This roasted winter squash and carrots with miso glaze is a rice bowl with tender root vegetables, avocado, toasted sesame seeds, and tofu that’s an excellent way to eat in season and do something good for your body.
Couldn’t resist the acorn squash at the farmer’s market? Neither could we. And that’s a good thing. It means we can revel in this simple yet umami-rich rice bowl made with tender roasted squash and carrots that’ve been doused with a simple miso dressing along with some tofu, avocado, and greens. And if the flavor isn’t sufficiently convincing, it’s also pretty portable, making it perfect for lunch at the office or on the go.–Angie Zoobkoff
Roasted Squash and Carrots with Miso Glaze
For the miso marinade
For the grain bowl
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 4 medium (8 oz) carrots sliced on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) chunks
- 12 ounces unpeeled kabocha or acorn squash sliced or cut into 1 1/2-inch (25-mm) chunks
- 2 cups fresh greens such as arugula, chopped kale, mizuna, or red-leaf lettuce
- 1 avocado pitted, peeled, and cut into 1-inch (25-mm) slices
- 2 teaspoons gomashio or toasted sesame seeds
- One (14-ounce) block organic extra-firm savory tofu drained and patted dry, cut into 3⁄4-inch (18-mm) cubes (optional)
Prepare the oven and pan
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°F). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Make the marinade
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, miso paste, vinegar, and honey or maple syrup. [Editor’s Note: You may like the flavors of this marinade so much that you’ll wish you had more to drizzle over your finished rice bowl. You may want to go ahead and double the marinade and save half for drizzling at the end.]
Make the grain bowl
- Add the carrots and squash to the marinade, toss to evenly coat, and set aside for about 20 minutes.
- Spread the marinated carrots and squash in an even layer on the prepared sheet. Place on the middle rack of the oven and roast until lightly caramelized, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Divide the rice among serving bowls and top each bowl with the roasted veggies. Finish with your choice of fresh greens, avocado, gomashio or sesame seeds, and tofu, if using.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I used this roasted winter squash and carrots with miso glaze this week during my weekly meal prep. I doubled it to make 4 hearty lunch bowls. It’s easy to multiply, really easy to assemble, and reheats fine but is also great cold.
I did add tofu to up the protein content and would prefer to use some of the marinade on the tofu as well to add more flavor. Just brush some of the marinade over the uncooked tofu and pop in the oven at 350 for 20ish minutes to get it slightly crisp. Such a hearty and healthy lunch or dinner!
My companion and I finished every bit of this delicious healthy roasted winter squash and carrots with miso glaze. Kabocha’s subtle sweetness and salty miso were a perfect combination, and both were lovely caramelized from roasting. And the nutty brown rice and creamy avocado made it a pretty substantial vegetarian meal.
Shortly after we dug in, we thought the rice and greens could use some additional flavor. So I quickly made another batch of the marinade, we drizzled it over our rice bowls, and we had a winner!
Not only was the dinner tasty, but easy to put together since kabocha never needs peeling and I almost always have cooked brown rice in the freezer. I defrosted it in the refrigerator overnight, and reheated it slightly in the microwave to improve the texture and mouthfeel before serving as it’s too dry and crumbly when cold. (Since brown rice takes a long time to cook, I highly recommend making a BIG pot of it, divvying it up and freezing it. Coincidentally, 3 cups of cooked rice fits nicely in a quart-size bag! A timesaver for multiple meals.)
This roasted winter squash and carrots with miso glaze is a very nice Meatless Monday choice or any hearty lunch or light dinner when you need to eat healthy or clear out leftover rice. The miso dressing gives the vegetables a nice flavor. We topped the rice and vegetables with avocado, arugula, and extra-firm tofu. The flavors blended well in this simple dish.
What would I do next time? Make the dressing but skip the 20 minutes of marinating. I really doubt that there is any penetration of the marinade into the cut vegetables. I would add some crunch to the finished dish like toasted walnuts or pecans. As we served it, the texture of the tofu, avocado, vegetables and rice were soft, so bumping up a crunch element would be a nice addition. Finally, a suggestion from my husband would be toss the finished rice with a drizzle of the roasted sesame oil, again to amp up the flavor.
Originally published September 27, 2018