Some people may say healthy food is boring, but superfoods like sweet potatoes and kale are here to save the day! I LOVE salads with veggies, fruits, and warm foods, so I love making dishes like this where I don’t skimp on flavor at all. Whether it’s a brisk fall day or a snowed-in winter day, this dish is perfect for when I crave something warm and green.
Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Fall Salad
I always keep some baked sweet potatoes in my refrigerator, so putting this salad together was super-easy. It’s a great salad for fall or winter because it’s served warm!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Allergens: Tree Nuts
- Servings: 2
medium sweet potatoes
(scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks)
ground black pepper
(washed, de-stemmed, coarsely chopped)
red pepper chili flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. (When picking out sweet potatoes at the store, make sure they are firm, and look carefully to ensure there are no signs of decay or cracking. Store them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated container — sweet potatoes are more perishable than you think! I try to use mine within a week or so.)
Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, tossing occasionally, or until they're soft. (To help maintain nutrients, boiling or steaming sweet potatoes are also good cooking methods.)
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat then add kale, tossing frequently until wilted (about 4-6 minutes).
Add the garlic and salt, and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add the red chili pepper flakes and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate pan, dry roast the pine nuts (without oil) until they’re lightly golden and fragrant (about 1 minute).
In a large salad bowl, mix the cooked kale with baked sweet potatoes, then garnish with the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.
Pro Tips: Save time by baking the sweet potatoes 1-2 days in advance, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and simply add it to the kale salad when you’re ready to make this dish. (You can also freeze cooked sweet potatoes for up to 1 year — after they cool, put them in an airtight container or freezer bag and add a few drops of lemon juice to keep their vibrant color!) You can also toast and keep the pine nuts in your pantry for up to 1 week in a Ziploc bag.
More Uses for Sweet Potatoes: Try adding cooked and diced sweet potatoes to a soup or a hash with some sliced onions, or cut them into wedges and roast them with a pinch of sea salt for some scrumptious sweet potato fries. If you plan on eating the sweet potato skins, which are loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients, be sure to scrub them well, then eat them raw by slicing them into strips and adding them to a platter with other raw veggies and a yummy dip like my Hummus Dip. And, the next time you make a smoothie, consider throwing some diced or grated sweet potatoes in there instead of apples. Yum!
What Are the health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes?
Often called yams in the U.S., sweet potatoes, or ipomoea batatas, are starchy, sweet-tasting vegetables. There are over 6,000 varieties of sweet potatoes ranging from dark red to brown to purple to orange-yellow to white. They also come in many different tastes, sizes, shapes, and textures, and they grow under the soil while their leaves grow above the ground.
Sweet potatoes are true to their name and naturally sweet, which is typically enhanced by cooking methods such as roasting. They’ve become more popular over the years due to their superfood status. — their nutritional benefits are unrivaled and expansive, which is why they’re on a continuous rotation in my meal prep!
- High in fiber: Sweet potatoes can lower bad cholesterol levels, the likelihood of constipation, diverticulitis, and diseases like colon cancer, rectal cancer, and heart disease. The fiber in roasted sweet potatoes gives a feeling of satiation, which helps to regulate food intake especially when you eat the skin.
- Low glycemic index: This is important for people who want to prevent glucose highs and lows, like diabetics who depend on the stability of glucose levels.
- High in magnesium: Magnesium insufficiency has been associated with depression, mood disturbances, and muscle cramps, so sweet potatoes may actually help you relax and have been shown to help with calming the brain.
- High in antioxidants: This plays an influential role in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and major damage in the body. Sweet potatoes supply heaps of the antioxidants, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, which also helps in the proper functioning of the brain and is important for wound healing and tissue repair.
- High in vitamin A: Helps our bodies fight off infections and diseases, which could not be more important right now!
- High in potassium: Works in equilibrium with the sodium in the body to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Can You Eat Sweet Potatoes Raw?
It’s not necessary to cook sweet potatoes before consuming them, like regular potatoes, but for those who have sensitive tummies, digestion could be difficult due to an enzyme inhibitor they contain — cooking helps to eliminate this. To make it easier, try grating them and adding them to smoothies or salads, and feel free to substitute carrots and apples with them in your favorite recipes. I always keep some baked sweet potatoes in my refrigerator, so putting this salad together is always super-easy! If you need a quick, healthy, mouth-watering lunch idea for sweet potatoes, try my Sweet Potato Tacos. You will not be disappointed!
What Are the Benefits of Eating Kale?
Kale, or borecole, is one of the most nutrient-concentrated foods you can eat and extremely worthy of its “superfood” status. The cross-like cell makeup puts kale in the cabbage family along with broccoli, cauliflower, and collards. Let’s magnify the nutrient composition of this green goddess:
- High in antioxidants: Important for fighting viruses like the common cold, and plays a role in the prevention of optic conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
- High in omega-3: This is essential for brain health, reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and boosts heart health as well.
- Anti-inflammatory: This is important in helping with cognitive function, the prevention of heart disease, and chronic inflammation.
- High in fiber: Aids in digestive health; plus, the stems are edible and have a high level of probiotics, which is important to have good gut health.
- High in iron: Important to any diet, iron helps in the formation of hemoglobin and detoxifies our bodies by helping our liver function, making it easier for our body to filter out any toxins.
- High in vitamin K: Known as the clotting vitamin, prevents our body from bleeding too much and makes our blood thicker.
- High in vitamin C: Having an ample amount of vitamin C in our diet aids in the mental and physical performance of our bodies as we get older.
Can You Eat Kale Raw?
If you’ve ever eaten or even felt kale leaves before, you know they can be a bit tough without cooking. Kale is safe to eat raw and an especially good choice due to its high fiber and probiotic properties, and can help if you are having stomach issues. If you’re not so fond of the chewy and rough texture, there are few ways to soften kale before consuming it: First, wash it very well and pat dry. (If you don’t want to consume the spines you can cut those out and use them when making vegetable stock.) Then, try sautéing it in some olive oil with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can also throw in some cranberries, pomegranate seeds, baked tofu chunks, and even some sliced apples. Try my delectable Kale Pine Nut Stir-Fry, for which I take stir-fry to another level for lunch or dinner!
ROASTED SWEET POTATO & KALE FALL SALAD Health Benefits
There are a multitude of health benefits to this salad if prepared as directed. Here are a few you can gain by using each of the ingredients in this dish:
- Garlic: Can improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and help fight sickness.
- Kale: Contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that can help prevent various health problems like diabetes.
- Olive Oil: Rich in monounsaturated fats, may prevent stroke, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Parmesan Cheese: Promotes bone health and is loaded with nutrients including calcium, vitamins, and other minerals; also shown to have low lactose levels
- Pine Nuts: Abundant in magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein, which all help with diabetes management, heart health, and brain health.
- Sweet Potatoes: Good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins, and contain anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties that protect our bodies.
With all these ingredients put together, this salad is extremely healthy, it’s gluten-free and it’s vegan. Pease leave a comment below and tell me what recipes you turn to during the fall and winter seasons!