6 Taste Bowls

Find Balance in Plant-Based Bowls as Simple Meals

Have you ever walked away from a meal craving something else about an hour later? That’s because you didn’t fulfill the body’s natural desire for all of the six tastes! Ayurveda describes these six tastes, and when you consume a meal that contains them, you are nourished from a cellular level. Each taste corresponds with different qualities, as well as with macro and micronutrients. Including them all in a meal helps you to feel whole and balanced.

One of the reasons that fad diets don’t work is because they ignore the bodies innate craving for one of the six tastes: SWEET! This can lead you to crave unhealthy sources of sweet after finishing a meal—Like that cookie in the coffee shop window. By including a healthy source of sweet in a dish, such as quinoa or root vegetables, and combining them with healthy fats which also fill that sweet taste, you won’t crave desserts after licking your bowl clean.

According to Ayurveda, lunch is the time where your digestive fire, known in Sanskrit as agni, is the highest level of the day. Lunch is the best time to indulge in a Six Taste Plant-Based Bowl. They are easy to put together with fresh and seasonal ingredients!

Customize Your Sacred Six Taste Bowl

Customize your Six Taste plant-based bowl by increasing or decreasing portions of the individual tastes. You may want to choose larger portions of the tastes that pacify your primary dosha and smaller portions of the tastes that increase it. (If you aren’t sure what your dosha type is, we can help you determine that!) All six tastes should still be present, however. If you feel balanced in the moment, just consume the bowls as is according to the recipe. But it’s always a good idea to ask your body if it’s feeling happy and balanced, anxious and more Vata, angry and more Pitta, or sad and more Kapha. Then you can adjust your intake accordingly.

The six tastes in Ayurveda are as follows: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Astringent, and Bitter.

To balance Vata: Include more sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Decrease bitter, pungent and astringent tastes.

To balance Pitta: Include more sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Decrease sour, salty, and pungent tastes.

To balance Kapha: Include more bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes. Decrease sweet, sour, and salty tastes.

The Basic Components of a Six Taste Bowl

Hearty Base: Cooked grains and/or roasted starchy vegetables


Colorful Veggies: Variety of colors steamed, roasted, or raw


Plant Protein: Legumes, nuts, seeds


Healthy Fats: Avocado, coconut, nuts/nut cheeses, dressings made with nut butters and plant-based oils


Pungent Spices: Turmeric, cumin, and classical Ayurvedic spices; optional onion/garlic


Tasteful Garnishes: Fresh herbs + microgreens, sprinkle of sea salt, squeeze of lime

Hearty Base: Sweet

  • Quinoa

  • Starchy vegetables: sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrot, corn

  • Brown rice, barley or other grain

Colorful Veggies: Bitter

  • Leafy greens: spinach, arugula, collard greens

  • Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale)

  • Other vegetables: zucchini, snow peas, bell pepper, cucumber

Plant Protein: Astringent

  • Legumes: lentils, black beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans, edamame

  • Nuts and seeds: sesame seeds, tahini, sunflower, chia, flax seeds, walnuts

Healthy Fats: Sweet

  • Avocado, coconut

  • Nut cheeses, almonds, cashews

  • Plant-based oils: sesame, coconut, olive, avocado, grapeseed

Spices: Pungent

  • Allium vegetables: garlic, onion, leek, scallion, shallot

  • Spices: Cumin, turmeric, ginger, asafetida, black pepper

Garnishes: Salty and Sour

  • Salty: Sea salt, coconut aminos, sea vegetables, celery

  • Sour: Lemon, lime, apple cider or coconut vinegar

Chimichurri Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Serves 2


1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

2 garlic cloves, minced (omit for Pitta)

3-4 cups raw riced cauliflower (about 1 head of cauliflower)

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup Chimichurri (see below)

2 cup cubed and roasted butternut squash

1 cup cooked adzuki beans

Toppings: fresh cilantro, pomegranate arils, lemon wedges

Chimichurri Sauce

½ tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp hot water

¼ tsp sea salt

1 medium garlic clove (omit for Pitta)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

½ cup fresh parsley

½ cup fresh cilantro

¼ serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped (omit for Pitta)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

In a blender, combine oregano, hot water, and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients to the blender except olive oil. Pulse until well combined. With the machine running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic (if using) and cook for 30 seconds. Add the riced cauliflower and salt, cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. While this is cooking, make the chimichurri sauce. Cook until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Remove from heat and mix with the chimichurri sauce.

To assemble, spread 1 cup chimichurri rice in a wide bowl, and top with ½ cup roasted squash and ½ cup adzuki beans. Garnish with fresh cilantro, pomegranate, and a squeeze of lemon.

Six Tastes in the Chimichurri Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Sweet - Butternut Squash, Pomegranate

Sour - Lemon, Vinegar (sauce)

Salty - Sea Salt

Pungent - Garlic

Bitter - Cilantro, Olive Oil, Cauliflower

Astringent - Adzuki Beans

Recipe converted from Sahara Rose, Eat Feel Fresh Cookbook.

Some other options

Thai Buddha Bowl

Sweet - Quinoa, Carrot, Sunflower/Almond Butter

Sour - Lime

Salty - Coconut Aminos

Pungent - Scallion, Ginger, Turmeric

Bitter - Snow Peas, Cilantro, Purple Cabbage

Astringent - Sprouts, Turmeric

Goddess Bowl w/ Tzatziki Sauce

Sweet - Beets, Quinoa, Avocado

Sour - Lemon, Tomato

Salty - Sea Salt

Pungent - Garlic

Bitter - Parsley, Spinach, Cucumber, Dill

Astringent - Tahini, Edamame, Hemp Seeds

Sesame Ginger Miso Bowl

Sweet - Quinoa or Rice, Carrots, Avocado

Sour - Lime

Salty - Nori, Miso Dressing

Pungent - Garlic and Ginger (dressing)

Bitter - Scallions, Arugula, Spinach, Cucumber

Astringent - Sesame Seeds, Edamame, Sprouts

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