Thursday, January 29, 2015

Claire's Buddha Bowl

The effort put into my salads exists in a perfect ratio with the level of homework procrastination I deem necessary. Currently, I'm chomping through a collection of James Joyce novels and my own stream of consciousness cries out for a break after every hour of reading. Naturally, this salad came about. Rhetorically, the ingredients in my fridge were questionable. Symbolically, it was enlightened creation given the circumstances. Conversely, I should have used the time to work on my essay. But, to draw a parallel, a nourished student is a happy student. Can you tell my head is stuck in essay mode?

Well it's not exactly agreed upon as to what makes an "official Buddha bowl," the general concept remains the same: vegan ingredients, a salad portion, some complex starches, a protein component, healthy fats, and a great dressing. I don't know what it is about having one's food arranged in neat little compartments - holla' for bento-boxes - but it makes eating the dish so darn fun. You get to choose each little bite of this and that and mix things as you please. Hold epiphany happening here (points if you get the Joyce reference)...It's fun because you're playing God with your salad! Or Buddha? I wonder if there exists a Jesus bowl, or a Muhammad bowl, or a Krishna bowl. Honestly, I think the hodge-podge theme of this dish comes about from the way a devotee would accept alms offerings (food donations from the public to religious figures). You end up with a little of this, and a little of that, and have a party in your lunch bowl. I guess it's only a party though if you like what you receive. I wouldn't want to go to a solo orange party. I still don't get how oranges in Christmas stockings made kids happy turn of the century. Stream.of.consciousness. The picture you see is of my friend and I taking part in a local morning alms-giving when we travelled through Northern Thailand a few years ago. The young monks which accepted our offerings, of steamed sweet potatoes and dried fruit, didn't even look at what we put in their bowl. We didn't understand the custom at the time, but now I realize the indifference was a trained expression of humility. Now, back to lunchtime in Canada...

My bowl included:
- shredded carrots
- sliced cucumbers
- rice and lentils
- homegrown sprouts
- salad with a ginger/turmeric/tahini dressing
- and, totally unauthentic, kimchi. ...It was in the fridge. Beggars can't be choosers...

If you frequent a hippie cafe, or even just google "Buddha bowl," you'll see that a lot of them include these as well:
- sunflower seed pate
- avocado
- tofu
- nuts and seeds
- cooked barley
- roasted broccoli
- shredded beets
- sesame based dressing

Now it's time to get up and go make your own B-Bowl! Play God with your ingredients and see over the creation of your salad kingdom. And on the seventh day - to mix in some good ol' Judeo-Christian mythology - you shall rest and enjoy your lunch.

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