For cooking class this week, we’re taking a slight detour from the recipes in The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. We are making a dish inspired by ingredients in the cookbook and flavors from the region. We’re mixing up a Buddha bowl–shrimp and grits style!

But what is a Buddha bowl? A Buddha bowl is basically a grain bowl–a scoop of grain like rice, quinoa, or farro topped with lean proteins and cooked veggies. These are great clean-out-the-fridge meals, and are easy to adapt to whatever is on hand. Our Southern Buddha Bowl starts with a base of grits and, inspired by the southern classic, is topped with shrimp. These bowls, though, are based on a formula rather than a recipe. Use the formula below to make your own variation, and share your results with us!

Buddha Bowl Basics:

Grain + Protein + Veggies + Toppings and Sauces

Check out this article to learn more about how Buddha bowls got their name!

Foxfire’s Southern Buddha Bowl

(Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

1/2 c instant grits


1 c frozen corn

1 c chopped greens (spinach, kale, ramps, etc.)

1/2 c black-eyed peas, cooked

2 tsp oil, divided

1/2 lb frozen shrimp, thawed

1 Tbsp dry rub or creole seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, pickled red onions, hot sauce


Heat 1 tsp oil over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet. While pan is heating, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Once oil is hot (should shimmer when moved), add in frozen corn and cook until thawed, about 2-3 minutes. Put greens over top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until greens are wilted and corn starts to brown slightly. Meanwhile, drain thawed shrimp and toss with half the dry rub or seasoning until lightly coated. Once greens are wilted, push corn mixture to side of pan and add remaining 1 tsp of oil. Place shrimp in even layer across bottom of pan. Sear evenly on both sides, about 3-5 minutes depending on size of shrimp. As they cook, sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the shrimp. Your shrimp are done when they are completely opaque and are slightly browned on the exterior from the rub and oil. By now, your water should be boiling. Stir in instant grits and cook 3-5 minutes, or until thickened. When done, divide the mixture between two bowls. Top with corn, greens, shrimp, black-eyed peas, and optional toppings. Yield: 2 bowls


My go-to recipe for quick pickled red onions:


~Kami Ahrens, Assistant Curator