Some of the best meals start with seasonal ingredients. This is a great example. I picked up locally grown chard (Royal Soil Farm in Roscoe) and fresh blueberries delivered this week from Michigan. Then I looked at what I already had at home and googled recipes that could use these ingredients. Here’s the Buddha Bowl I came up with. I especially love that I ended up preparing at least enough for another bowl to eat in the coming days. This bowl was adapted from Making Thyme For Health Buddha Bowls with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Chickpeas, and Chard.

I started by peeling and cubing a medium sized sweet potato. Tossed it on a baking sheet, sprayed it with coconut oil, and sprinkled with some taco seasoning. I let it roast at 400 degrees while I walked my dog, probably 30 minutes…which was probably a bit too long, as mine turned out a little charred. But they still tasted amazing…perfect sweet and spice balance.

Next, I cooked 1/2 c. quinoa in 1 c. of water. Simmered about 12 minutes without the lid. Covered with the lid, removed from heat to steam and become fluffy.

After that, I chopped up the chard and made the tahini dressing WHICH I LOVED!

Creamy Tahini Dressing:

1/4 c. tahini (well stirred)

juice from 1 medium lemon

2 T. olive oil

1 clove of garlic

several pinches of smoked paprika (THIS SPICE IS SO AMAZING. You can find it in our bulk spice section. You could substitute cumin or another spice, but this one is really outstanding.)

1 t. honey or pure maple syrup (taste and adjust, or even leave it out all together. That’s the great thing about making your own salad dressing—you get to decide how much spice or sweetness you want!)

water (add to get the consistency you like for your dressing)

Put all of these ingredients in a food processor or blender. Taste. Adjust ingredients to the flavor and consistency you like.

(recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven Dreamy Tahini Dressing.)

After blending up the salad dressing, it’s time to create your Buddha Bowl!

Put the chard and arugula in your bowl. Spoon on the roasted sweet potatoes and quinoa. Slice your tomato and add them to your bowl. Then, to complete my masterpiece, I added a small handful of blueberries. It was so beautiful, I almost didn’t want to add the dressing…but so happy I did!!! All of these flavors were just perfection. The texture of the quinoa. The slightly sweet, slightly nutty, slightly lemony flavor of the dressing. The tender blueberries bursting with flavor were an amazing complement to the slightly spicy arugula and the spicy, but sweet, sweet potatoes. And that local chard!! Color, texture, flavor.

You can play with the ingredients based on what is in season and what you have in your kitchen. Shop your farmers market or buy locally grown produce that we offer at Choices. You get the freshest, most delicious produce that stays fresh longer, and is more nutritious. PLUS you support local farmers and our local food system.

Get in the kitchen and cook!

And, let’s keep it local, friends!