Teriyaki Eggplant Buddha Bowl with Roasted Butternut Squash, Quinoa and Tahini Parsley Sauce (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Winter has really settled in now, like a house guest that keeps prodding me to put the kettle on. I sleep in late, have 5 extra cups of tea, eat hot porridge with coconut milk and jam every day. I plod around in squashy polka dot slippers. I sigh at the overcast skies and take extra hot showers. I loll about in slinky sweaters with too-big arms that roll over my knuckles.

It’s a season of going inwards. I’m meditating every day, and doing slow flow hatha yoga in my office and saying little prayers of gratitude all the time. I’m writing poetry, even some short stories (poor things, bless the jagged edges of their tangled plot-lines, they may never shape up!). I’m doing lots of journaling and reflecting and creative writing exercises. Followed by the occasional frigid walk just to clear my head (and get out of my house).

I’ve been doing a lot of meals composed of many elements lately, just to break up my go-to routine of stews/soups for dinner. I like big grain bowls like this teriyaki eggplant buddha bowl because they’re so filling but still feel really fresh. And fresh is something I desperately need in these winter doldrums!

I came up with the recipe for the teriyaki eggplant a few weeks ago after having a dope eggplant bibimbap in manhattan around mid-December.

That bibimbap came in a hot stone bowl (which makes the rice crispy!) along with little shreds of red pepper, broccoli, kimchi, tofu and nameless, delicious spicy-salty-sweet brown sauces. It was so wonderfully savory and the eggplant was meltingly soft. I couldn't get enough of it!

So of course I came home and made a copycat recipe immediately, which I’ve made about 5 times since. I’ve paired my teriyaki eggplant recipe with jasmine rice, chickpea noodles, mounds of garlicky kale, pad thai, polenta... all of which are awesome. It's a very versatile eggplant recipe.

So I’ve paired my teriyaki eggplant this go round with quinoa, curry-roasted butternut squash, a big pile of spicy microgreens, avocado and my go-to tahini parsley sauce.

The butternut squash is creamy and fork-tender, roasted with olive oil and lots of warming spices for interest. And the tahini parsley sauce is, well, it's just delicious. It's creamy, nutty, tangy and herbaceous. I love using it as a dipping sauce for fries, too.

This meal is so nourishing, very health-ified and definitely radiates goddess vibes. There are microgreens in this bad boy. I mean, c’mon, it’s definitely worth the 30-minute cook time to get those glowy plant-powered feels!

I hesitate to even call this a buddha bowl (because what does that even MEAN???) but it’s the easiest for people to find when searching for something like this. So, um, there ya have it.

I hope you enjoy this delicious meal! It’s been a joy in my kitchen :)

Teriyaki Eggplant Buddha Bowl + Curry Butternut Squash + Tahini Parsley Sauce

Created by Renee on January 5, 2017

If you’re crafty and can manage multi-tasking, this meal comes together in a little under 30 minutes! Get the quinoa cooking at the same time you start the onions and get the squash roasting in the oven. And make the sauce while everything is cooking!

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 30m
  • Yield: 2 large servings, 4 small servings


Curry-Roasted Squash

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped roughly into 2” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil or melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 teaspoons madras yellow curry powder OR 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, pinch cayenne + more to your liking

Tahini Parsley Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos OR teriyaki
  • handful parsley (1/2 cup) minced (finely chopped)
  • salt + pepper, to taste

The Quinoa, Eggplant, etc,

  • 1 cup dry quinoa + 2 cups water + pinch salt (or 2 cups cooked quinoa)
  • 1 large purple globe eggplant, peeled and sliced into 2” cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (~1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, green top + seeds removed, chopped roughly
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos OR teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • to serve: micro-greens / baby greens of choice, avocado, tahini parsley sauce


Curry-Roasted Squash

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400F. Add the chopped squash to the sheet pan and toss with the olive oil until evenly coated. Add the salt, pepper and curry powder and toss again until the squash is evenly coated in spices. Roast on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until fork-tender.

Tahini Parsley Sauce

  1. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, dijon, water, coconut aminos OR teriyaki. Add the parsley and blend with an immersion blender OR blend in a high powered blender with enough water to get the blender going. Adjust salt + pepper to taste.

The Quinoa, Eggplant, etc,

  1. (If using pre-cooked quinoa, skip this step) Combine the dry quinoa, water and salt in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and fluffy and water has cooked off. Cut off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cubed eggplant with the sea salt and set aside.
  3. Set a sauce pot over medium-high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the coconut oil and onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the minced garlic and red pepper and saute until the pepper turns a bright, deep red and begins to soften. Add the salted eggplant (it will have begun to sweat from the salt). Cover the sauce pot with a lid and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant softens (I’m impatient and I always press water out of my eggplant with a wooden spoon as I stir to make it cook faster). Add the coconut aminos/teriyaki and rice wine vinegar. Cook 3-5 minutes more, covered, until the liquid cooks off.
  4. To compose the bowls, add a generous helping of quinoa, eggplant, roasted squash, micro-greens / baby greens of choice and avocado to each bowl. Drizzle with tahini parsley sauce and dig in!