Sesame-Kale Almond Bowl


I used to love Baskin Robbins ice cream cakes, and I was craving one for my birthday. So I searched for recipes and found a three-layer Mango-Raspberry Sorbet Ice Box cake in Prevention Magazine. With this inspiration, I made myself a Brownie, Banana-nut, Raspberry Sorbet Ice Box birthday cake.

I thought it would be a great recipe for the Virtual Vegan Potluck, (which is going on RIGHT NOW, by the way, so be sure to click the buttons at the bottom of this post to see what others brought to the feast) so I got ready for a photo shoot. I took the cake out of the freezer and let it thaw for 5 minutes and then got a knife. I cut through the sorbet and banana-nut coconut milk ice cream layers, but the brownie was hard as a rock. I let the cake sit for another 5 minutes, but the brownie was still frozen.

I called my husband over, and he was able to cut the cake, but with melting ice cream and an obviously frozen brownie it didn’t look appetizing. I took photos anyway, which turned out okay so I still planned to post the recipe.

After waiting another five minutes for the brownie to thaw, I sat down with my husband for a slice. The brownie was still frozen! So, I sliced our brownie layers off and nuked them for a minute. With the defrosted brownie, the cake was delicious and as we were savoring it my husband said, “It would have been easier if you just topped brownies with scoops of ice cream.”

He was right! When I realized this, I knew I couldn’t post the recipe. No worries – I’d just have to make another dessert for the potluck. So a week later I made a Chocolate, Coconut & Rum Pie that was amazing! In an anxious binge, however; I ate all the Oreo cookie crust off the pie before I could get a photo of it. Yes, I really did this, click here for the story.

At this point, I figured the universe was telling me something and I decided to make a main dish for the potluck instead. I’m glad I did, because my Sesame-Kale Almond Bowl of sautéed kale, brown rice, creamy ginger sesame almond sauce, sauerkraut and sesame ginger roasted chickpeas is probably the best vegan dish I’ve ever made. My husband loved it so much that he requested this dish for his birthday.

I only wish my bowl photo was as lovely as Sophia’s Coconut Curry Bowl with Thai Red Rice photo. One day I’ll take food photos that nice. Hopefully before the next potluck!

This recipe was inspired by Native Foods Sesame Kale Macro Bowl.

Sesame-Kale Almond Bowl

Serves 3


3 cups cooked brown rice

1 large bunch of kale

1 cup raw sauerkraut

1 ½ cups Sesame Ginger Roasted Chickpeas (see recipe below)

Sesame Ginger Almond Sauce (see recipe below)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds or any nuts and seeds that you like

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (this is a healthy, low sodium alternative to soy sauce), to taste


Put rice on to cook and then make Sesame Ginger Roasted Chickpeas (see recipe below). While rice and chickpeas are cooking, make Sesame Ginger Almond Sauce (see recipe below).

When the rice and chickpeas are almost done, wash the kale and then strip the leaves off the stems (if you’ve never stripped kale, watch this video for a tutorial). Cut the kale into bite-sized pieces.

Set up a Steamer basket in a large pot with a lid.  Fill pot with 1 inch of water and place over Medium-High heat. Place the kale into the steamer basket, cover with a lid and cook 4 to 5 minutes until the kale is tender. Toss the kale periodically while steaming for even cooking.

Once the kale is steamed you’re ready to assemble your bowls (I use big dinner plate sized bowls, but you can use a dinner plate if you don’t have large bowls). Fill the bottom of each bowl with a cup of brown rice. Sprinkle Braggs Liquid Aminos on the rice to taste. Place your uncooked raw sauerkraut in a circle around the rice. Then top the rice with steamed kale, Sesame Ginger Chickpeas, Sesame Ginger Almond sauce and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Sesame Ginger Almond Sauce


¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup almond butter

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon sesame oil

½ tsp grated ginger

1 tablespoon water


Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Sesame Ginger Roasted Chickpeas


