Kale Rice Bowl

Kale Rice Bowl Recipe

Hi all. The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind on this end. I'm (happily) juggling a small handful of projects, all of which I love, but when I find myself setting a google alert for a shower - well, I'm not particularly proud of that. On the cooking front, for the time being, it means I've had to get quite fast and creative in the kitchen. I'm throwing together meals, mostly from the ordinary staples I keep on hand - brown rice, eggs, whatever vegetable is on hand...And yes, some meals are much more successful that others ;) This Kale Rice Bowl, for example, is well worth mentioning. Grains, and greens, and all sorts of goodness going on here. I've been working my way through my last batch of za'atar, and it's part of what makes the bowl special.

Kale Rice BowlKale Rice BowlKale Rice Bowl

You can certainly take this bowl in many different directions if you like. In place of the za'atar, try a different spice blend. On the grain front, I used brown rice, but almost did it with freekah (didn't have time to cook it)....farro would be nice. Or! My original intent was to bake the shredded kale (massaged with olive oil and za'atar), so it had more of a crispy texture, but didn't want to wait for the oven to heat. I ended up sauteing the kale instead. Anyway, play around! xo -h

Kale Rice Bowl

I used lacinato kale here. But use whatever you like, or even substitute chard.Or how about broccolini?

olive oil or clarified butter
1 bunch of kale, destemmed, chopped/shredded

~3 cups cooked brown rice

To serve:

- capers, rinsed, dried, and pan-fried until blistered in butter
- a poached egg
- a dollop of salted greek yogurt
- a big drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil
- lot's of za'atar
- toasted sesame seeds

In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale and a couple pinches of salt. Saute until the kale softens a bit and brightens, just a minute or so. Stir in the rice, and cook until the rice is hot. If your rice is on the dry side, you might have to add a small splash of water.

Serve the kale rice topped with (preferably) all of the following: the capers, poached egg, yogurt drizzled with olive oil, and plenty of za'atar.

Serves 2-3.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Can't wait to hear more about your projects! In the meantime, this is lovely and very welcome to see, in the midst of red velvet and red, white, and pink food everywhere..and I love it, but some good kale is always fab.

Averie @ Averie Cooks

This reminds me of Korean rice bowls which are delicious! I love that you have taken the same concept and played with the elements and spices. It goes to show that with ingenuity, your palate can be continually stimulated. Thank you Heidi!


Simple, healthy and satisfying. I need recipes like this for busy nights and maybe we won't eat quite so many tacos around here!


These photos are wonderful. They make me want to dive into that bowl of kale and rice. And surely that's what recipe writing and blogging is all about!


Rice bowls can be boring, but the combined flavor punch of capers and za'atar solve that issue. This sounds tempting.


All it needs is a splash of sriracha! Can't wait to have this for lunch tomorrow.


Oh, this is my kind of meal, to be sure! I love flavorful bowls of grains and greens with an egg atop, and I constantly dollop things with yogurt and add capers for a zip of flavor. But I love your creative touches: blistering the capers, adding za'atar. I will definitely be trying those out in my kitchen. Glad to hear you are enjoying some happily busy days!


Such an easy recipe with such complex flavors. Some of the best dishes are whipped together in a flash with minimal ingredients around.

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

I love a good rice bowl on a busy week night. It's fun to just throw everything together and play around with flavours. Kale is always in there somewhere and I usually wilt it in the oven too. This looks fantastic and the photos are so beautiful as always. :)


Just made a spinach version of this for dinner and loved it! Thanks Heidi!


Kale, brown rice and egg: my dinner every other night.
Healthy, nutritionally complete, and so tasty!


I love the appearance of your blog. I have been following you since a couple of months or so and this is the first time I comment. Some times I don't understand all what you write or all the ingredients (and I have to check the dictionary, since I'm from Spain) but the photos are absolutely wonderful and I've taken a lot of original ideas to cook.
Thank you!


Loving this bowl! Great for any weeknight!

Belinda @zomppa

This looks fabulous and is just the inspiration I need to make a delicious rice bowl for dinner tonight - perhaps even including some za'atar!


looks like a nice and hearty bowl!

Simply Life

Rice bowls with kale and egg is one of my absolute favorite go-to dishes. I made it last night! I often throw this together when I am in a hurry, have nothing fresh in the fridge but don't feel like going to the grocery store. My favorite is adding Sriracha!

