My last few food posts have been a tad on the unhealthy side (if you need some references see Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars, my Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake, or these Butterscotch Caramel Oat Bars). This post is to give you a break from all that temptation.
See? Healthy looking things! I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different versions of kale salads lately, as I’ve finally become comfortable with working with this tough green. I’ve previously made the mistake of not letting it absorb the dressing long enough before serving it, ending up with a tough, bitter-tasting salad. I’ve finally perfected this sweet potato and beet salad enough to share it. If you don’t feel like making your own dressing, I’m sure anything you have in your fridge will work (Dijon, Balsamic, etc). Hope you like it!Ingredients
1 bunch kale (I used red kale because I think it looks prettier – didn’t notice any difference in the taste. You could also try Lacinato, or Dino kale, or feel free to mix ‘em up)
1 large sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
2 beets (I used Chioggia beets because they were the only kind at Whole Foods – found out that they’re striped on the inside)! You could use red, golden, or a mixture
1 cup quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s Tricolor)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds; toasted
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed with a garlic press
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 grinds of black pepper
1. Bring a pot of water to boil (the pot should be big enough to hold the beets and cover them in water). Chop off the top stalks of the beets so there’s about an inch of stem left. Submerge the beets in the boiling water, and let cook 40-45 minutes, until they’re tender enough to stick a fork through. Once done, take out to let cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, rub the skin off with your fingers, and cut them into whatever size pieces you want for your salad.
2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and chop it into 1.5 inch square chunks. Place the chunks in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Mix around with your hands so that all the pieces are evenly coated. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray it with canola or olive oil spray, and spread the sweet potato pieces out onto the baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, until the pieces are soft. Let cool.
3. Also meanwhile, cook the 1 cup of quinoa according to instructions. Set aside to let cool.
4. De-stem all the pieces of kale: rip all the leaves off, and discard the tough middle piece (if you want to be really “green” save it for a later use – ew). Chiffonade the kale into small pieces, and set in a medium to large sized bowl.
5. Make the dressing – mix all the ingredients of the dressing together in a small bowl or a covered jar. Pour over the kale, and massage it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Make sure all the kale is coated. Stick the bowl of kale into the fridge for at least a half hour to let it absorb the dressing.
6. After the kale has had enough time to absorb the dressing, add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, beets, and sunflower seeds to the lettuce mixture. Top with any additional dressing. Enjoy!Does anyone else have a trusted kale salad recipe? Please share in the comments!