Happy Buddha Recipes

Amazing vegetarian food made with love!

“The food at Happy Buddha is AMAZING!”

Without doubt, one of the highlights of a Happy Buddha Retreat is the food. Our specialty is vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) cuisine and all meals are prepared fresh onsite in our commercial kitchen with seasonal ingredients and retreat grown herbs and vegetables.

Each meal is presented in banquet style with plenty of variety. We easily cater for vegans, those with allergies, and gluten free diets. Many of Happy Buddha’s recipes are unique and the meals you eat on your retreat will be influenced by the seasonal variety of fresh produce at the time.

What you can expect

A typical Happy Buddha dinner may comprise of a creamy veggie soup or slow cooked dhal, a tasty curry or Mediterranean-style stew packed full of vegetables and legumes, a side of rice, quinoa or rice noodles, a seasonal salad, an array of toppings including nuts, spices, seeds. Occasionally we may provide cheese and eggs within dishes (but we’ll always let you know and will offer vegans an alternative.)

We encourage you to try and detox a little while you’re here on retreat. Try one of the delicious herbal teas, drink lots of water and if you can’t live without caffeine, support one of the local cafes for a quick cuppa (or have an instant coffee or tea provided).

Our Vegetarian Menu

Our food style is tasty vegetarian home-cooked cuisine. Our chefs are influenced by Asian, Indian and Mediterranean flavours and occasionally we may use dairy and eggs. Spices and chilli are utilised in some dishes for flavour and medicinal value. We love to use seasonal vegetables and for added protein we include legume varieties, grains, tofu and tempe.

Herbal teas and plenty of filtered water are available. (We do have instant coffee and tea for those needing a little caffeine hit.)

Made with Love

We have some amazing cooks, chefs and passionate volunteers who call Happy Buddha Retreats their home away from home. Each cook brings their own personality and passion for cooking nutritious and delicious vegetarian and vegan meals.

“The food was incredible! We were well nourished with delicious, fresh, home cooked delights, all prepared with love and care.”

Corina Vidgen – Retreater

Want to try our Happy Buddha recipes at home? Simply scroll for our most popular recipes.

Hearty roasted tomato soup - soothing the soul!

Hearty roasted tomato, white bean and basil soup

We’ve called this one HEARTY roasted tomato soup for a reason! Tomatoes, rich in Vitamin B and potassium, are amazing for heart health, helping to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. It’s delicious – tangy and creamy at the same time!


600g of tomatoes (which ever you prefer & what’s in season) quartered
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small beetroot, cubed
1/2 red capsicum, chopped / cubed
3 garlic cloves, remove skins and kept whole
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup coconut milk
Handful of basil leaves
1 cup vegetable stock
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper


1. Preheat oven to 180c.

2. Prepare veg & garlic and spread out on a baking tray. Drizzle with good glugs of olive oil, season well. Cook for 40mins – 1 hour until veggies are soft and golden.

3. In a large pot, cook onion in olive oil (until translucent) and add the paste, milk, beans, stock and basil leaves.

4. Add in your roasted veg and simmer on low for 10mins.

6. Blend soup until smooth with a stick blender (be careful, it’s hot!)

7. Add more stock or milk if required, or loosen soup with a little water if needed.

8. Serve with garnishes of your choice. (We’ve used pumpkin seeds, basil and a little leftover cashew cream – it’s your choice!!)

Ginger and Tumeric Bliss Balls

Warming ginger and turmeric bliss balls

Another great recipe from one of our resident cooks. Yara, you’ve done it again!! As with all of our recipes, feel free to be creative and try other additions for texture or taste.


150g uncrystalised ginger
200g almond flour
1 1/2 tbls ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
3-5 tbsp coconut oil (depending on the consistency of the mixture)
desiccated coconut for rolling.


1. Blend all ingredients (except the coconut!) in a food processor.

2. Roll into smallish bliss balls.

3. Roll in desiccated coconut and refrigerate to set (or, tuck into them if you can’t wait!

Perfect as a healthy treat with a cup of rooibos tea.

Lentil and roasted veg soup

Yara’s nourishing lentil and roasted veg soup

A good portion of this nutritious soup definitely counts as a well-balanced meal. Lentils are rich in fibre, iron and protein whilst the vegetables sustain us with a whole array of vitamins and minerals! And, of course, its warming and hearty creamy texture leaves you comforted and nourished.


3/4 cup red split lentils (rinsed well)
quarter of a pumpkin peeled
1 red capsicum
1 sweet potato
approx 1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion
1 tbsp italian herbs
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp tumric
1 cup veg stock
1 cup almond milk (or other plantbased milk)
salt and pepper to taste.


