Eat Well Jan. 30. 2018

Hearty Vegetable Bowl

Jan. 30. 2018
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A simple hearty vegetable bowl that’ll make your lunch —and life — easier this week.

Bowl meals are a simple way to make meal planning work for you by creating an easy lunch filled with nutrient-dense foods. A quick recap and primer on what bowl meals are — a meal in a bowl made with leftovers or meal components you’ve made on your batch cooking day. Bowl meals are incredibly versatile and affordable, making up a large majority of the meals I eat every week and being a staple recipe in the Guide to Master Meal Planning. They involve a beautiful balance of greens, fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. A bowl meal always involves ingredients that have been meal prepped on batch cooking day along with fresh produce that I have stocked in my fridge. When I’m ready to eat, it only takes 5-10 minutes to prepare a hearty vegetable bowl like this one.

I’ve shared the secrets to the balance of the perfect bowl meal, along with a few go-to variations like Simple Sweet Potato & Greens Bowl, Brown Rice Miso Macro Bowl, and One Bowl Skillet Meal. Today’s version includes fiber-rich vegetables that leave you feeling fueled and full, including roasted butternut squash, radishes, and slices of lemon to add acidity.

For added protein, you can use whatever protein you enjoy, but I recommend trying this plant-based protein you should be eating — crumbled tofu. The trick to making tofu interesting is all about flavor and texture, this crumbled tofu is a great way to switch it up from the standard tofu cubes you often see. The crumbled texture of tofu absorbs more flavor from the seasonings and soaks up the lemon juice creating a bright citrus flavor.

To serve, you can make the base of your bowl with hearty greens, a little bit of basmati rice, followed by the vegetables — with delicious garnishes like fresh avocado, red chili pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. The key is making this hearty vegetable bowl work for you and use vegetable ingredients you have in your fridge or leftover from the week. Easy, satisfying and nourishing.

Let me know what you think when you give this hearty vegetable bowl recipe a “go”! When you try it, please take a picture and post it on Instagram — be sure to tag @nutritionstripped and #nutritionstripped so the community can get inspired by your dish too. We love seeing your creations!

xx McKel



Like most balanced bowl meals, you’ll feel fueled and satiated after this one thanks to the fiber-rich components: butternut squash, broccoli, fresh greens, and basmati rice. One cup of butternut squash contains almost 7g which, when paired with additional vegetables and the rest of your meals throughout the day, helps you get on your way to the recommended daily amount of 35g.

Plant-based Protein:

This bowl is a great opportunity to use one of these 10 plant-based proteins; and in this case, crumbled tofu. Soy-containing foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame all offer a complete protein containing all amino acids. Often these sources also carry fiber and healthy fats as well as the protein. One serving of tofu can offer up to 20g of protein!


Beta-carotene, found in the butternut squash, is the red/orange pigment in many fruits and vegetables. Our body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, improves immune function, plays an important role in eye health, hair and skin health.

Optimizer Option:

Get creative with “toppers” for an additional boost of healthy fats, protein, and overall flavor and texture. Fresh avocado slices, nuts, seeds or simple fresh herbs make quick, delicious garnishes that also up the nutrient content!

The Recipe

Serves 4



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 butternut squash, cubed and roasted

2 cups radishes, whole and roasted

1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed

1, 15-ounce package firm tofu, crumbled

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and a lined baking sheet with foil and olive oil to grease.

Step 2:

Combine butternut squash, radish, tofu, and slices of lemon on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender. While the vegetables are roasting, steam the broccoli florets until tender, about 6 minutes.

Step 3:

Combine cooked ingredients in a bowl on top of rice of your choice, dark leafy greens, quinoa, whatever you have prepped from your meal planning day.

Step 4:

To serve, add optional garnishes such as sliced avocado, nuts, seeds, fresh cilantro or parsley.

Store it:

Store leftovers in an airtight glass container for the week to make leftover lunch or dinner bowls by reheating ingredients on the skillet or in the oven until warm.

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