Tofu-squash rice bowl

Pickled radish and a fresh take on seaweed elevate this dish.

This twist on a rice bowl uses tofu, Swiss chard, and butternut squash, but feel free to swap in different proteins and vegetables, says Marissa Lippert, RD, a New York City-based nutritionist and owner of Nourish Baby, a food-delivery service for parents and newborns. It’s full of Asian flavors and the colors, textures, and shapes are fun for kids—making meal prep easier for the whole family. To make this lunch even more adventurous for kids, pack it with chopsticks (along with a fork, for backup).

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

This recipe is part of our meal prep series. Click here for full plan.

Photography by Mariliana Arvelo


1 cup water
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon black peppercorn
½ teaspoon mustard seed
1 clove garlic, peeled
⅛ teaspoon Korean chili flakes, optional
1 bunch breakfast radishes or daikon radishes, thinly sliced


4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Black pepper
12 ounces extra-firm tofu (about one block), cut into 1-inch slices
2 small bunches Swiss chard, stalks trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
4 sheets nori seaweed, toasted in a 300-degree oven for 3 minutes
3 cups short-grain brown rice, cooked
½ cup quick pickled radish
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon-miso dressing



For the pickled radish, combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorn, mustard seed, garlic, and chili flakes (if using) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. In a bowl, pour mixture over radishes. Use them immediately as garnish, or store them in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, until golden-brown and soft.


In the meantime, in a skillet or grill pan, cook tofu over medium heat for 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside. Sauté the Swiss chard with remaining 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil; season with salt and pepper. In a food processor, grind sesame seeds and nori until the mixture becomes a powder.

In 4 bento boxes or portable containers, divide the butternut squash, tofu, rice, Swiss chard, and pickled radish. Top with sesame-nori mixture. Keep dressing in a separate container; add when ready to eat.