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Clean Green Bento Box Lunch

Recipes > Mains

By: Candice Kumai

This delicious and warm squash salad is perfect for a bento box at work! With a variety of different ingredients, you can also top off your bento box salad with a side of nuts, seeds, fermented pickles, and fresh fruit! This salad has a perfect variety of in-season foods you will love to build into your bento box!

BENTO BOX LOVE: Pair this full-meal salad with my matcha green tea smoothie to-go! Add a mason jar full of raw almonds, and of course, pack your lemon water daily!

Serves 6

Salad Ingredients:

1 kabocha squash, halved, quartered and thinly sliced into 1⁄2-inch moons (skin-on)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled: brown rice, freekeh, quinoa or pick your favorite leftover whole grain!          

2 cups curly or lacinato kale leaves, tough stems removed, finely chopped

1 Fuji, Gala or Braeburn apple, cored and sliced into 3⁄4-inch pieces

1/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Apple Cider-Honey Vinaigrette                   


Apple Cider-Honey Vinaigrette Ingredients:

Yields 3 1/2 ounces           

1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard                   

1 teaspoons raw or manuka honey


Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.               

In a large bowl, toss the squash slices with the olive oil until well coated. Spread the squash out in an even layer across the baking sheet, making sure each piece is touching the surface of the pan to ensure even browning. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, then flip the squash and roast for another 20 minutes on the opposite sides. When the squash is fork-tender, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together for the Apple Cider-Honey vinaigrette.            

While the squash is roasting, make your salad: In a large bowl, add the apple cider honey vinaigrette, leftover grains, and kale and toss gently to coat. Add the cooled squash, apple slices, and pumpkin seeds to top off! Toss well to coat, place into your bento box, cover and feel free to decorate it as desired! This winter salad holds and travels super well over a half-day before lunch. Store in a fridge just before eating! Enjoy! xx ck 


Bento: A convenient, boxed/portable meal, typically prepared for lunch.

Bento Box History: Back in the 16th century, the samurai (tonosama) feudal Lord (head of the samurais) wanted to feed thousands of soldiers, so thus, they created the bento box!

Preserved for Perfection: In order to keep the food fresh/unspoiled, the Japanese utilized pickles and salted fish/meat in order to better preserve their bento eats.

Modern Day Bento: Modern day restaurants serve bento for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Japanese families like to pack bento boxes for a picnic lunch out!


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