I make my quick and easy Albacore Buddha Bowls with pantry staples, and they’re packed with flavor, protein, and vibrant nutrition.
This post is is sponsored by Genova Seafood®, and as you know, I greatly appreciate your support of my brand partners — I only work with companies that I love, and they help keep TVFGI up and cooking!
There’s been a quiet revolution in the world of lunches and dinners lately, and it’s all about the bowl. I’m in love with the concept of Buddha Bowls…you might know them as glory — bliss — glow — nourish — macro — or power bowls, but whatever you call them, they’re a healthy and delicious way to eat. They typically contain lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, some type of sauce, and extras like nuts, seeds, or sprouts, and they’re worlds away from the uptight plate of meat, starch and veg we grew up with. This is a frugal way to eat, too — next time you think there’s nothing in the house, try a Buddha bowl, you probably have all the ingredients on hand.
TIP: Not sure what goes with what? Relax — this is a freewheeling way to eat, forget the old rules about appropriate food pairings —- if it looks pretty and tastes good, add it in!
I’m creating my Albacore Buddha Bowls entirely from the pantry and what’s leftover in the fridge. I look for appealing colors and textures to craft my masterpiece. Protein rich Genova wild caught albacore tuna is the centerpiece for my bowls. To be honest Genova has changed my whole attitude toward canned tuna. I grew up with dry, flavorless tuna that was really only good when it was swimming in mayo…Genova albacore is a gorgeous filet packed in pure olive oil with a touch of salt, and we eat it right out of the can (btw their new EZ-open cans with pull tab lids make that super convenient.)
TIP: Build your Buddha bowl on a base of whole grains, rice, beans, noodles, or greens. Think outside the box and consider unusual varieties like barley, spelt, red or wild rice, black-eyed peas, or soba (buckwheat) noodles. The base will provide protein, energy, and a backdrop for your toppings. For the bowls pictured in this post I used red quinoa, (a variety just like the white) and farro (an ancient wheat grain.) Make a big batch of your base at the beginning of the week so you can whip up your bowls easily.
You can structure your Buddha bowl to suit your dietary needs ~ it can be vegetarian, vegan, low carb, high protein, nut free, dairy free, whole 30…what ever you like. My albacore Buddha bowls, made with tuna and red quinoa or farro are super high in protein. Some of my favorite toppings are:
- olives, both green and black
- dried or canned beans of all kinds
- feta or goat cheese
- roasted beets, sweet potato, or winter squash
- colorful bell peppers
- roasted red pepper or sun dried tomato
- olive or artichoke tapenade
- watercress or baby spinach
- sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or sesame seeds
- hard cooked egg
- shredded red cabbage
- fresh herbs
TIP: A vivid flavored sauce or dressing is an important element in any Buddha bowl, and ties everything together. In this case I made a lemon vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil and lots of fresh oregano. I think fresh oregano gets a bad rap from some chefs as being overpowering, but I don’t agree. I think it adds a wonderful herby flavor that hasn’t been done to death (I’m looking at you basil.)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled farro
- 1 5-ounce can Genova Wild Caught Albacore Tuna (don't drain)
- 1/4 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup black olives, rough chopped
- 1 small golden beet, roasted and cut in wedges
- a spoonful of olive tapenade
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
- a handful of watercress
- fresh herbs for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled red quinoa
- 1 5-ounce can of Genova Wild Caught Albacore Tuna (don't drain)
- 1 hard cooked egg, halved
- 1/4 yellow pepper, cut in strips
- 1/4 cup shredded raw red cabbage
- 1/4 cup diced cucumber
- 1/4 cup drained and rinsed garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
- 1/2 hot red pepper (or jalapeno) thinly sliced
- black sesame seeds for garnish
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put your base ingredient, farro or quinoa, into a small bowl.
- Remove the tuna from the can and place it in the middle of the bowl. There's no need to drain the tuna since it's packed in olive oil.
- Arrange the rest of the ingredients around the edges of the bowl.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients (the amounts above are for one salad) and drizzle over everything.
- You can package these bowls in layers in a mason jar for a cute portable lunch.
- You could also do this is a broad, shallow salad bowl for a crowd, I think it would be great to serve at a luncheon or brunch.
don’t forget to pin it!
If you’re interested in Genova, check out their site for more info, and recipes. You can put your zip code into their Where to Buy section to see where my favorite tuna is sold in your area.