured in this Harvest Buddha Bowl! I lightly dressed the arugula with a simple apple cider vinaigrette, but you can use any dressing you love.
Of all of the varieties of winter squash that are out there, delicata is my favorite! There is no peeling required, it’s subtly sweet and super easy to cut! I’m a sucker for pumpkin pie spiced anything currently and it is super DELICIOUS on delicata squash, just a quick 20-minute roast time in the oven is all it takes for perfectly spiced tender wheels of delicata squash!
Roasted Pumpkin Pie Spiced Delicata Squash:
In a mixing bowl combine 1 small delicata squash sliced, strings and seeds removed, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and coarse kosher salt to taste. Toss to coat.
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange the squash on the sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize around the edges.
Toasting pecans to perfection in the oven brings out their maximum nuttiness. For this Harvest Buddha Bowl, I took it a step further and enrobed them in a sugary bath on the stovetop for a quick candied nut topper!
Candied Stovetop Pecans:
Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract, and 2 tablespoons water in a shallow pan and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is foaming a bit and bubbling.
Add 1 cup toasted pecan halves and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring to coat the nuts in the glaze. Once most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, remove from the heat, and spread the nuts out on parchment paper and cool completely. Break apart any of the nuts that are sticking together. This nut mix is best eaten the day it’s made. However, it can be made and stored in an airtight container for up 2 days.
If you have never experienced the complementary flavors of apple, pecans, and goat cheese together, you really must give them a try! Sweet, tart, nutty – it’s all your taste buds need to be truly happy!
There you have it – this Harvest Buddha Bowl may look and taste complex, but it’s actually super easy to throw together with a bit of preplanning!