Black Rice, Kale & Aubergine Pilaf


I absolutely had to share this incredible dish created by the gorgeous Luise and David of Green Kitchen Stories. They have 2 cookbooks absolutely packed with delicious recipes and beautiful photographs – like fine art, those books!

This is a meal I’ve been enjoying fresh and then again as leftovers for lunch on busy days. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list – it’s a surprisingly quick prep. Absolutely perfect for Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday - Black Rice, Kale & Aubergine Pilaf
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Serves: 4
  • Black Rice & Lentil Mix:
  • 1 cup / 250 ml black rice (preferable soaked)
  • 1 cup / 250 ml green or brown lentils (preferable soaked)
  • 4 cups / 1 liter water
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds (without pods)
  • Baked Aubergine:
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground chili
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp for massaging the kale
  • 4 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil + 1 tsp for massaging the kale
  • 1 large aubergine/eggplant, cut into small cubes
  • Salad ingredients:
  • 2 large stems kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, stone removed and cubed
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 small handful raw pistachio nuts, coarsely chopepd
  • 5 unsulphured dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup / 125 ml yogurt, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  2. Rinse and drain rice and lentils. Then place in a saucepan, add water, salt and cardamom seeds, cover with a lid and bring to boil. Lower the heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until tender and all the water has been absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together cumin, chili, turmeric, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Place the cubed aubergine and the spice mixture in an oven-proofed dish and toss to cover. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft on the inside and slightly browned on the outside. Set both the black rice and lentil mix and the baked aubergine a side to cool.
  4. Now prepare the salad ingredients. Place the chopped kale in a medium serving bowl, add lemon juice and olive oil and massage the kale for a couple of minutes until soften. Add all ingredients and toss to combine. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.





Health Lab


Inner Body Boost


Jiva Kombucha


The Healthy Life


JSHealth Vegan Meal Plan


JSHealth Travel Plan




14 Day Slim Down Plan - 2 weeks to a leaner you!


The JSHealth Shopping List - Stock up on these foods for a healthier household


Nutrition 101 - A step by step nutrition guide to optimal health


Emotional Eating Guide - Learn how to rebuild your relationship with food and your body


The Clean Life - An Expert Guide To Health From The Inside Out


Restart Plan - Cleanse your system in 2 - 4 weeks & reveal a slimmer, healthier you


JSHealth Partners


Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.