Buddha Bowls: my trick for cleaning out the fridge and meal prep all in one!

By April 24, 2017Recipes

There are weeks when I overthink meal planning.  I try too hard to provide a well balanced week of meals, I try too many new recipes in an attempt to keep things interesting.

I clean out my fridge on a regular basis.  Too often, I have to throw out spoiled food.  Maybe I simply made too much?  Maybe it got pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten?  Whatever the reason, I don’t like it.  I hate wasting food. Wasting food equals wasting money.

So, my post today includes a few tips to help keep things easy and to help you use up the food you already have on hand.

I’m going to call these creations Buddha bowls.  Buddha bowls are hearty, filling dishes made of various greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans and a healthy grain.  I am going to add meat to my bowls.

The concept is simple.

*3 types of protein, marinated, and cooked.  (grilled, browned, broiled, whatever.)

*3 types of “starch.”  In this case, I chose quinoa, rice and ramen noodles.  You could also use pasta or potatoes.

*An endless variety of toppings.  Roasted vegetables, corn, steamed edamame, sour cream, avocados, limes, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, beans, toasted nuts, crumbled tortilla chips, fried eggs…..this list could go on and on.

This post offers 3 protein options and marinades.  Obviously, you don’t have to make all three at the same time.  But, if you do, you are technically food prepping for the week.  Which is never a bad thing.  Both the proteins and the starches could be made, refrigerated and used throughout the week.

Steak or Ground Beef Marinade

1 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon Sriracha

4 cloves garlic minced 

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 pounds Johnnies’ thinly sliced steak or browned ground beef

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)


 In a large bowl or gallon size ziplock bag, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, garlic and sesame oil. Add the steak or browned ground beef and toss well to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight.
If you are using steak, grill to your liking.  Set aside until you are ready to prepare the bowls.
Fish Marinade

1 pound mild fish, Johnnies stocks frozen haddock, cod, tilapia and orange roughy

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder


In a medium bowl combine the olive oil, chipotle, garlic, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and onion powder. Whisk to combine. Add the fish and toss well. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate.
I chose to broil my fish.  Broiling takes about 10 minutes.  Broil until the fish is cooked and flakes easily.  Set aside until you are ready to prepare the bowls.


Chicken Marinade

1 pound Johnnies’ boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 Tablespoon (dried) parsley

1 Tablespoon (dried) basil 

In a large bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, onion powder, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, parsley and basil. Add the chicken and toss well. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Prepare grill.  Grill chicken until cooked through and then shred or chop.  Set aside until you are ready to prepare the bowls.

While you are working on the proteins, prepare your starches.

Johnnies offers a variety of rice mixes and frozen potatoes.  Prepare each according to the package directions.  Keep warm until you are ready to prepare the bowls.

Prep all toppings.  Fry an egg for on top your steak bowl.  Slice an avocado for your chicken rice bowl.  Steam some edamame to accompany your fish.  The sky’s the limit at this point.

When you have prepared all ingredients, begin to assemble your bowls.  There’s really no rules.  It’s all going to get mixed together anyway.  Have fun.

You can even add a dressing if you want to.  I sometime drizzle some olive oil on top just to add some liquid.

I actually think this meal would work out well for a party or for large groups.  You could prepare the meats and have your guests bring the sides/starches and the toppings.


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