1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees (Celsius).

2. Cut and prepare all veg to 1cm chucks (be sure to peel sweet potato prior to prep).

3. Toss pumpkin, capsicum, and sweet potato on a tray to roast with a generous amount of olive oil (leaving a little to fry onion in next step). Coat with italian herbs, cumin, paprika and salt and pepper. Roast for up to 45-mins at 200C (or until veggies are soft).

4. Fry onion with some olive oil in a pot until golden (about 5 mins) .

5. Add lentils, stock and turmeric and boil until lentils are tender, adding more water if necessary.

6. Add roasted vegetables and almond milk to the lentils, blend everything together. If too thick, hot water can be added to blend more.

And voila! A delicious, hearty soup, perfect for autumn days.


Raw Cacao & Peanut Butter Bar

Base ingredients:

1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup raw cacao
1 cup smooth & natural peanut butter
1 cup medjool or dry dates
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup of water (optional)

Super food topping:

1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup goji berry
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Any nuts, seeds or dried fruits of your choice!


1.Put all the base ingredients (except water) into a food processor and blend the mixture until it forms a dough-like consistency with a smooth texture. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add a little water slowly to make it come together. (The dough needs to be not too dry or too moist in order to achieve a firm bar texture.)

2. Spread the dough evenly onto small lined baking tray lined. It should be around 1.5-2cm thickness.

3. Sprinkle your selection of super food toppings onto the base.

4. Cover and allow to set for 2 hours in the fridge or freezer for 1 hour.

5. To serve, cut the bar into slices of your preferred size. Enjoy with a herbal cuppa and take a moment to savour the flavours!

Khanh’s recipe is ideal for an afternoon super food boost!


Vietnamese Style Lemongrass Curry

This is one of Khanh’s favourite recipes to share with you! It has a flavour similar to Laksa and is an absolutely delicious meal to prepare for loved ones and enjoyed in cooler months.


2 tsp coconut oil
2 onion
4 garlic cloves
1 lemongrass stalk
2″ piece of ginger
3 kaffir lime leaves
4 tbsp curry powder
1-2 cups assorted mushrooms
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 block extra firm tofu
2 cups sweet potato and potato
1 cup eggplant
2 cups green vegetables
1.5 cups of coconut water
400 ml of coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste


Spring onions, fresh coriander, fried onion, Thai basil, extra lime


1. Prepare veg: dice onions, smash lemongrass and slice into 5cm lengths, grate garlic and ginger, chop mushrooms, slice potatoes into cubes, slice greens.

2. Cut tofu into cubes.

3. Heat oil in a stir fry pan, over medium-high heat. Fry tofu until browned on all sides, and a bit crispy! Remove and set aside.

4. Add a little more oil to the pan. Sauté onion and mushrooms over medium-high heat, until liquids are released. Add garlic, and sauté for about a minute.

5. Add the curry powder, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Stir regularly, and sauté for one to two minutes.

6. Add eggplant and potatoes and mix well.

7. Add lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and coconut water. Simmer covered for 10 minutes

8. Add the coconut milk, and simmer uncovered until root vegetable pieces are tender. The sauce should be fairly thick, similar in consistency to a milkshake. If the sauce is a bit too thick for you add a little bit of water.

9. Steam the green vegetables separately.

10. Add tofu and mix.

11.  Serve with rice, rice noodles or Vietnamese bread rolls. Serve with steamed green vegetable and garnish, including spring onion, coriander, fried onion and Thai basil.

This recipe is gluten free and plant powered vegan!


Creamy Mushrooms

Jeevi’s Creamy Mushrooms are always a hit. And thanks to his unofficial apprentice, Ashil, we now have it available for you to try at home. Be creative and add in other vegetables just like we have pictured here with the addition of eggplant.


2kg mushrooms (we use portobello)
100g baby spinach
2 cups of coconut milk
2 cups diced tomato,
1 tomato chopped,
1 block extra firm tofu cubed
1 cup coconut cream
2 onions diced,
8 cloves garlic
1 tbs sambar masala (available from Indian grocery stores),
1 tbs salt
block extra firm tofu
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (available from health food stores)
olive oil.


1. Quarter mushrooms and place onto baking trays. Generously sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Roast for 15mins at 220 degrees. (Set mushrooms aside once roasted).

2. Fry onions and garlic in a little oil until slightly brown. Add all other ingredients and bring to gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add mushrooms and baby spinach. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes.

*Note, adjust cooking times at (2) if you want to add eggplant and experiment with roasting other veggies with the mushrooms for extra flavour.

This Happy Buddha recipe is vegan! The nutritional yeast is the ‘secret ingredient’ as it adds a depth of flavour.

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