You must know by now that there’s nothing more comforting to me than food, glorious food. However, being the food-junkie that I am (and it is by all means an addiction), there have been times when I just couldn’t control my appetite and I tended to (sound-track to the movie Psycho starts to play about now) “OVER-EAT” quite often.
“Take that second portion, Diana, it doesn’t matter, this is healthy food so don’t feel guilty.” As expected, I would be completely upset with myself shortly thereafter when I realize that I didn’t need to overdose on that second helping. Up until recently, I felt as if I’ve had that “depression mentality”, as I’ve often heard it described (eat everything on your plate and don’t be wasteful).
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (in Stockbridge, MA) introduced me to a fabulous thing called a Buddha Bowl. This Zen idea enables you to control portions and adapt your eating habits without much stress. The concept is very simple. Your entire serving of food fits into this one bowl. Usually, some type of grain is on the bottom, then on top, an assortment of steamed vegetables, with meat, beans or tofu if you prefer for a protein source. A simple flavoring sauce accompanies this. At Kripalu, there’s an entire “basics bar” from which to select ingredients. The concept is the same. You simply fill the bowl in the manner mentioned above, and you’ve mastered it…healthful, delicious eating, portion control, and satisfaction.
The bowl itself, however, should be special. If you’re serious about trying this, you might want to invest a few dollars in a lovely bowl that you can comfortably cradle in the palm of your hand. You might already have a cereal-size bowl like this in your cupboard, but there’s something very satisfying about purchasing an especially beautiful bowl with this dedicated purpose in mind. It’s my personal belief that part of the psychology behind what makes a Buddha bowl “Buddhist” is that when you shop for one, the phrase “Buddha bowl” not “cereal bowl” should be in your head.
Home Goods is a great resource to explore. You’ll be sure to find something fabulous to fit the Buddha bowl profile without having to spend a fortune. Of course, you can always Google “Buddha bowl” and buy one online if you really want to be official about it.
You pretty much have an idea of what to put in the bowl, so I’ll give you a simple sauce recipe that goes well with anything:
Buddha Bowl Sauce
Combine the following ingredients and mix well:
¾ cup of Tamari
1-1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1-teaspoon chili oil (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1-teaspoon red pepper flakes
Here’s an even simpler sauce:
2-tablespoons olive oil
1-teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
For more variations on sauces, visit Kripalu at http://www.kripalu.org/article/410/
The Big Tine