Lesson two buddha bowls & stir-frys
This week's lesson is all about veggie dense stir-frys because let's face it, if you go out to eat and order a typical stir-fry, it's well, fried up in a not so great oil, and if you choose some type of Asian flavor (I'm talking a quick serve, or Americanized restaurant) you may as well expect to be served up some MSG and Soy. So let's not irritate your gut and cells and instead learn how to make ALL kinds of these at home, and fast. I highly recommend two kinds of stir-fry pans:
One smaller shallow rim pan for a single serve meal, or a really quick cook of some peppers, mushrooms, or even cauliflower rice
And another deeper dish variety when you are building your bowls, or cooking in layers so that you can develop flavors, and also add your seasonings, have a large quantity to serve (and hopefully have leftovers) and definitely for the recipes that turn into broth bowls (because you don't want to be spilling this stuff on your stove top, no one wants extra cleaning).
Buddha Bowls are super popular especially in the Vegan menus/restaurant world. HOWEVER what I've seen as a health coach is that for people who want to release weight and inflammation, MOST people (NOT all) but MOST really need to cut the grains for the majority of the time to see results. NOTE if you are a PROJECTOR in human design, you are the ones who do well with grains (I still recommend gluten free). The other type I've worked with is if you are vegan, naturally thin and your desires around food are more digestive related and energy. And as always, if you need support around what to do with grains, just ask in the group!
The majority of these recipes you will see are grain free, but you can always substitute rice, quinoa, or amaranth if you like, or stick with cauliflower or broccoli rice for veggie versions and you'll see all of my noodle alternatives too!
How to make zucchini noodles!
How to make Mushroom & Zucchini Noodle Pasta!
Buddha bowl formula
version 1: noodles
Noodle bowls! Yum. So let’s layer our flavors in the case of a noodle bowl:
Pick your noodle: Are you going for grain free? Then choose from:
Want to keep it gluten free but you want a denser noodle? Then you could still go grain free and choose:
Black bean pasta. OR gluten free grain pastas:
Buckwheat noodles (also called soba noodles).
Just remember in order of “lightness” it’s veggies >> legumes >> gluten free grain noodles. AND you can also do a mixture, if you want half rice noodles and half zucchini for example.
Choose your flavor! Meaning what kind of noodle bowl do you want to create? Thai, Mediterranean, Asian, Italian? These are basic versions
Your sauce! This will have to do with the choice above so here are some basic go-to blends for creating each of these:
Asian: Fresh grated or chopped ginger root, 3-4 TBSP rice vinegar, fresh chopped garlic, orange or lemon zest (or both), juice from orange, lemon or both, 3 tsp oil; 1-2 TBSP coconut aminos, cilantro, salt, scallions or shallots also work well.
Mediterranean: 1 TBSP olive oil, fresh or dried oregano, fresh chopped parsley, basil, sea salt, 3-4 TBSP red wine vinegar, fresh chopped garlic.
Pasta quick verison: buy a marinara sauce you love without added sugar or any NO list foods
Indian: turmeric powder, curry powder, garlic, onion, coconut milk
Putting it together:
Make your pasta if making it out of veggies
Heat pan to medium heat, spray with oil
Add flavor enhancers if using: garlic, onions, with salt
Add veggie noodles and continue to stir-fry adding more oil if needed, season with salt again and dried herbs if applies to flavor
Cook through, while adding sauce of your choice
Remove from heat and serve and top with more fresh herbs if you like
NOTE: to make this a BROTH BOWL
Buy a chicken/seafood/veggie broth without added sugar of your choice (that goes with food ex: don’t use a seafood broth with turkey) and AFTER you completed all the steps above, just add the broth, and let it warm up, you can also taste it to see if it needs any extra flavoring, but now you have more of a “soup” than a stir fry.
Putting it together gluten free grain noodles:
If you have store bought, you’re ready to go! If using legume pastas or gluten free pastas, boil water per package instructions, wait for it to boil and add salt then add pasta, cook until al dente or watch package instructions again, so it’s fork tender, not smushy, then drain and place in bowl
You’ll create the ‘sauce’ in a separate pan that can hold the liquid while pasta cooks
Always saute garlic/onions first
Next, layer in other veggies to saute
While cooking, add remaining flavors of the ‘sauce’
Pour mixture over pasta and toss to serve
Top with any toppings you like that go along with flavors (ex: more of an herb/ingredient that is IN your sauce)
version 2: gluten free grains
The main difference is here you are using quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat or rice instead of a noodle. OR you can use a veggie version of a grain to be completely grain free still, which means you will use cauliflower or broccoli RICE. I highly recommend just buying this unless you like taking an extra step of using a food processor to create your own veggie rice.
Remember you can buy it FRESH or FROZEN, and either is ok!
TIP: for gluten free grains: look for SPROUTED versions of quinoa/buckwheat/etc for best digestion and health benefits
The ratio to cook is usually 2:1, meaning 2 cups of water/liquid to 1 cup of grain
You can put them all in at once, meaning you don’t have to wait for the water to boil, ex: add 2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa, bring to boil on high heat, once boiling add a little salt and turn down to a low simmer (almost all the way down); put on the LID and do not open it until the instructions say, usually between 12-20 minutes depending on how much you are doing at once.
TIP: if you really like these grains or are feeding more people, make a double batch PLAIN, meaning don’t get fancy and add herbs and seasonings so that you can use this for any other recipe you want and just change the flavors when you do that.
3. When you check on the grains, it should look like little holes are forming on the bottom of the pot, that means it’s almost done, then remove from heat, put the lid back on for another 10 minutes, then fork it apart to create the flakiness.
4. Add a sauce to your grain and serve with that and any other veggies you want
BROTH BOWL WITH GRAINS:
Use a dutch oven or deeper pan/pot that you can saute in. Heat to low, spray with oil
Add garlic/onions/salt and stir until they start to soften
Add next veggie choices, my best veggie combos for broth bowls, use 2 or more
Mushrooms, broccoli, snap peas, carrots, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, cabbage
Once all veggies start to brown, add BROTH of your choice, season with salt and more herbs of your flavor desired from above
ex: If you want to do Mediteranean: Add parsley/basil/oregano to veggies while sauteeing and to broth once added
ex: If you want to do a curry: add curry powder/turmeric/cumin to veggies while sauteing and more to broth once added (you can do all broth, you can do all coconut milk or a combo)
Bring heat up to high until this boils (it might take awhile since it’s probably a lot of liquid and ingredients
**If you are adding protein to this you can now add chopped chicken breast, a light fish filet like mahi, scallops or shrimp (these wont’ take long to cook since not dense/small) OR of course you can just add already cooked protein if you have that
Remember to season every layer, once all ingredients have simmered and cooked through you’re ready to serve
Top with more herbs/crackers/seeds/nuts of your choice, my favorites:
Cashews, almonds, sprouts (bean, or microgreens like broccoli or kale sprouts), pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, fresh basil, sesame seeds
if using cauliflower or broccoli rice
As you saute your base, onions/garlic, add this “rice” after that, season with salt, herbs of your choices above, and add any other veggies you like
Chop other veggies down to small sizes so everything cooks well together
Add broth, more herbs and repeat just as above from this step!