7 Buddhist Friendly Recipes to Try

Enjoy these plant-based meals.

Buddha themed plant-based meals.

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A meal provides a moment for meditation by savoring your food and feeling gratitude for nourishment brought from the earth. When you eat the Zen way, you connect with the source of life and the planet. 

For the most part, Buddhists eat a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and beans with some animal products, like dairy. The Dalai Lama occasionally eats meat when it is offered by his hosts, although the Tibetan spiritual leader is mostly vegetarian, says The Hindustan Times

Stick to a Buddhist-friendly diet, and you’ll enjoy foods rich in important nutrients, like antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which may decrease risk of heart disease and diabetes without overeating.

Buddhists eat mindfully with compassion for the source of food. They look for ways to eat sustainably while reducing suffering. And when you need some ideas, try these Buddhist-friendly recipes to eat the Zen way.

Zucchini Dumplings

Over 7.6 million South Koreans practice Buddhism, according to Statista, and temple food has become increasingly popular throughout the country. This style of Buddhist cooking sources from seasonal plant-based ingredients. Try this simple, delicate zucchini dumpling recipe from Korean Bapsang to nourish the mind, body, and soul as you attain enlightenment. 

These vegan dumplings are good for your body.

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Buddhist Monk Soup

In Vietnam, Buddhism blends elements of Taoism, Chinese spirituality, and  regional folk religion. This easy Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Soup from My Recipes combines squash, potato, raw peanuts, mung beans, tofu, and noodles with a coconut milk broth—a warming way to enjoy lots of nutrients all in one bowl.

This Buddha bowl is very healthy.

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Spinach and Cheese Momos

Buddhism continues to flourish across the Himalayas in places like Northern India, Bhutan, and Nepal. The mighty momo is a steamy stuffed parcel from the region. Try these spinach and cheese momos from Omhivore’s Cookbook for a taste of nirvana! Use nondairy cheese to make the dish vegan friendly.

These dumplings are healthy for you.

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Tossed Daikon and Green Shiso Salad

Shojin ryori is the traditional dining style of Buddhist monks in Japan that sticks to an ultra-seasonal menu, eating in harmony with nature’s cycle. Each season produces ingredients to nourish surpluses or deficits associated with that time of year. Try this daikon and green shiso salad from SOTOZEN.com for a crisp plate from Japan during wintertime. Daikon, also called Japanese radish, adds a light bitterness paired perfectly with bright, minty shiso leaf. If unavailable, you can replace the shiso for mint or basil. 

Shiso leaf in a salad spinner.

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Steamed Japanese Eggplant and Snow Peas

Summer vegetables from the melon family, like tomatoes, eggplants, and cucumbers, have a cooling effect on the body. When summertime comes around, this steamed Japanese eggplant and snow pea recipe from SOTOZEN.com that cools the body (and only takes minutes to prepare). Add some sugar, salt, shiso, and ginger for a zip of flavor.

Healthy green beans.

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Zen Temple Dumplings

When fall comes around, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, chestnuts, and fruit are served in Japanese monasteries. These delightful dumplings from my recipes that  are stuffed with water chestnuts, asparagus slices, mushrooms, and green onion to revive tired bodies after the heat of summer.

Healthy Zen dumplings.

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Butterbur and Egg-stuffed Tofu Pockets

In the spring, Japanese monks eat wild mountain greens like fuki (butterbur) and the flowering nanohana (rapeseed) for their gentle bitterness. Butterbur is a shrub used in many Asian cuisines, and according to a study by the US Department of Health this plant has many health benefits.Try this butterbur and egg-stuffed tofu recipe from Kikkomen.

Try healthy butterbur.

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