Ashleigh @ francesandian.com

that is my kind of meal!


Hey! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has to play the cooking gameshow, "What Can I Substitute For the Ingredient I Really Wanted in the First Place?"

Coincidentally, I was out of barley for one of my favorite soups and had to use freekeh a few weeks back. It worked, but not exactly my go-to from now on.

I'm definitely trying this out now, because I have almost the whole box of freekeh/freekah left. Would you be able to point me to any other recipes that would better suit this grain?

Diane @ Vintage Zest

This looks so clean and delicious! I love a good poached egg so this has to be amazing!

Lauren | Sweet Splendor

Thank you for posting. We're in Boston, i'm 8 months pregnant, and we and have not dug out our car from the blizzard: so I'm scratching my head as to what to make for dinner this week. This is perfect. I'm going to have to sub the kale with cabbage, but I still think it's going to be delis :-)


I actually make this with wild rice cooked in rotel tomatoes with jalapeños, I add some kidney (or white) beans. On a tortilla or flat bread I layer kale, cheddar cheese & the rice mixture. Roll it up for lunches at work. Heat in microwave for under a minute.... Melts the cheese & softens the kale! I like mine with hot sauce too!


This is such a great quick meal for one. I always have left over cooked carbs. this reminds me of a simple version of the Korean rice bowl and im going to serve this Gochujang. I can not wait to try this with barley or wild rice too!

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

Sounds delicious! I love meals like this that are so simple, but so yummy. Have all these things around the house pretty much always, so I'm sure I'll be throwing this together sometime soon!

Little Kitchie

Dear Heidi,
I just sent my daughter a copy of your Kale Rice Bowl. She is in her fourth year at Portland State University and needs quick healthy meals. This will be perfect for her.

I got a copy of Super Natural Every Day from the library a week ago. Needless to say, I’m ordering the book today. Your book is amazing. So far I have made 7 recipes from the book (this morning was Multigrain Pancakes, my husband was a happy man) and 2 from your website. Tonight is Cabbage Soup, with many more recipes in waiting. Thank you!!

HS: Thank you LuAnn! Portland has amazing markets - your daughter is lucky! Happy to hear you're enjoying the recipes.


We are on a tight budge right now as we are about to move, which has also left us with less time to cook. I have been making a version of this a lot lately, usually with farro lightly dressed in a garlicy vinaigrette and red pepper flake-spiced kale. Will definitely be trying this version to mix it up a bit, as I always have za'atar on hand. It certainly fits the bill of quick, nutritious, and filling, and as soon as I start making it, I'm glad we didn't give in to take-out. Thanks for the inspiration!


Love this; so amazing Heidi. Simple and perfect for a February NYC day! Gluten-Free too!!

The Healthy Apple

I did a similar dish to this recently but used quinoa as the grain, and I roasted small cubes of butternut squash for some nice color and texture. I dressed it with a dash of truffle oil and a squeeze of lime + some salted pumpkins seeds to finish. It was yummy!

Alice Dishes

I love getting email from you, Heidi.
Up here in Toronto, we are digging out after a snow-storm last week.
I have tried a lot of your recipes,and have sent on to my friends here.
I am having a hard time finding za'a'tar or sumac, but it must be available somewhere. Will try this one for sure.


This is my major go-to dinner. Sometimes I premake the ingredients so when I don't feel like cooking during the week I can just reheat and it's delicous.


This is one of my favorite meals...completely underrated in my opinion. Definitely on the menu for later in the week!


I love your rice bowl - so simple, comforting and delicious. If za'atar is not available, the Japanese seeweed and sesame mix is also very flavorful.


looks so good. I think I'll veganize this tonight and swap out the yogurt and eggs for toasted pine nuts and garbanzos. Yum!


This looks delicious and very beautiful!

Skylor (@SproutLifestyle)

I just made this replacing the rice for black beans. It was great!


Delicious! I just made this with a few substitutions (didn't have capers)...no capers, so I cooked some cannellini beans seasoned with garlic & onion and made soft boiled eggs. Very nutritious and filling!




I do something incredibly similar, but also including cooked Puy lentils and a dash of sambal oelek in the mix; poached egg like yours if I really want a protein fix. I also like homemade dukkah in this, with the lovely subtle crunch and taste of pistachios. Beautiful images as always. *sigh* Hope all your projects are ticking along nicely


This is perfect! I've been on the busy side myself and was running out of quick meal ideas. I love this and will definitely try it out this week.