1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

¼ cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (this is a healthy, low sodium alternative to soy sauce)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon sesame oil (those of you following a no oil diet may omit this, but it’s such a small amount and adds so much flavor that I don’t recommend it)

½ teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon water


Put the chickpeas in a large bowl. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over chickpeas and mix. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least two hours (I’ve made them without marinating and they were still yummy!). Once the chickpeas have marinated, preheat oven to 375. Drain the chickpeas of any excess sauce and spread them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

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About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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93 Responses to Sesame-Kale Almond Bowl

  1. Lorrie Wenzler says:

    This recipe sound good maybe you can make it for New Years Eve. I made some amazing toasted pumpkin seeds this year. Dad and I carved 4 pumpkins this year. They turned out amazing. Dad got pictures.

    • Hi Mom! Yum – it’s been forever since I’ve had fresh toasted pumpkin seeds!! I don’t bother carving a pumpkin around where we live because there’s no kiddos around here! Anyway, I hope you and dad have a lovely weekend. Celeste 🙂

  2. I love this recipe..especially the sesame-ginger sauce sounds so yum!!!

  3. foodbod says:

    The recipe looks great, and so does the photo! I love the cake story 🍰

  4. Namrata says:

    Yumm Celeste. The kale rice bowl beckons, am so making it next time I buy kale!

  5. This looks awesome! Great combination of flavours! Way to go, Celeste! 🙂

  6. I can’t tell you how many times, my food ideas fall flat for whatever reasons. This bowl looks delicious and your photo rocks!!

  7. amazing! just amazing! 🙂

  8. Wow! This looks terrific! I’m doing it!

  9. jsferret19 says:

    Reblogged this on veganjewels and commented:
    Oh this is a must try!

  10. berealyoga says:

    This looks ridiculously AWESOME!! I am going to make this over the holidays for sure!!

  11. Celeste's Hubby says:

    This is one of my new fave flaves. And the photo is phenomenal, Sweetie!

  12. Yum, that sauce could go on all kinds of things. BTW, you don’t have to carve pumpkins to make pumpkin seeds. Any winter squash has seeds that can be roasted the same way. Any time you make a squash get the seeds out and roast them! Even the toaster oven works for this if you don’t want to heat up the whole oven.

  13. BTW, almond is in the title but I don’t see it as an ingredient. Am I missing something?

  14. YUM! This is exactly the kind of food I like to eat- tasty and healthy 🙂
    There are no almonds listed in the sauce but it’s called “sesame ginger almond sauce”? Did it get missed off by accident?
    Pinning this recipe!
    P.S. Sorry about the cake. Warm brownie and ice cream sounds even better to me.

  15. Poppy says:

    Oh Celeste this dish looks beautiful and sounds like a flavour explosion! Can’t wait to try it! 😀

  16. Gorgeousness- all kinds of amazing flavours and textures! xx

  17. This sounds delicious! The flavors sound wonderful!

  18. I would eat this anytime – wow! Scrumptious! Best, Shanna

  19. Ralph says:

    Hi Celeste 😀 I drooled, yes, drooled over the first 5 paragraphs of this post then you lost the cookie/ice cream plot. I searched and searched. No more ice cream cookies. What am I to do ? 😉 Ralph xox 😀

  20. Kel and I were browsing the Potluck this morning and I told him to click on your site – – he carefully read everything, looked at the ingredients and photo and said You gotta make this!

    Thanks for NOT sharing a dessert ;-)! Glad to have you at the Potluck, Celeste!

  21. Wow, now that is something I would love to cook and eat and I still have so much Kale in my yard. This is awesome Celeste !!!

  22. This recipe sounds lovely and delicious! (And don’t worry, I’d rather learn of more awesome ideas for ways to eat kale and chickpeas than see another blog post with brownies+ice cream 🙂 ) Your sesame ginger almond sauce sounds divine!

  23. nusrat2010 says:

    That sauce recipe is a heart throb 🙂 Thank you for sharing.
    This is another clean, ethically Beautiful recipe and I loved it. Who wouldn’t? 🙂
    You’re a good photographer, dear. Yes you are.

