A Sweet Potato Kale Salad You Never Knew You Needed

So, I told you you'd be seeing more savoury recipes here on the blog. And I'm kicking it off with a reeeally good one. Like so good, even I didn't know how delicious it was going to be. Full credit to my mom for being the brains behind this incredible creation.

Definitely aware of my sweet potato obsession, she came back one day from lunch at her friend's place and shared that she had eaten a "delicious sweet potato and kale salad with all sorts of crunchy nuts, maybe some feta, a sprinkling of pomegranate and a sesame soy dressing". 

The minute her words entered my ears, I knew I had to make something with similar ingredients. My thoughts at the time: Sweet potatoes? LOVE. Kale? Love too but haven't bought or eaten in forever. Nuts in salad? Big fat yes. Feta? Uhm, hundred percent yes. The pomegranate and dressing were elements I was going to play around with, as wasn't really feeling them.
And then this salad was born. It feels almost silly calling it a salad because it is so far removed from the bowls of lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes that we still often picture in our heads when someone says "salad". This one is hearty, delicious, nutritious and full of texture, healthy fats, greens & carbs. It's sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy, naughty yet nice. It's just full of all the good stuff. I replaced the pomegranate with naturally dried cranberries and the soy sesame dressing with a lemony honey simple dressing and I could not have imagined this any other way. It turned out im-pec-ca-ble.

The sweet potato lends a delicious starchiness, the kale adds a boost of greens and earthiness, the feta gives just the right amount of creaminess and saltiness, the nuts have the perfect crunchiness and the cranberries and dressing just rack up the deliciousness. This salad screams yumminess.

With spring officially having arrived - it has here in London, at least - this salad will be a new favourite addition to your lunch rota. As the weather gets warmer and sunnier, I love eating colder lunches (that often end up being much more colourful too!). 

Another great thing about this salad is it's great made ahead because kale, unlike many other greens, doesn't get soggy in a matter of hours and in fact, almost gets better the longer it sits. In other words, it's a great way to get you greens in daily by making a larger batch on Sunday or the beginning of the week. It would also make a fabulous packed lunch for school or work. 

So.... what are you waiting for?

For two lunch servings (or four side portions)
2-3 large sweet potatoes 
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups kale, chopped quite finely
1/2 lemon
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1/4 feta, crumbled
spring onion, chopped, for garnish
olive oil, for roasting sweet potatoes and for dressing
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Start by peeling and chopping the sweet potatoes into chunks. Toss them with some olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and paprika. Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for 25-35 minutes, or until tender and cooked through. Set aside to cool. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the chopped kale, juice from the lemon and 1 tsp of olive oil. Use your (clean!) hands to really massage the kale until it starts to wilt and tenderise. Once the kale has been massaged to your satisfaction, stir in the honey.

Then, add the cooled sweet potato chunks, pine nuts, sesame, walnuts and cranberries and toss together. Add a touch of salt to taste.

Pour into two bowls and top with chopped spring onion and the crumbled feta.

Snap a quick pic, post on Instagram, tag #strawberrychocolateconcoction and ENJOY! 

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