Quick and easy Plantain Buddha Bowl! This buddha bowl recipe is packed with super greens, healthy fats and proteins, and topped with homemade Cilantro Avocado Sauce. They will keep you sustained and satiated all morning. Paleo, Grain Free, and Whole 30 friendly!
Confession: When I was putting together this post, I had to google “Buddha Bowl”. I had no idea what it meant! Here's the definition according to BuzzFeed, in case you were wondering as well.
Colorful bowls usually composed of vegetables, healthy grains, and protein.
Now this may be a bit of a tangent, but the term “healthy grains” is somewhat of an oxymoron. It's true, for a portion of the population, grains in moderation can be suitable. However, for a vast majority, grains are toxic, damaging to the gut, pro-inflammatory, and are seriously lacking in nutrients compared to other plant based carbs.
In short, grains have very much risk with very little gain. Here's the low down on why I choose to eliminate grains in this buddha bowl recipe:
1. Grains are high in two different types of lectins: prolamins and agglutinins.
These two lectins are part of the defense system of the plant, used to deter predators from eating the seeds. This defense mechanism can cause you to feel sick, or even to pass the seeds completely undigested. While lectins may not make you feel sick immediately, chronic ingestion over the course of years can lead to a myraid of diseases. If you want to learn more about what lectins do to the digestive system, you can read this article (part 1 of 3).
2. Grains are high in Omega 6 fatty acids.
One of the biggest problems with the Standard American Diet (SAD) is the overconsumption of overly refined polyunsaturated omega 6 fats. Not only are these fats highly inflammatory, but our modern day diet is filled with them, while being deficient in their counterpart, omega 3 fats.
Omega 3 fats, like those found in grass fed animal protein, pasture raised eggs, and avocados should be celebrated, while omega 6 fats should be reduced whenever possible. Although the ideal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats is 1:1, the SAD is closer to 1:10 – a terrible truth to accept. If you want to learn more about how omega 6 fatty acids affect the body, you can read this article (part 2 of 3).
3. Grains are not particularly nutrient dense.
If you look at the nutrient profile, aka the vitamins and minerals present, of any grain, and compare it alongside nearly any other whole food, plant based starch source, it will fail nearly every time. If you want to learn more about the nutrient density of grains, you can read this article (part 3 of 3).
There you have it! Three reasons why the words “healthy” and “grains” don't really belong together. There are other reasons why I suggest to ditch the grains in favor of starchy veggies and grass fed animal proteins, but this was a good place to start. Now, onto my Buddha Bowl.
Let's talk about the merits of this Plantain Buddha Bowl recipe.
Pasture Raised Eggs
Like so many other fatty foods, the old me would have adamantly refused to eat an egg yolk. Of course, I would have stood firmly behind “science” to back it up: “Egg yolks contain cholesterol, and cholesterol causes heart disease.”
Here's some nutritional myth busting for you: There is no study that shows that dietary cholesterol has any impact on heart disease. In fact, cholesterol is found at the site of a heart attack, as it's role is to repair vascular inflammation. In fact, several of the longest running studies ever done on human health have shown that people with the highest serum cholesterol, have the lowest incidence of mortality. Yes. (1)
You read that right. Aside from being a stellar source of dietary cholesterol, egg yolks also provide the body with:
- vitamins A, E, D, & K (the egg white alone doesn’t contain any of these vitamins!)
- calcium and vitamin B12 are also found almost exclusively in the yolk
- great source of choline (required for methylation, which is a massive part of phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification)
So while pasture raised egg yolks may not be suitable for someone following an elimination diet like the autoimmune protocol, I highly suggest including them in this Plantain Buddha Bowl recipe if you find you tolerate them.
I included plantains in this buddha bowl recipe for 3 reasons.
- They're delish and nutr-ish… Okay, I tried that but I'm not sure it worked. Here it is again: they're delicious and nutritious.
- Much like the grains you'd typically find in a buddha bowl, plantains are a healthy source of resistant starches, but unlike those grains, they're lacking in the toxic lectins and pro-inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids.
- They're brain boosting and immune building. If you're interested in reading more of the merits of plantains, here's an article listing 7 compelling reasons to include plantains in your diet.
While I wouldn’t necessarily call bacon a superfood, I absolutely love it as an addition to my breakfasts. Who wouldn't want to consume bacon on the daily? The fat, protein, and salt combo is nonpareil, and despite what you may have heard, it isn’t bad for you! “Bad bacon is something of an oxymoron.”
Although I do have a favorite cooking method, it really doesn't matter how it's cooked – it's delicious regardless! So long as the bacon is sourced from a trusted farmer (high quality is so important when eating pork), I'm down with eating it. Check out the buddha bowl recipe below to see my favorite cooking method.
Here is another food that I pretended I didn’t like the taste of while I was in my fat-fearing years. I wanted any excuse to avoid the high calorie, high fat food, despite hearing that it was “the good kind of fat.” These days, you could toss an avocado my way and I’d eat the whole thing, regardless of my hunger levels. I can’t get enough.
- high in soluble fiber (the detoxing, prebiotic kind!)
- loaded with potassium (major player in reducing water retention!)
- filled with omega-9 fatty acids (healthy monounsaturated fat!)
Now tell me, why wouldn’t I want my breakfast buddha bowl loaded with this deliciously filling, fatty superstar?
Finally, we get to the greens. It's important for detoxification and disease prevention to get as many antioxidants from vegetables as possible, so whether you choose to include spring greens or another leafy green, I highly encourage including 1-2 servings in your buddha bowl.
Plantain Buddha Bowls
- For the Buddha Bowls:1/2 green plantain, you can also use a brown plantain, but I prefer the flavor and texture of green plantains2 pasture raised eggs2 slices AIP friendly bacon2 cups spring greens (or your greens of choice)1/2 sliced avocado1 Tbsp coconut oil1 tsp Primal Palate Breakfast Blend spice blend (from the Everyday AIP spice blend pack)1/2 tsp sea salt2 1/2 Tbsp Cilantro Avocado SauceCilantro Avocado Sauce:2 Tbsp Cilantro Avocado Mayo (recipe below, egg free)1/2 Tbsp coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper.
- Bake bacon for about 15 minutes, checking occasionally to prevent burning.
- Remove from oven and lay on a paper towel to absorb extra grease.
If you're choosing to include eggs (these can be replaced with 2 additional slices of bacon for an AIP substitute), cook them using your method of choice. I like to soft boil my eggs for this recipe using this method:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add eggs to water
- Cook for 6-8 minutes. 6 minutes will have more of a runny yolk, 8 minutes will be a medium yolk.
- Immediately remove eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Peel eggs carefully, and add to bowl.
- While the eggs and bacon are cooking, begin cooking plantains. Slice plantain lengthwise and remove skin. Slice plantain into 1/2" thick rounds. Sprinkle with Primal Palate Breakfast Blend spice and sea salt
- Heat oil over medium low heat in a shallow skillet. Add sliced plantains.
- Cook until the plantains are golden brown on each side. Remove from pan and use the bottom of a glass jar to "smoosh" each plantain round to about 1/4" thick. Return to skillet to cook another 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk together the coconut milk and Cilantro Avocado Mayo to thin it out and make a sauce.
- Assemble Plantain Buddha Bowl by layering all the ingredients in a large bowl. Slice avocado and top with Cilantro Avocado Sauce.