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Weeknight Dinner Recipe: Sweet Potato Salad


Truth be told, I can eat sweet potatoes year round. Not only are they delicious, they are versatile, too. Mash ‘em, roast ‘em, fry ‘em, broil ‘em...there is really no bad way to cook a sweet potato. And while they are sweet, their plump flesh is ideal for absorbing flavors. Think tang, acid, spice and even more sweet. One way I love them, especially this time of year, is as a salad. And their price point can’t be beat during the fall.


Potatoes have been used in salads forever, so the idea of making serving these sweet spuds cold isn't all that strange when you think about it. All of the above is what makes them different than their white counterparts, though, and why you should immediately ditch the mayo and make sweet potatoes your go to for pot lucks, cook outs and weeknight dinners.



This salad works as a side dish or main course on a busy weeknight because it can easily be transformed into a bowl style meal with just a few touch ups and additions.


POSSIBLE VARIATIONS:

Oh boy, there are so many delicious ways to mix things up (<– get it? salad joke.) with this recipe. For example, feel free to:

  • Add in protein: Weeknight meals should never be stressful. Throw in some rotisserie chicken, simply grilled shrimp, Impossible crumbles, tofu along with plump quinoa to create powerful potato bowl.

  • In the can: This is a great time to use some of those pantry items you’ve stocked up on but never seem to make use of. Feel free to also add in some chickpeas, pinto beans, thinly sliced beets or tuna

  • Veg it up: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, zucchini, collard greens, carrots, cauliflower, green beans and bell peppers are great choices to add to this salad.

Plan ahead

The only real cooking step here is to roast the potatoes. Doing this in a giant batch on a Sunday means you can throw this salad together in minutes during the week or have healthy and delicious snack ready to go.




SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick cut wedges ( diced into 1/2-inch cubes works, too, if you prefer them as a component instead of the main ingredient)

  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby kale

  • 1 avocado, peeled, diced and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta or blue cheese)

  • ½ cup thinly sliced pears

  • ½ cup canned black beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (swap out with chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds, raw or roasted, whatever you like)

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 tomato, diced into ½ inch pieces)

  • Seasonal add ins: Pomegranate seeds

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice (or red wine vinegar)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed or finely-minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper



INSTRUCTIONS


  • To Roast The Potatoes: Heat oven to 400°F. Spread the diced sweet potatoes out on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, and toss until the sweet potatoes are evenly coated. Season the sweet potatoes generously with salt and pepper. Then bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and lightly browned/caramelized around the edges.. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • To Assemble The Salad: Once the sweet potatoes are ready to go, add them to a large serving bowl along with the kale, avocado, goat cheese, seeds, beans tomatoes, cranberries and whatever else youre throwing in. . Drizzle with the dressing, and toss until combined. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Dressing options:

Mustard Dijon : Shake up olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt and pepper up in a mason jar. Sub out apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar for the lemon juice.

Lime Crema: Whisk together 8 oz sour cream, juice and zest of 1 lime, 1 minced garlic clove and pinch of salt together . Crack some black pepper on top





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