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Roasted Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

This Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad is a perfect combination of warm and cozy fall flavors with a natural touch of sweetness. Made with dried cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for meal prep.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, kale, paleo, sweet potatoes, Whole30
Servings: 4
Author: Lora

Equipment

  • Food processor with the s-blade attachment, or mini-prep food processor

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SALAD
  • 4 cups chopped kale leaves I used a rainbow kale mix already cut
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes about 2 lbs, peeled and diced into small chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds I used unsalted
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup omit for Whole30
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ADD-IN
  • 1 large apple peeled and cored, cut into small chunks
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice to prevent apple browning
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins

Instructions

  • ROAST THE VEGGIES:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil paper.
  • In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the kale. Drain and dry (you could spin dry them if you have a salad spinner) as much water of as you can with a towel, and line the kale on a foil lined baking sheet (total bake time for the kale is about 15 minutes)
  • Spread the sweet potato chunks on the second baking sheet. Drizzle on some olive oil (I used my Sicilian extra-virgin)and sprinkle with cinnamon, cumin, sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Using clean hands (or a spoon), toss it all together to coat.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, take both trays out and give the veggies a stir, and then bake the kale for about 5 more minutes. The sweet potatoes should take about another 15 minutes at this point (depending on how small you cut the chunks).
  • After 15 minutes total, the kale should be a little dried out (not brown and crisp). They should be tender and light brown around edges (you don’t want them dark brown and crispy). remove tray with the roasted kale; set aside (check the kale at 10 minutes...it could be dried and ready...every oven is different).
  • During last few minutes of roasting potatoes, spread the pecans and pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet and roast 3 to 4 minutes, until golden-brown.
  • The sweet potatoes should take 20-25 minutes total to be ready (depends on your oven and how big you cut the pieces, I cut mine into small chunks).
  • Remove tray with roasted sweet potato, pecans, and pumpkin seeds from the oven.
  • While the veggies are roasting, prep the apple and the dressing.
  • Start with the apple. Peel and core the apple. Cut into small chunks and put in a small bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice (about juice of 1/2 lemon) on the apples (prevents browning); set aside. Go on to prep the dressing.
  • PREP THE DRESSING:
  • Add all the dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor (or mini-prep food processor) and blend for 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If dressing is too thick, you can thin it out with a little more lemon juice or a few drops of olive oil. Check the flavor and adjust with more lemon juice or another drop of olive oil, salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
  • Alternatively, you can whisk ingredients together in a bowl or shake until incorporated in a mason jar.
  • SERVE THE SALAD:
  • In a large bowl, add the roasted kale and sweet potatoes with the pecans and pumpkin seeds. Add in the apples (lemon juice drained).
  • Add in the dried cranberries (or raisins).
  • Drizzle on the tahini dressing. You could toss it together with the dressing or leave it as a drizzle. Check the salt and pepper, and add more, to taste, if needed.
  • Serve warm (or room temperature). If not eating right away, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Notes

THE ROASTING: 
  • The kale : will roast up faster than the sweet potatoes, so set your timer for both trays.
  • The sweet potatoes: I cut mine into smaller chunks, so they were ready in about 22 minutes. Every oven is different. You want them to be tender and still whole, not mushed because they baked too long. 
THE KALE:
  • Another option for the kale is to prep them (remove tough inside stems if it has any). Chop kale into small pieces. Wash, spin dry.
  • If you’re using curly kale, you could massage the leaves with olive oil (it does make them more tender).