Briana Morrison

Lovely dish!


I love pushing rice bowls as a dinner idea, I always think of it more for breakfast/lunch, but would be a perfect quick and filling dinner. Thank you for sharing!


Dear Heidi....and I thought I was the only one who put "shower" in my calendar and set an alarm for it!! I just laughed out loud at that comment. I knew there must be some crazy dazy people out there just like me. I did not try your rice bowl yet, but I will. My husband still thinks that eggs are for breakfast so it would have to be a side dish to some he-man meat. Thank you for this kind of "shoot from the hip" recipe for a busy week day evening!


Gaye Menge

Made this tonight for dinner, and it was perfect! Thanks for the inspiration!


The second I saw that sunny yellow yolk dripping over the rice, and the deliciously briny capers; you had me hooked!

Kari@Loaves n Dishes

Mmm! This reminds me of your kale/coconut salad in Super Natural Everyday, which is one of my family's favorites. I have to thank you for that recipe! My 2 and 5 year olds eat SO MUCH KALE! I always double it and eat it with barley cooked in vegetable broth. I'll have to try this now too.


I was looking for a different way to use all of the kale from my garden that I'd blanched and frozen, and this was just the ticket. Simple but tasty, just the ticket for a quick but delicious after work meal.


I've been in love with kale for the last few weeks, but have fallen into a bit of a rut with my standard salad. I'm going to try this one tomorrow!

Food Wine Fashion

Good luck on your projects! Love this kind of quick meal - a strong hit of vitamins plus some protein. I'm a HUGE fan of za'atar and have a bunch of it, but I'm always tentative to use it in recipes for some reason; not sure if it'll "go." Thanks for this recipe idea, and pleasepleaseplease post more recipes using za'atar!

Katherine @ our peas + carrots

I STILL love your simple recipes. Just like this one, one I know I will make and love.


Oh keep these quick + creative ideas coming. That's the way of it on the kitchenfront around here lately - but my wholesome inspirations are waning - and I'm grateful for quick/healthy suggestions.


Kale is the most favorite greens in our household so this recipe adds a new twist to a brunch menu! Can't wait to try it! BTW, oven-baked crispy kale is one of my favorite add-ons rather than the usual suspects of parsley and other toppings.


This was so, so good! I was scratching my head last night about what to eat, and I had almost everything already in the house (other than two bunches of kale, that I picked up on the way home). This hit the spot- filling, fresh flavors, delicious, and so good for you. I also added some julienned beets, lentils, and avocado (we were hungry). What a great meal! I want this three times a week now.


Now that's my kind of fast food!


Hi, Heidi
Thanks, This looks great.
Happy Valentine's Day

Mary Tinat

Looks so simple and so good.

I had a question about the cabbage soup in Super Natural Everyday. We made it this weekend. Do you have a favorite curry powder? We used 2 tbsp. of what we have here and holy smoke it was spicy. Maybe we have a particularly potent blend?

HS: Hi Kathleen - I tend to bounce around curry powders, or blend my own - each one definitely has its own flavor profile (and heat, for that matter)....if you like the one you have, just tape a note to it to perhaps start with half of what a recipe calls for, and then increase there to taste.I made a really nice curried soup the other night using the Juliet Mae Cool Vindaloo blend...


I just made this and had it for lunch. Really just so delicious you don't even realize it's health food.


I love this! looks like the perfect end of day treat...

Rocky Mountain Woman

Too funny, this is exactly the kind of meal I prepare on my busy days/weeks for lunch! It's become quite a routine actually. I love that you've shared it here because it makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only one who knows how good such a 'thrown together' type meal can be!


I haven't tried your Zatar yet, but this is motivation and inspiration to get in gear and do it! I also love putting poached eggs on everything... salads, rice bowls, stir fries. They're always a protein that's in the fridge during a busy week! I am going to make this and bring it to work for lunch this week for sure. I really like the color combination, too!

Allie @ The Nutritional Epiphany

Hello Heidi.
I just want to send you a little thank you for putting so many great recipes here, I have made quite a few of them and they always turn out wonderful. My boyfriend and I are always trying to find more vegetarian recipes to add to our repertoire, as we wish to eat more sensibly and be concious about what we eat. So thank you for being such an inspiration.

