Nicole’s Famous Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Salad: Cooking with a Friend Series

Nicole’s Famous Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Salad: Cooking with a Friend Series

As an introvert, forming connections has always been a challenge for me. I often liken myself to a deep-rooted tree rather than a sprawling vine – preferring meaningful, profound relationships over a wide circle of acquaintances. However, finding like-minded individuals or fostering deep connections isn’t a simple task. It’s not as though you can stroll into a café and initiate a conversation with, “Tell me about the trauma you’ve been working on healing!” Except, surprisingly, that’s exactly what happens when you become a new parent.

Encountering fellow moms becomes a daily ritual as they wheel their strollers past your doorstep several times a day. The shared experience of parenthood becomes an instant icebreaker, paving the way for unexpectedly profound conversations. Amidst discussions of childbirth, sleepless nights, and the delicate balancing act of motherhood and career, bonds are formed at an accelerated pace.

Moreover, the solidarity among new mom friends during the tumultuous first year of a baby’s life is unparalleled. They become a source of support, swooping in with postpartum care packages and homemade dinners during moments when exhaustion renders even the simplest tasks insurmountable.

One such meal, lovingly prepared and delivered by our mom friend and neighbor, Nicole, has become a cherished staple in our household. It has graced our table on multiple occasions, each time serving as a reminder of the strength of maternal camaraderie and the power of a shared meal to nourish both body and soul.

 

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, sliced into thin coins
  • Melted butter
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 bundles of kale torn into bite sized pieces
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • Protein of choice: we’ve had this with sliced steak and it was great. Grilled chicken would also be a great choice. Nicole often adds quinoa as an protein boost.

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the sweet potato coins in a little melted butter, chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly onto a baking dish and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the chickpeas and a little more melted butter, toss with the sweet potatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes – roasting until the potatoes are tender and the chickpeas are crispy.
  • Make the salad dressing by combining all ingredients into a jar, whisk or shake vigorously.
  • In a large bowl add the kale. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage it.
  • Once you’re ready to serve the salad add the orange segments, sliced avocados, roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Toss and serve with your favorite protein or al la carte. Mangia, my loves, let’s eat! 

 

 

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest

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