Lunchbox – how to build your own 5 ingredient Buddha bowl

Hey friends.

Today’s recipe is pretty easy. SO easy in fact that you might actually question what I’ve been doing with my time…

You might be all ‘food blogger my ass’.

Well, let me step in here and defend my corner of the internet.

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Mmmm, crispy chickpeas!

Yes, I did hesitate before uploading a 5 ingredient ‘just roast this’ recipe, but then I said to myself:

Hey Sam, what’cha doing? You better post this recipe. And you better be proud.

Because the thing is people, cooking is as much about the inspiration as it is about the recipe itself. I know you don’t need instructions on how to roast veg in the oven. I mean, aside from forgetting it and leaving it to burn, there’s not a lot that can go wrong!

It’s chop, roast, serve. Simples.

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Chop, roast, serve people. Chop, roast, serve!

But what you might need, and what I know I always need, is a little inspiration.


Jenny works a full-time job. Jenny wants to eat well and feel great. Jenny wants an easy batch-cook meal that will last several days in the fridge so she doesn’t have to prep her lunch every evening.

Jenny wants what we all want – a little bit of free time.

She has some veg in the fridge and some grains in the cupboard. She has a tin of some-kind-of-beans sitting alone on the shelf. She has all the ingredients for a yummy, healthy, satisfying meal. But what she doesn’t have is the inspiration.


Without the light bulb moment, that healthy delicious meal never comes to fruition. Those ingredients never get the chance to meet, to become friends. And that gorgeous bowl of goodness is replaced by a Tescos meal deal before it ever got the chance to shine.

This is where I come in. With my ‘just roast this’ recipe.

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Bowl of roasted goodness.

I knock on Jenny’s door, I invite myself into the kitchen and I take those veggies, those grains, and those some-kind-of-beans. I set them down on the side and I say:

Hey Jenny, what’cha doing? You don’t need no meal deal. You better make that recipe. And you better be proud.

Okay, the Jenny metaphor is going a bit far. I’ll bring the inspo, you bring the food. That’s where I’m going with this.

We often have all the ingredients we need to make a satisfying healthy lunch; the problem is we don’t see it as a meal. Instead we see it as a lonely tin of some-kind-of-beans and a sad looking courgette in the fridge.

Sharing this recipe is simply a means of alerting you to all those forgotten or unloved ingredients in your cupboards, and reminding you that healthy doesn’t have to be hard.

Cue the Buddha bowl!

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Just waiting to be the star of the show.

A Buddha bowl is essentially a mix of grains, veg and a source of protein, all mixed up in a bowl of goodness. But to be honest, you can pop whatever you like in there. That’s the build your own bit.

Here’s a list of what I used for that all-important inspiration and a list of what you could use instead:

  • Grain – so I mixed things up a little on the grain front and replaced them with roasted sweet potato instead. This was because a) I wanted the entire meal to be cooked using the oven (ie. I didn’t want to boil grains in a separate pan) and b) I’ve been craving sweet veggies a lot recently thanks to Sugar Free January, so this was a great way to curb the craving.

You could use: any type of grain, be it rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, pearl barley, spelt, etc. or indeed any root vegetable, like white potatoes, swede, butternut squash, celeriac etc.

  • Veg – I LOVE greens and will always always always go for a kale and broccoli combo when given the choice. But you could use any veg going, and it doesn’t have to be limited to two. Whack as much veg in there as you like – the more the better.

You could use: courgette, aubergine, peppers, onions, beetroot, white or red cabbage, peas (probs best not to roast these) cauliflower, carrots etc.

  • Protein – crispy chickpeas are one of my favourite protein sources going – I coated mine in some lemon zest and za’atar (a middle Eastern spice). But any protein will do, be it a vegan source of protein or the more conventional meat and fish option – anything goes.

You could use: black beans, butter beans, cannellini beans (basically any bean), tofu, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, white fish, salmon, tuna, you get the idea.


To the recipe!


5 ingredient build your own Buddha bowl

Use the below as a rough guide. Don’t have all the ingredients? – just swap them out with what you do have. Don’t have any of them? – build your own Buddha bowl from the suggestions above.

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This is what friendship looks like.


  • 1 small sweet potato chopped into small chunks
  • 1 tin of chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • Handful of tenderstem broccoli cut into smaller florets (if necessary)
  • 1 large handful of kale
  • 1 tbsp hummus

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Optional: lemon rind and/or a mix of spices, such as cumin, coriander, sumac, za’atar, etc.


I used two baking trays in this recipe – one for the sweet potato and chickpeas and one for the greens – but you can use as many or as few as you need. If you’re prepping a small meal you can probably get away with one. If you’re batch cooking for weeks you’re gonna need several!


Sauce options

Salsa verde | Lemon and caper dressing | Pesto | Chimichurri | Romesco |

The list is endless


Vegetarian options

Crumbled feta | Raita | Spiced yoghurt | Hummus | Avocado | Tofu |

Again, endless


Meat and fish options

Grilled chicken | Steak | Pork | Lamb | Salmon | Tuna | White fish – cod, sea bass etc. |

Need I say, endless?



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Pop the chickpeas onto one side of a baking tray and the sweet potatoes on the other. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper (and the lemon rind and spices if using) and mix with your hands until the veg is coated in the oil. Pop in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Chuck the broccoli onto another baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven alongside the sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Finally, coat the kale in some olive oil and salt and pepper and add to the second baking tray. Cook for the last 5 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
  3. Pop in a bowl, on top of a handful of grains if desired, and dollop some hummus in the middle. Drizzle with a little more oil and munch away!


Samantha x

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