Ingrid @ Chickpeas & Love

Oh my goodness, I was just searching this week for a way to use some sumac a good friend brought to me from a specialty spices store in Spokane. I'm not familiar with za'atar but it looks so delicious. Always looking for new ways to use kale, as well. Thank you for your posts!

Angela Gallardo @ Bare Root

so timely! i had just decided that tomorrow's dinner will consist of kale, eggs and rice. can't stand capers, though, so fermented beets it is instead. i'll have to look za'atar up now...


Capers! Love. Such a beautiful, simple, nourishing meal to have thrown together in between your scurrying. It sounds like an exciting time, enjoy!
Heidi xo

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Heidi! I traveled to San Francisco for a long weekend with girlfriends. We are from MN and it's our first time here. Your travel guide has steered us to great locations...Blue bottle and Delfina, both were wonderful. We will probably hit a gew more before we leave. Thanks!


Heidi- I saw this today and was so excited to make it. I am in the middle of a sinus infection, so gluten is not my friend right now, and this just sounded perfect. I added chickpeas, fennel, and avocado, used cumin, but not capers. I also toasted some pepitas, and sprinkled some green onion on top. IT WAS RIDICULOUS. My friends thought it was one of the best things I've made. So, thanks for the awesome idea, because now I have visions of variations dancing in my head:)


Just made this for dinner.....unbelievable!!!! I did not have that spice combo, but used a no salt spice I love from Whole Foods. I am still amazed at how flavorful this was, easy to make, and very filling.


I often make this... fabulous for a quick dinner or lunch! In my version I add in goodly amount of tamari, but I had never thought of your extras such as capers, I'll have to give it a go. Thanks!


I had forgotten how well kale goes with rice: lovely recipe

Ivona Poyntz

I just made this for our lunch today, and it was fab! Thanks for a great recipe for a quick meal that's still tasty & nutricious.


This is the Chipotle burrito bowl for someone like me. I love it! I like this blog because I can actually make and eat most of the things on here. Must try it.


I made this for dinner last night and it was fab! I think the capers and za'atar really made this dish. I loved that, with the exception of kale, I had everything in the house to make it and it went together so quickly. The only thing that I did differently was that since I already had a sauté pan out to toast the sesame seeds and sauté the capers, I fried the egg. Thanks for another winner Heidi!


I made this or my 19 month old for lunch yesterday, and he loved it! Thanks or sharing.
I will refer to the recipe on my blog later this week if that is of. It is great! Keep up the good work!
I love reading you.

rue du chat qui peche

OMG! I just made this! I skipped the yogurt, because I am limiting my dairy intake, and it still tasted so delicious! I found your recipe online, as I was looking for another way to eat Kale! This is a winner! Thanks for sharing.


I love the bowls too! And, of course, the food in them. I'm desperately trying to get my kids to eat healthier and I notice that a good presentation can make all the difference.


This is what I refer to as a "hippie bowl". :) I make a variation of this several times a week. The staples for my bowls tend to be kale sautéed with coconut oil, eggs in various forms, and lots of nutritional yeast. Quinoa is usually my grain of choice and lately I've been eating it popped and sprinkled liberally on top of the other delicious bowl ingredients. Sometimes I'll add a few chunks of roasted kabocha squash, raw fermented veggies, or a nice, fat blob of hummus. Yum!


Made this on Sunday and it was great—very satisfying. I only wished I'd made us two poached eggs each! Be sure to really use plenty of za'atar to flavor the whole bowl.

Kelly Z

I made this the other day for lunch with my roommate and we both loved it. I didn't have any za'atar, or capers but we adjusted for what we had and it was great with garlic, salt and pepper instead. I also chopped up some avocado and tossed it on top. Thanks for the inspiration!


I cooked this last night, and it was simple and delicious - with a somewhat unusual/ unexpected flavour due to the unlikely combination of za'atar, capers and yoghurt. I used lots and lots of za'atar and toasted sesame seeds; and I think next time I'll add some garlic too. Instead of kale, I used 'flower sprouts' - kale naturally cross-bred with brussels sprouts, which is a new-ish vegetable here in the UK. Thanks for this recipe.


Simple food but very delicious!


I made this last night. It's the perfect light and complete meal. I didn't have yogurt, but did have some feta and that went well with it. Love the capers!


Eating this for lunch and loving it. Drying your own thyme for the zataar was shockingly easy and the flavor much fresher. I added avocado and sautéed shiitake mushrooms. Delish!!


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