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mexican buddha bowl recipe

Mexican Buddha Bowl (Vegan Protein Bowl with Tofu Recipe)

Summer Yule
This Mexican Buddha Bowl recipe is a delicious fusion of Mexican and Asian flavors. Tofu and black beans make a tasty vegan protein bowl!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 673 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. flavored tofu 454 grams (store-bought or this smoked tofu)
  • 12 ounces grape tomatoes, halved 340 grams
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • ½ head romaine lettuce, cut into thin shreds 4 ounces or 113 grams
  • ¾ cup sliced black olives
  • cilantro, chopped finely (for garnish, optional)

For the rice:

  • 1 cup rice, dry
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 12 ounces frozen riced cauliflower, cooked 340 grams

For the black bean and corn salsa:

  • 15½ ounces canned black beans, drained 439 grams
  • 1 cup frozen roasted corn, thawed
  • 4 ounces canned mild green chilis 113 grams
  • ounces roasted red peppers, chopped 99 grams
  • 4 small scallions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the Buddha bowl dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped (use less for less spicy heat)
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Put rice and vegetable broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let it come to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook the rice until the liquid has absorbed and the rice becomes soft. Brown rice takes about 45 minutes, white rice takes 15 minutes. 
  • Stir in cooked riced cauliflower after the rice has cooked. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the rest of the dish. 
  • Stir the black bean and corn salsa ingredients together in a large bowl. Let the flavors meld in the fridge while you work on the rest of the dish. 
  • Put the Buddha bowl dressing ingredients in a mini chopper. Blend or pulse until completely smooth. 
  • Prep the veggies for the bowls. Slice the avocado, cube the tofu, halve the grape tomatoes, and slice the lettuce and olives. 
  • To assemble Mexican Buddha bowls, ¼ of the cooked rice mixture in the bottom of a bowl. Top with ¼ each of the black bean and corn salsa, tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and avocado. Drizzle ¼ of the dressing on top of each bowl. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy! 

Notes

This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). This recipe is a great example of how a dish can be plant-based and "healthy" but not necessarily conducive to weight loss. 
You can make a vegan Buddha bowl that's high-calorie with adequate protein! Plant-based fats, such as avocado and olives, help to add lots of calories in a small volume. 
Generous amounts of legumes, like the tofu and black beans here, bring on the plant-based protein. No matter your chosen diet, it's essential to give your body adequate amounts of the nutrients it needs to thrive. There are many different ways to structure your diet that can lead to good health.
That said, if you are here specifically for recipes that may help with weight loss, I'd consider these changes:
  • Cut the amount of avocado in half
  • Skip the olives
  • Swap out all of the brown rice for riced cauliflower
  • You could also experiment with cutting back on the avocado oil in the dressing (perhaps use an equal amount of orange juice in its place)
  • DON'T remove the legumes and non-starchy veggies!
The rice/cauliflower combo tastes great, and may also help if you have a fat loss goal. Substituting out half your rice for cauliflower reduces calories and carbs. It also improves the rice, IMHO, and no deprivation is involved at all.
It is not too difficult to get adequate (or even excessive!) calories on vegan and vegetarian diets. With a little forethought, you can also ensure you get the RDA for protein.
 
Nutrition information is for one serving, and will vary depending on the type of tofu you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 673kcalCarbohydrates: 85.3gProtein: 27.2gFat: 26.5gSaturated Fat: 3gPotassium: 1067.7mgFiber: 15.4gVitamin A: 98.6% DVVitamin C: 181.2% DVCalcium: 79.4% DVIron: 32.1% DV
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