  24. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Celeste, SO delicious. This is magnificent. It would be sooooo wonderful to be invited to dinner at yours. Anyone would turn vegan just for an invite!

  25. Starr says:

    Celeste, that sauce sounds positively delish! I can imagine it topping so many dishes. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. xbox2121 says:

    I tried kayle once and let’s just say it’s a required taste I don’t have. I still enjoy all of your posts because I go through all the links for ideas. In my baby step program of converting I have illuminated milk and cottage cheese. Have to start somewhere

    • Okay, I have to tell you that until a year ago I hated kale, and I hated it with a passion! Since my husband likes it, however; I made a steamed kale dish one night. It was bitter and horrible!! When my husband later ordered it in a restaurant, however; he asked me to taste it and it was delicious. That’s when I learned that you really have to know how to prepare kale to make it taste good. And when it’s properly prepared, I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. I wish I could make a kale dish for you to try, but… The tricks to making kale taste good are to strip off the bitter stems and just eat the leaves. And secondly, if you’re using kale in a salad, you have to massage an avocado into the leaves. These two tricks make all the difference!! 🙂

      • xbox2121 says:

        Lost this comment. I looked at kale in the store the other day and it was almost 5 bucks for a small bundle. I saw in your comment a mention of massaging an avocado into the leaves. Avocado goes for a buck each here plus I despise the taste of it as well. In a nutshell this recipe would be to time consuming for me to make and cost to much on my limited income. I also have a question I noticed in this recipe and some others you have you use a lot of canned items. These usually have a ton of sodium in them. I read somewhere a long time ago that even if you rinse foods that are canned they still have half the sodium in them. My quack has me on 2000 grams max of sodium a day so I try to shy away from most canned goods.

    • Hehe – I guess I’m not going to turn you into a kale lover! And, with the price of kale where you live I don’t blame you for not wanting to give the stuff another try!! My husband and I generally follow a low sodium diet, but we occasionally splurge. This dish, because it’s got sauerkraut, is NOT low sodium. So, it would not be a good meal for someone who has to follow a low sodium diet. Other than the sauerkraut, however; this dish is low sodium. The Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a very low sodium, and healthy, soy sauce replacement. Anyway, I completely understand if you don’t want to eat kale. I was there for a long time myself! 🙂

  27. veghotpot says:

    Mmm I really must get into veggie bowls they look great! I love kale so this looks perfect!

  28. Becky says:

    Aw that cake sounds tasty, even if it didn’t shake out logistically. I’m kind of glad though because I love a good bowl recipe, and yours looks amazing!

  29. Ally says:

    Hi Celeste! Your recipe looks delicious. I am looking forward to trying it.
    I hope you are well. 🙂

  30. As I alluded to in The Wonder Years (The Rewards of Sugar) page on the food blog, I grew UP on B Robbins ice cream.

  31. Vanessa says:

    Love chickpeas and kale! Looks delicious. Good work, Celeste!

  32. This still looks delicious! What a yummy looking salad and awesome sounding birthday cake. I hate how the base layer always freezes super hard! My solution was just having another ice cream layer instead! And served next to a hot brownie, that sounds perfect 🙂

  33. I love sauerkraut in my salads – what a tasty bowl with a bit of Asian flavors!

  34. acookinthemaking says:

    This bowl looks totally delicious…so many flavors and textures at work. And sesame ginger almond sauce?! My mouth is watering just reading it! Thanks for the recipe!!

  35. by Sushi says:

    This looks delicious. Perhaps I shouldn’t underestimate the vegan palate. I will try this and let you know how it was. I have all the ingredients already.

    • I have to laugh at your comment because before going vegan two years ago I couldn’t imagine giving up meat and dairy (mostly dairy – I was an ice cream and cheese fanatic!). My husband and I went vegan, at least at first, for health reasons and we thought food was going to be dull from now on. BUT – it’s soooo NOT! At first it was because I didn’t know how to cook vegan so we mostly had pasta and veggie burgers. Once I learned how to cook this way, however; I couldn’t believe how delicious everything was. I love eating vegan now, and can’t imagine going back to how I ate before. Celeste 🙂

  36. Too bad that your ice cream cake didn’t work out exactly but I’m happy you went with this recipe because it looks fantastic. Plus there’s sauerkraut! Which makes everything better.

