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  1. Recipe

Kickstart Kale and Grains Bowl

4 servings

Source: Dr. Neal Barnard’s Cookbook for Reversing Diabetes by Neal Barnard, MD; recipe by Dreena Burton

Kickstart Kale Bowl

Once you start making salad bowls, you'll fall in love with them! Here's one to get you started.

About the Recipe

407 Calories · 17 g Protein · 18 g Fiber
Gluten-free · Nut-free

  • If using raw kale, it’s useful to break it down by massaging it. After tearing the leaves from the stalk, sprinkle them with salt and use your hands to rub and "massage" them for 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, you can steam the leaves for just a minute to soften. If using baby spinach in place of kale, you may not necessarily need to chop it as it is already bite size. If you have extra kale or spinach, feel free to add these to other recipes like smoothies or steam them to use in pasta dishes and soups.  
  • Rinsing canned chickpeas helps to reduce some of the sodium added in the canning process. Another way to reduce sodium when using canned chickpeas is to purchase low-sodium varieties. 
  • Slice the leftover green portion of the onion to use as an optional bowl garnish. 


Makes 4 Servings

  • 2 c (370 g) cooked quinoa or brown rice, cold or warm, as desired
  • 3 c (63 g) chopped kale leaves, raw or steamed, or baby spinach leaves
  • 2 c (400 g) cubed and cooked sweet potato
  • 1 15-oz can (360 g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c (149 g) chopped bell pepper
  • 3/4 c (124 g) mango chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp (5 g) chopped shallots or 1 tbsp. of the white portion of a green onion
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) iodized salt
  • to taste Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c plus 2 to 3 tsp (60 mL) water
  • 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) coconut nectar or pure maple syrup


  1. In 4 bowls, arrange approximately equal amounts of the quinoa or rice, kale or spinach, sweet potato, black beans, and bell pepper. 

  2. In a blender, combine mango hemp seeds, juice of 1 lime or vinegar, the white portion of a green onion, mustard, salt, pepper, 1/4 c (60 mL) of water, and 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the syrup (or coconut nectar, if preferred). Puree until very smooth.

  3. Taste, and add 2 to 3 tbsp (30-45 mL) water to thin (if desired) and another 1 tbsp (15 mL) of syrup or nectar to sweeten it. 

  4. If you'd like to pair this dressing with some spicy foods or add an extra punch of flavor, try adding 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of chopped cilantro or basil while pureeing.

  5. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) of dressing onto each bowl and save remaining dressing for other uses throughout the week.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
Calories: 425
Fat: 5.6 g
     Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
     Calories from Fat: 11.3%
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 17.6 g
Carbohydrates: 79.4 g
Sugar: 18.6 g
Fiber: 18.4 g
Sodium: 502 mg
Calcium: 183 mg
Iron: 5.4 mg
Vitamin C: 94.1 mg
Beta-Carotene: 11,511 mcg
Vitamin E: 3.6 mg

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