Recipe: Maggie’s Macro Plate

Last night I got dinner with Laura, one of my oldest friends (from middle school). She was in town with her boyfriend just for the day and we managed to get together to have dinner. So glad we got a chance to reconnect. We were going to go to Souen, but I decided last minute to take them to Good Health Cafe, which is closer and a little bit less scary for non-macrobiotic people. We talked and talked, and before we knew it it was time for them to grab a taxi to catch the train back to New Jersey.

One thing that Laura mentioned during dinner was the fact that my blog is not so much a recipe blog anymore! I hadn’t realized it, but yes, it’s true – I don’t really cook as elaborately now, but I do make things. So it is time for me to share a macrobiotic re-creation that I’ve been having for lunches recently. It’s called a macro plate, and it is vegan and macrobiotic. I get it all the time when we eat out at macrobiotic restaurants.

My Macro Plate Tips (skip down for recipe):

  • This is very easy to throw together – you do not have to make everything at once; you can prep each ingredient in advance and just toss them together when you need a quick meal.
  • Roasting the squash – you don’t necessarily have to roast it, but I do. You could also steam it. For roasting I like a certain seasoning (oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds – see below), but the way you roast (or steam, etc…) the squash is completely up to you.
  • Beans – sub in any kind of beans you like. I use canned beans because it’s quick, but you could make them from scratch as well.
  • Greens – again, you can use any kind of greens. I use pre-chopped ones from Trader Joe’s because it’s very easy that way.
  • Extras – other typical macro plate ingredients are: hijiki seaweed, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and steamed carrots or daikon. Add as desired!

Maggie’s Macro Plate

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1/3 cup dry brown rice
  • 3-4 cups raw chopped greens (collards, kale, spinach, etc…)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 cups uncooked winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, etc… – this is acorn)
  • for roasting squash: sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds (all optional except the oil)
  • ~1/4 cup of my miso-tahini dressing (click for recipe) (about 2-3 times the amount the recipe makes – just double or triple as desired)


  1. Roast the squash: I first mix it with a few glugs of sesame oil, then sprinkle some soy sauce and rice vinegar over it and mix again. Top with some sesame seeds and cook at 375 for 1 hour (or at 450 for about 40 minutes). You can roast or steam the squash with whatever oil/flavorings you desire.
  2. Cook the rice: I cook 1 cup of rice at a time in my rice cooker. It comes out perfectly fluffy. Then I just scoop out about a third of it for my meal.
  3. Steam the greens: if you are lazy like me you can sprinkle them with water and microwave for a minute or so.
  4. Prep the beans: rinse and reheat as desired (I actually like mine cold/room temp so I don’t reheat).
  5. Make the dressing. It is so simple and delicious!
  6. Prep the plate: brown rice, beans, greens, squash, and any other extras (see above for idea under “tips”). Serve with dressing. I like to mix it all up and eat it together.

So that is the “macro plate” that I’m always talking about. I haven’t experimented with different dressings, but I keep meaning to. This plate is supposedly a “perfectly balanced” meal – protein, carbs, and fat, all in the right proportions.

Now here are some other macro plates that I have enjoyed…

Souen’s macro plate (also called the “balanced plate” or the “planet platter”) – kabocha, broccoli, kale, carrots, seaweed, beans, brown rice, and sometimes daikon:

Good Health’s macro plate – steamed squash, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and kale; brown rice; black beans; hijiki seaweed; and tofu:

Ozu’s macro plate (review to come; kudos to reader Maria for guessing this!) – chickpeas, brown rice, carrots, yams, kabocha, and hijiki seaweed:

I love macro plates and macrobiotic meals 🙂

What is your favorite meal? Have you ever had a macro plate? Will you make this one?

14 Replies to “Recipe: Maggie’s Macro Plate”

  1. To be honest, I’ve never even seen a Macro plate on a menu anywhere around here, but then again, it’s not New York. I don’t do dressing, but otherwise it’s looks great! It looks delicious and includes a lot of things I eat on a regular basis but have never tagged as a “macro meal.”

  2. i love steaming the squash, the texture is exactly what i’m craving. i don’t think i’d eat a macro plate because i can’t digest grains very well and don’t typically eat beans. my plate is usually high in fat, moderate protein and lower carb. an example of a meal i’d love would be 1/2 avocado, 1-2 eggs and a big bowl of greens with roasted root veggies

    1. @melissa: that meal sounds delish! sometimes i wonder about my ability to digest grains too – I have “IBS” but I’d be interested to see if that goes away if I cut down on grains 🙂

  3. Oh yum, sounds perfect.

    I’ve had that kind of meal tons of times before but didn’t know to call it macro – now I know!

  4. I have never heard of a Macro plate before you started raving about them. Your look gorgeous and I would inhale them without a second thought. I like my meals to include a tasty protein (I personally like shrimp), a tasty starch (I like sweet potatoes), a winter squash in some form, avocado, and some sort of green veg like broccoli or spinach. And maybe chocolate mousse at the end, because I am a woman, and I need chocolate in every meal!

  5. I must confess, I have never had a macro plate, although I’ve definitely seen them on menus! These look like something I’d put together myself if I had giant buffet salad bar of all the best foods out there! Yum!

  6. I like the macro plates at the Real Food Daily restaurant in Santa Monica. I try to recreate at home but it doesn’t appeal as much. But some days, I come home wanting want to eat beans, steamed veggies and brown rice.

  7. There was a place around the corner from NYU that did a macro plate and buffet – I ate there (and PB&Company, also around the corner) in equal, frequent parts!

    1. @Rachael: Not Quantum Leap? I know they do a macro plate but I don’t think they have a buffet. I didn’t like their macro plate though; very boring. <3 PB&Co!

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