Sesame Kale and Brussels Sprouts Bowl

Heeeeeeey! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while- I keep cooking at night and all of my photos turn out like crap! But, I made this really easy bowl last week, and had enough leftover to snap a photo the following day for you to actually see what this looks like! I made this from ingredients that I had in my fridge, but really liked how it turned out, and hope you’ll enjoy it as well! If I had actually prepared to make this, I would have included some purple cabbage and sesame seeds. So, I’m going to include them in the ingredients for the recipe even though you won’t see it in the photo below. Lastly, I’m going to call this dish gluten free, but the recipe does have soy sauce which contains a scant amount of gluten- so I’ll leave that up to you no-gluten folks to navigate.


Sesame Kale and Brussels Sprouts Bowl with Chicken and Forbidden Rice

Serves 2-3


  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup black forbidden rice
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
  • optional- 1/4 red cabbage thinly sliced
  • For the dressing:
    • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
    • 2 tsp honey
    • 1 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
    • 1/4 cup sesame oil
    • 2 Tbsp grapeseed (or organic canola) oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • optional: 2 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Start by cooking the rice. I always cook rice like pasta, I add the rice to a pot and cover it with a lot of water, bring it to a boil, and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked. If this idea stresses you out, just follow the instructions on the package of the black rice. It takes a little less time to cook than brown rice, but at least 30 minutes, so give yourself time. And, don’t forget to generously salt the water!
  2. While the rice is cooking make the dressing and set aside. TIP- save a jam or mustard jar, and when you make dressings, just add all of the ingredients into the jar, give it a good shake, and you’re done- it emulsifies nicely and if you have extra dressing leftover you can just keep it in the jar and use it all week. If you don’t have a jar, use a small bowl and whisk, and start with the honey, soy, vinegar, salt and pepper and shallots, and stream in the two oils as you whisk it all together to emulsify the dressing.
  3. Rotisserie chickens are a staple in my refrigerator. I buy 1 or 2 a week and use them for a variety of things- salads, grain bowls (like this one!), soups, sandwiches, etc. Obviously, roasting your own chicken is ideal, but not always time-efficient, so using a rotisserie chicken when you can is a great substitute. For this recipe I just used half of a chicken and shredded the meat of 1 breast, a thigh, and the leg. If you just want to use white meat, you can use both chicken breasts and save the dark meat for something else- I leave this up to you.
  4. If you can’t find lacinato (or Tuscan) kale, it’s not the end of the world, but when I’m eating raw kale I really prefer lacinato because it’s more tender than curly kale. To clean it, rip the leaves off of the stem, stack the leaves, and roll them into a rough cylinder, and then thinly chop so you have ribbons of kale about the width of tagliatelle pasta. Throw the ribbons of kale into a salad spinner and clean as you would clean lettuce.
  5. To prepare the Brussels sprouts, trim the bottoms and discard the outer leaves. Then you can either thinly slice them with a knife, or if you have a mandolin, you can use that. IMG_2302
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, brussels sprouts, thinly sliced celery, shredded chicken, dressing, and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix until everything is combined and set aside until the rice is cooked.
  7. Put the hot rice in a bowl, top it with a heaping portion of the salad, and top with sunflower seeds. Enjoy for lunch or dinner!