Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Happy Earth Day!! 

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

I love Earth Day. I kind of wanted to make chocolate pudding “dirt” with gummy worms as a celebration, but I don’t have any kids, so a salad seemed more age appropriate.

But before we get into the fabulous, healthiness that is this Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad let me tell you a little story about Earth Day.

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

When I was little I lived in Cleveland, Ohio for 5 years, and my elementary school made a BIG deal about Earth Day. One year they gave us each a teeny, tiny pine tree to plant at home; it was more like a twig with roots, really.

But I didn’t care. I babied that tree like only a 3rd grader could! My mom was not excited about the idea of me planting the sapling in a prominent place near the house, so I planted it near its “friends” along the back edge of the property line. I can picture EXACTLY where I planted it like it was yesterday: near the forest but set apart because it was special.

So in 2010 when my husband (then fiancé) and I first started working together in Cleveland, I begged him to come look at the tree with me. We drove to my old neighborhood, trespassed on some random person’s property (that’s love in case you couldn’t tell!), and we approached the spot where it should have been.

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

And you know what? My little pine tree was still there: set slightly away from the forest line. I couldn’t tell you why, but it made me so happy looking at it.

Then my husband’s deep voice woke me from my reverie; “We should go before someone comes out to ask us why we are behind their house…Telling them ‘I planted this tree 17 years ago’ is going to sound really odd!”

I still smile thinking about it.

And that is one reason why I love Earth Day [and my Husband].

I also love this roasted sweat potato kale salad! {Not my best segue but it’s all I got today.}

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

It’s packed full of fiber, vitamins and minerals and flavor! I sliced Tuscan Kale (a.k.a. lacenato kale or dinosaur kale) into thin ribbons and then topped it with toasted pecans, dried tart cherries, minced shallot, roasted sweet potatoes, my go-to easy grilled rosemary chicken breast, and a sprinkling of goat’s milk feta.

A champagne vinaigrette pulls it all together!

Each component is delicious, but all together it’s sensational!

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

This is one of those salads that you can serve any time of year. The sweet potatoes and chicken can be served hot or cold depending on the season.

Tuscan Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

The trick to making raw Tuscan kale palatable is all in the ribbons! Tuscan kale is very fibrous, so slicing this way means you don’t have to chew each bite for 10 minutes unless that’s your thing. The second time I made it (the photos you see), I got lazy and my ribbons weren’t as thin and it just wasn’t quite the same.

Tuscan Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Yield: 2 Salads

Tuscan Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

This Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad is packed with fiber, vitamin and minerals, protein and flavor! An easy champagne vinaigrette pulls it all together!

Ingredients

  • 10 Tuscan kale leaves, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 breasts rosemary grilled chicken, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons dried tart cherries
  • ½ shallot, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • Crumbled goat’s milk feta (approximately ½ ounce or more if you want)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, pealed and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash Saigon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Champagne Vinaigrette

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes, olive oil, ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, 2 large, three finger pinches of kosher salt, and a dash of Saigon cinnamon. Toss to coat and evenly distribute spices. Add more oil if necessary. I usually eyeball it. Spread onto baking sheet and roast 15-20 minutes or until soft and slightly browned; turning several times throughout.
  3. While those bake, make your chicken. As the chicken rests assemble the salad.
  4. Pile all the ingredients atop the kale ribbons, drizzle with the champagne vinaigrette and enjoy!

Notes:

Serve the chicken and potatoes hot or cold. I liked it best when they were served warm.

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Comments

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      THanks, Kristine! I love regular goats cheese too. So creamy and wonderful. I did try it on this salad and it was good, because everything is good with goats cheese, but I did prefer the goats milk feta. Something about the texture and bit of tang.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      No one’s called me Linds since college. Makes me smile! I LOVE it! If your Hubs is like mine, then we are two lucky gals! You should definitely make this salad! It’s actually surprisingly filling!

  1. says

    Happy Earth Day! What a precious story. And I can’t believe you trespassed lol. There have been times when I have driven past the house that I grew up in, but I’ve never trespassed or even gotten out of the car haha. Just looking at it from afar and reminiscing was enough. That is so cool that your tree is still there where you planted it. Awesome!

    The salad looks vibrant and yummy. Thanks for the tips earlier on photography. I am currently on “artificial light photography” in Plate to Pixel. I will be getting hands on practice soon. I can already picture myself ripping my hair out trying to get good shots haha. It’s going to take tons of patience and practice. I will go check out your earlier posts soon to see what a long way you have come.

    Btw I wonder if anyone ever blogs or have blogged about their food photography learning journey. Maybe I should start journaling each session/lesson as I learn. It might help me learn better and might even help others along the way. I can look back on it years from now and laugh at my earlier photos.
    Miss Kim @ behgopa recently posted…Revisiting Julie and Julia – and why we blogMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      oh you have no idea…lol! I have a wild streak in me ;-) This salad is tasty! It’s easy enough for you to make all the components ahead and then bring to work :-)

      I have read several bloggers posts about food photography, which I felt helpful. I’ve been jotting down notes about all sorts of things I’ve learned and have been wanting to start a series on it. You should definitely journal about it and then post them! There is something incredible useful about introspection. I’m not quite at the stage where I laugh at my earlier photos – they still make me cringe and want to redo! There was a time when I was learning so much, so fast that I didn’t even want to use the photos I had taken the week prior.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Haha! You should plant a tree – it is Earth Day after all! Nothing takes a salad from good to great quite like pecans and feta!

  2. says

    Oh my gosh – this salad is gorgeous! I’m supposed to eat this? It’s almost like art! But, I have to admit – I love sweet potatoes, kale AND chicken – so this baby is aaalll mine! And I am loving the tree story! I want to be able to have memories like that! Seriously? I can’t remember what I did yesterday! ALOL!!! :-) Hugs my sistah!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      ALOL! You’re the sweetest! You would so love this salad! You crack me up! I don’t have tons of memories from that far back but, man, did I love that twig. Hugs right back atcha!

  3. says

    Hi Lindsey,

    Score again! We all just loved the salad. Even my picky teenager. Very interesting flavor combinations! I have sent the links to both recipes to my grown children with a photo attached, and will post it on my Facebook page. So-o-o-o good!!!

    Many thanks!!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks for all the love, Josephine! I’m so glad you all enjoyed it! I hope your older ones try it out! It’s got a little something for everyone in it! I am just obsessed with the sweet potatoes in the salad!

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