Skip to main content
  1. Recipe

Kickstart Kale and Grains Bowl

3 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

Feel free to substitute other vegetables, beans, or grains as you desire.


Makes 3 Servings

  • cooked quinoa or brown rice, cold or warm, as desired (2 cups)
  • chopped kale leaves, raw or steamed, or baby spinach leaves (3 cups)
  • cubed and cooked sweet potato (2 cups)
  • black beans, rinsed and drained (1 15-ounce can)
  • chopped bell pepper (1 cup)
  • mango chunks, fresh or frozen (3/4 cup)
  • hemp seeds (2 tbsp.)
  • freshly squeezed lime juice or red wine vinegar (2 tbsp.)
  • chopped shallots or 1 tbsp. of the white portion of a green onion (1⁄2 tbsp.)
  • Dijon mustard (1⁄2 tsp.)
  • sea salt (1/2 tsp.)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • water, optional (1⁄4 cup + 2-3 tsp.)
  • coconut nectar or pure maple syrup (1-2 tbsp.)


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

  2. Drizzle on the dressing of your choice. Note: 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 a minute or two. Alternatively, you can steam the leaves for just a minute to soften.

  3. In a blender, combine the mango, hemp, lime juice or vinegar, shallots or green onion, mustard, salt, pepper, 1⁄4 cup of the water, and 1 tablespoon of the nectar or syrup. Puree until very smooth.

  4. Taste, and add the remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons water to thin (if desired) and the remaining 1 tablespoon nectar or syrup, to taste.

    If you'd like to pair this dressing with some spicy foods or add an extra punch of flavor, try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro or basil while pureeing.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (bowl with mango-hemp dressing) 

Calories: 407
Protein: 17 g
Carbohydrate: 79 g
Sugar: 11.8 g
Total Fat: 3.5 g
     Calories from Fat: 7.5%
Fiber: 18 g
Sodium: 426 mg

Per 2-tablespoon serving (dressing only)

Calories: 31
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Sugar: 4 g
Total Fat: 1 g
     Calories from Fat: 28%
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 155 mg

More for Dinner