These healthy food bowls are surprisingly satisfying

Published February 19, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

The protein-packed Buddha Bowls at the Seda Vertis North buffet is the hotel’s response to today’s healthier food trends

Call me a carnivore, and I’ll confess I still love my medium rare ribeye, lechon kawali, and crispy tadyang ng baka. But when I was invited to try out the plant-based cuisine that is now a regular feature of Seda Vertis North’s serviced buffet, I was actually excited and curious.

I think many will share my view that while I’m not foregoing those long-time favorites, I’m not averse to having meals that are meat-free, as long as my nutritional needs are being met, and my taste buds haven’t been asked to go on hiatus. I’m open to exploring meat-free meals, and I’m more than ready to see if they make me feel better, lighter, and still satisfied.

On those three counts, the plant-based Buddha Bowls of Seda Vertis North certainly passed the test. I queued for the buffet thinking that if the Buddha Bowl didn’t pass muster, I could always add a skewer of meat or seafood to my lunch, or even request a thin slice of prime rib. But I’m pleased to say that the nutrient-dense Buddha Bowl lived up to its billing, and had Buddha and Fortune smiling upon me. It had me even thinking I could do this on a semi-regular basis.

The Buddha Bowl spread at Seda Vertis North’s serviced buffet

I believe that’s precisely what Seda Vertis North had in mind: to entice, and have us try a more nutritious path to eating. While Seda Vertis North’s director for sales and marketing Cinty Yñiguez is herself a staunch advocate for healthier and sustainable eating, renowned for her curated plant-based food creations, she knows the best way to get people to appreciate plant-based cuisine is by first offering it as an option.

Seda Vertis North director for sales and marketing Cinty Yñiguez, going beyond the call of duty, and dishing out the Buddha Bowls herself

So what you get at Seda Vertis North’s buffet is the usual array of skewers, roasted meat dishes, seafood, and traditional pasta dishes; but you now have a section that’s dedicated to the plant-based Buddha Bowls, and some of the other sections such as the pasta section and Asian station have diversified to offer vegetable dishes such as eggplant parmigiana or spinach lasagna, and vegetarian Pad Thai and green curry.

The Grains one can choose from as your base and carb intake

The Buddha Bowl spread is the real highlight of this offering of plant-based cuisine. Fresh greens like rocket, spinach, and watercress are laid out beside the grilled capsicum, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, roasted pumpkin, and marinated tofu. To act as a base for your bowl, you chose first from an assortment of grains—adlai, quinoa, brown or white rice. Then you can sprinkle the bowl with protein-rich seeds and assorted roasted nuts, including flaxseeds, chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds. A Caesar salad topping or guacamole can act as the finishing touch to one’s bowl.

The bowl I personally picked out had adlai as the base, then marinated tofu, snow peas, bean sprouts, cherry tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage, the medley of mushrooms, flax and sunflower seeds, pine nuts and roasted cashew, all topped off with guacamole. And was I happy with my meal? Yes, I was! So much so that the bowl was all I had for lunch, other then trying the fruit salad for dessert.

My personal Buddha Bowl with snow peas, bean sprouts, adlai, guacamole and more

Was I hungry a few hours later? Did I run to McDonald’s or Shake Shack right after? No to all those questions. So yes, I’m not giving up on my steaks just yet, but if ever I’m back in the area, I know that the plant-based cuisine of Seda’s serviced buffet is there as an ideal dining option.

It’s Seda Vertis North being responsive to changing food trends and tastes, and making sure that the hotel has the answer.