Last week a college classmate of mine posted that she made her family Buddha Bowls, bowls made with quinoa, crunchy veggies, sauces and other healthy ingredients. There seem to be a million different ways to make a Buddha Bowl. Most Buddha Bowls are vegetarian, and although not a vegetarian myself, I was intrigued.
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at Stacey’s bar at Hung Over Like a Bear brunch at the Blind Bear. “I’ve got to go somewhere and eat before the Arkansas-TCU game at 6,” I told her. I got out my phone and started surfing the menus of nearby restaurants to figure out what I wanted to eat. I surfed Kooky Canuck… the Fish… Lenny’s… Yao’s… nothing caught my attention. I’ve eaten at those places so many times that nothing seems to jump out at me.
Then I pulled up LYFE Kitchen’s menu. LYFE is known for healthy dining alternatives. Back in February I went there right after it opened and ordered their kale Caesar with garlic lime tofu as sort of a joke, choosing the menu item that I would normally be the least likely to ever order. Yesterday, though, was no joke. I needed nutrition so I would be good to make it to watch the Hogs. As I read the Soups & Salads section, the Quinoa Crunch Bowl caught my attention. It is a mix of quinoa tabbouleh, fresh crunchy vegetables, avocado, arugula, edamame hummus, chipotle vinaigrette, and fireman’s hot sauce.
“That sounds a lot like a Buddha Bowl!” I thought. I liked the sound of the chipotle vinaigrette and the hot sauce, being a fan of spicy.
However, my skepticism kicked in, and I decided I would get an add-on. You can get garlic lime tofu for an extra $2, chicken for $3, mahi for $5, or shrimp for $6. The tofu definitely wasn’t under consideration but I polled my Facebook friends on which of the other three I should add. The general consensus was the mahi, which was kind of the direction I was leaning as well.
Five minutes later the bowl was brought to my table. MIND BLOWN. So much delicious goodness, all twirled up together. The hummus and the spicy ingredients absolutely made this dish work. I loved it. I enjoyed the mahi but it was not necessary. This dish can stand on its own as an entree, without add-ons.
For those of you who are diet-conscious, the Quinoa Crunch Bowl has only 541 calories without the mahi. That’s a good thing because it offset the calories from the numerous PBRs I had during the Arkansas game and the Fireballs I had after Arkansas blocked a field goal in 2OT and then ran it into the end zone for the upset.
Going into the meal, I thought, “If this sucks there are always nachos from Huey’s a few blocks away.” By the end of my bowl I neither wanted nor needed nachos. The bowl was filling and delicious. I will be back again and again for it. Heck, I might go back today.
For those of you who would not normally even consider something like the Quinoa Crunch Bowl, I was the same way for many, many years. Believe me, in this case thinking outside the box is worth it.