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
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
Nut cheeses, almonds, cashews
Plant-based oils: sesame, coconut, olive, avocado, grapeseed
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
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
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