This, my friends, is the Buddha Beauty Bowl from Madeleine Shaw’s recipe book, Ready Steady Glow. Not my usual kind of lunch (mainly because it’s not sandwiched inside two enormous chunks of buttered bread or topped with a fat ball of mozzarella) but boy did I enjoy it! Perhaps it was because I cooked it up in a gorgeous country kitchen at the picturesque Soho Farmhouse, then gobbled it down sat in blazing sunshine in a quaint vegetable garden (as you do), but it really was delicious. Fresh, filling (I could have eaten a quarter of it and still been quite satisfied) and incredibly virtuous with its raw beetroot and carrot and oranges and avocado and miso dressing and flaked almonds.
To be perfectly honest, grating beetroot and heating chickpeas with a miso dressing is far more effort than I’d ever go to for a normal lunchtime, but I felt so good after eating my Buddha Bowl (I managed to gobble down two thirds of it) that I’ve been inspired to have a little search for a few more fresh and easy lunches. Ones that don’t involve grating, preferably, because vegetable grating is up there with sieve-washing and oven-shelf-scrubbing and egg-separating on my Most-Hated Kitchen Jobs list.
I need to have a proper peruse of Madeleine’s book because everything looks so colourful and appetising and the recipes I made from it (during the Origins Soho Farmhouse retreat, see vlog here) were very tasty. I’ve been having a bit of an “anti-clean-eating moment” because I’m a bit tired of the whole kale-juice thing and of reading that we can’t eat this and we must avoid that (including cutting out HUGE food groups, which always makes me slightly worried) but Ready Steady Glow looks relatively sensible with a focus on fresh ingredients and interesting preparation ideas. I’ll keep you updated. If you fancy a browse yourself, it’s here on Amazon.
Amusingly, I had a “local pub version” of the Buddha Beauty Bowl a few days ago – grated beetroot was probably the only similarity, because this had pickled egg (ew! not something I’ll ever eat again), coleslaw, half a loaf of granary bread and about a kilo of peeled fresh prawns tipped into the middle of the bowl. I have to say that the Shaw version beat the pub version, hands down…those stir-fried chickpeas were a meal on their own!