  37. lizziefit says:

    I guess we will all have some vegan wins and womps! You just gotta keep on vegan-on, right?;) Your alternate recipe sounds delicious anyway, especially that cream sauce. Great recipe!

  38. What do you think about substituting Raw Nama Shoyu instead of Bragg’s. I have been using it for awhile and I enjoy it. Not only raw but gluten free.

  39. gigiveganville says:

    Aaargh I hate when you need a hacksaw to cut through something from the freezer. Great switch up and save with the bowl food though. Perfect. Happy Birthday and honk honk.

  40. I’m making your dish RIGHT NOW! Guess what! As you wait for your oven to preheat, and your chickpeas are waiting on their cookie sheet, you will want to snack on them just like THAT! Be careful! (Or chickpeas will be all gone. Tasty!) The first “kale thing” I loved was this Spicy Peanut Ginger Kale Salad. (It’s a warm salad.) It says “spicy,” but I don’t know why…maybe lay off the cayenne if you want. I don’t find it spicy at all even with the cayenne. Just delicious. Also, it has agave…Is that in the “no sugar rules”? 🙂

    • I hope you enjoyed the dish Susan! Anyway, I checked out the Spicy Peanut Ginger Kale Salad and it looks delish!! The only thing is that I’m not a fan of spicy food, so I might have to tone it down a bit. And agave is one of the things “not allowed” on the “no sugar rules”, but I know I’ll never be perfect with those rules. Oh, and I’m posting your story tomorrow. 🙂

      • So great! We loved the chickpeas and kale! Pete got home late, and from the kitchen (I was already reading in the family room) I heard, THIS is really good. Then apparently he had seconds and now no leftovers 😦

  41. Oh ma gaad! The kale looks so amazing! And chickpeas are one of my favourite beans ever! So nice and crunchy (especially not out of a can) Will need to go pluck the young kale leaves from my mutant plants immediately! And I love saurkraut (getting your prebiotics going ;)) P.S. I love the honesty in your posts, makes them so much more enjoyable haha. ‘anxious binge’ lollol

    • Haha – I love your ‘Oh ma gaad!’ saying. I think I’m gonna steal that!!! And yea, honesty is one of my faults. Oh well, I can think of worse faults. 🙂

      • It was the most accurate way to express my reaction 🙂 And that’s alright, I’ve stolen your ‘chica’ thing too. I found myself unknowingly saying chica to my friends! It’s not a fault!! Well, I guess being too honest can have side effects too!

  42. Laura says:

    Can’t wait to try this sauce! This looks so good – and so filling it doesn’t need sides!

  43. YUM! The whole dish looks so good and the sauce sounds brilliant.

  44. This sounds like an amazing bowl, I love everything about it, yum! Happy VVP!

  45. This looks so yummy and the kind of food that would make you glow from the inside. Your ice cream brownie cake sounds amazing too though!

  46. uberdish says:

    hahaha! I love your story, Celeste! I can totally see why your husband is asking for this dish for his birthday. Saurkraut – yum! My husband loves it too. Btw, I know what you mean about food photos (I do think your photo looks great). Gosh, that’s an unbelievably hard thing to do. One day, I’m hoping for a “real” camera.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!! I have the “real” camera, I just have to become a “real” photographer!! One of these days. I do hope you get a “real” camera soon – maybe as a Christmas gift? Celeste 🙂

  47. reocochran says:

    I would have (or should have) asked for cake with my healthy food, since this is my birthday! Ha ha! I do love Kale and have enjoyed sesame oil in dressings. I will have to try this sometime soon! Take care, Robin

  48. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone
    to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to
    construct my own blog and would like to know where u got
    this from. kudos

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