Vegetarian and Vegan Citrus Sesame Kale Recipe

November 15, 2018

So tell me, how was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you eat a lot of food? Are you feeling a little bit sick right now? Need something light and healthy for dinner?

Yeah, me too. As I mentioned on Friday, our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of some semi-Thanksgivingish things from Whole Foods (twice baked potatoes? Why not!), so we just got enough for one meal and we didn’t have any leftovers. I was feeling pretty good about not having days worth of mashed potatoes or pie in the fridge, but then I made brownies. Sugary, buttery super rich Mexican chocolate brownies.

Ugh, you guys, no more brownies. Or sweet potatoes. Or stuffing. No! More! Can we just talk about salads and ice water this week?

Citrus Sesame Kale Ingredients
The good thing about holiday over-indulgence is that when it’s all over, I feel more motivated to eat healthy. There’s nothing like a night spent regretting eating that extra Thanksgiving brownie (and topping it with gelato–oh yeah, that happened) to help get you back on track, right?

So here’s a recipe that’s light and healthy–Citrus Sesame Kale. And it’s also easy, because after Thanksgiving, I bet you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking either. This serves 4 as a side dish, but you can add some baked tofu or marinated tempeh and it could easily serve two as a light main dish.

Citrus Sesame Kale
Kale is definitely my favorite green. There are other greens that I eat because they’re healthy even though I don’t really like them (spinach, I’m looking at you), but kale is a green I will actually look forward to eating. Some people say kale is bitter, but I’ve never found that to be true. (I’m not saying they’re liars, but I think I might be missing a tastebud or something.) To me, it’s earthy and chewy and delightful. Yes, delightful!

There’s nothing creamy in here. Nothing rich. It’s just what you need when you’ve got a post-holiday food hangover.


Citrus Sesame Kale

Citrus Sesame Kale Recipe

A light, easy Asian-inspired side dish made with kale, fresh orange juice, and sesame seeds.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tsp. sesame oil (I used toasted)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale (about 3/4 lb.), tough stems removed & leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add kale and stir until coated with oil. Stir in soy sauce and orange juice; cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until kale is softened.
  2. Stir in sesame seeds and red pepper flakes (if using) and serve.

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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