Oh, January. The infamous month of the year in which many go on a craze to healthify themselves and become a new person by February. There's nothing wrong with that, don't get me wrong. However, in the frenzy of trying to eat healthy food, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut in which everything tastes plain.

Luckily for you, I have a solution to your bland food problems. (*Speaking in overzealous infomercial voice.*) This vegan grain bowl will be a tangy, tasty addition to your recipe rotation. The base is brown rice (or quinoa, farro, etc.) which is then topped with roasted butternut squash, caramelized shallots and garlic, candied walnuts, and fresh pomegranate seeds. Yes, I know that it sounds daunting, but if you make it you'll find out how beginner level friendly it is. 

The flavor profile of this dish is perfectly balanced and could satisfy even a picky eater's palate. The tartness of the pomegranate and acidity of the balsamic vinegar balance out the sweetness of the butternut squash. And then the crunchy, spiced walnuts add a different layer of texture and flavor. Do yourselves a favor and start cooking, ladies and gents. 

Squash and Walnut Grain Bowl

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:45 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 butternut squash cubed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 shallots diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 pomegranate seeded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling over top
beef, tomato, rice, chili, pepper, meat, vegetable
Brooke Daly
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Then, in a bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash and olive oil with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until it's tender.

    sweet, pumpkin, squash
    Brooke Daly
  • Step 2

    While the squash is cooking, place a pan on medium heat and drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put the diced shallots in the pan and sauté for around five minutes. Next, add the garlic and stir together. Cook for about one more minute and then remove from heat.

    sausage, beef, pork, meat, soup
    Brooke Daly
  • Step 3

    Place a separate pan on medium to high heat and add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir those together until mostly combined, and then add the walnuts. Next, throw in the sugar and curry powder and mix. Cook for about five minutes, or until the coating around the walnut has hardened and they are crunchy.

    Brooke Daly
  • Step 4

    It's time to plate! Place the brown rice on the bottom and then top with squash, shallots, and walnuts. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top and finish your dish off with a slight drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

    sauce, meat, pepper, vegetable
    Brooke Daly