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Buddha Bowls from The College Vegan Cookbook
Posted By: Elynor Moss on May 03, 2019

Topped with homemade Cilantro-Lime Dressing, these Buddha Bowls from The College Vegan Cookbook by Heather Nicholds are a super easy-to-make dinner dish. At under $2.00 per serving, they’re economical, too!

I went vegetarian while I was in college. I lived with my mother, but she was pretty unhappy about my dietary change was constantly exclaiming, “I don’t know what you eat!” on a regular basis. Her idea of vegetarian meal was a bowl of frozen peas, carrots, and carrot mixture, heated up, if I was lucky. So, I had to teach myself to cook. And I had to buy my own groceries, too. If only I had Heather Nicholds’s new book The College Vegan Cookbook all of those years ago! I would have ate well while saving money in the process!

As you probably guess from the title, The College Vegan Cookbook is a cookbook for vegans in college. The book begins with reasons to go vegan as well as information for getting all of the nutrients you need on a plant-based diet. Heather has included handy lists of tools and pantry basics to have on hand. She has also included tips on navigating the grocery store and meal-planning.

The Recipes

The recipes in The College Vegan Cookbook are versatile and budget-friendly. Each recipe lets you know how much it costs per serving, and many of them include substitution tips. These dishes are easy to make, and they include ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. (You won’t find any exotic and costly super foods here!) A lot of the dishes are dorm room friend and good for sharing, too.

The College Vegan Cookbook will take you all the way from breakfast to dessert, with soups, sandwiches, and snacks in between. Start your day with a delicious Blueberry Oat Muffin or a savory Breakfast Burrito. Snack on Classic Hummus or a handful of Cinnamon-Lime Sunflower Seeds. How can anyone turn down a bowl of comforting Mac & Cheese a homemade Personal Pizza? There are recipes for such DIY staples as peanut sauce, oat milk, and vegetable broth, too.

The Chapters in The College Vegan Cookbook Include:

The College-Ready Vegan
Soups & Stews
Sandwiches & Salads
Snacks & Sides
Main Courses
Staples, Sauces & Dressings

Buddha Bowls

The first dish I made from The Collage Vegan Cookbook was Buddha Bowls. This recipe is easy to make, so in addition to being great for college vegans, it’s the perfect dinner for busy weekends for just about any vegan! And at just $1.92 a serving, it’s way more economical than take-out. The Cilantro-Lime Dressing that’s paired with it is so good, you might want to make a double batch! It goes well with salads and tacos, too.

This recipe is so easy to make!

First, you roast zucchini, sweet potato, and chickpeas.
While they’re cooking, you mix together kale and tomatoes.
Then, you cook the couscous.
Finally, you assemble the bowls and drizzle each with Cilantro-Lime Dressing.

Buddha Bowls are incredibly versatile, so in addition to providing a base recipe, Heather has included substitution tips. You can make the recipe as is, or you can try some of the swaps she’s suggested. I used quinoa instead of the coucous listed, just because I happened to have some on hand.

Buddha Bowls Substitution Tips:

Build your Buddha bowl with components from each category for lots of variations:

-Grains: buckwheat, cooked brown rice, millet, quinoa, rice noodles, or soba noodles
-Protein: black or white beans, chickpeas, hummus, tempeh, or tofu
-Vegetables: beets, bell pepper, carrots, corn, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, or zucchini
-Greens: bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale, parsley, spinach, or Swiss chard
-Dressing: Caesar Dressing, Coconut Curry Sauce, Creamy Tahini Dressing, or Spinach Pesto (Dressing recipes can be found in College Vegan.)

In addition to being a cookbook for college-aged vegans, The College Vegan Cookbook is a great resource for new vegans. Those adjusting to a new way of living and cooking will this resource invaluable.

Buddha Bowls
A Buddha bowl is open to a realm of possibilities. At its essence, it’s a bowl of plant-based goodness, full to the point of rounding over the top, like Buddha’s belly. Eating plants gives you the best karmic balance, according to some Buddhist writings.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yields 3 servings
Calories 540 kcal


1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tomato, chopped
3 or 4 kale leaves, stemmed and torn into pieces
3/4 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons Cilantro-Lime Dressing (recipe follows)


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the sweet potato, zucchini, onion, and chickpeas in a single layer, keeping each separate. Drizzle with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt to taste. Sprinkle the curry powder over the chickpeas. Toss each vegetable to coat leaving the chickpeas for last so the curry powder doesn’t transfer to the others. Roast for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the tomato and kale. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt to taste, and toss to coat. Set aside.
4. In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine the couscous and boiling water. Cover and set aside.
5. After the vegetables have roasted for 20 minutes, toss them separately again, and add the tomato and kale mixture to the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes more. (Or leave the kale and tomatoes raw, if you prefer.) Once the vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven let them cool slightly.
6. Fluff the couscous with a fork, and divide it among three bowls or lunch containers. Arrange the vegetables and chickpeas on top and drizzle with the dressing, or keep it separate until you’re ready to eat.

7. Store the cooked ingredients in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days (tomatoes will go bad faster than the other vegetables).

Recipe Notes

Recipe from The College Vegan Cookbook by Heather Nicholds. Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Callisto Media.
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