by Sarah Henderson
I?ve always loved the phrase, ?Work smarter, not harder.? In my pre-baby life, I tried to apply it whenever I could. Now mother of a busy 8-month-old, the words are a mantra for survival. As anyone who works in the home knows, there is always something to be done, and some days, the sun sets and I realize I haven?t even had a breath of fresh air.
Which brings me to this kale salad, a dish that definitely works smarter, not harder. It?s pretty, with deep green kale, rosy-orange sweet potatoes. It?s tasty, too, sweet and savory, fresh and satisfying. It?s nutritious: full of magnesium, calcium, vitamins A, B6, C and K, potassium, and iron. And to top it off, it takes about 30 minutes to prepare. The rewards outweigh the work a million to one. Serve this after a busy day and use the time you save for an after-dinner walk with the family.
Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1 16-ounce bag chopped kale, any variety (yields about 5 cups, chopped)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
- olive oil (for both kale and sweet potatoes)
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- salt and pepper
- 4 sweet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- Pre-heat oven to 400? F. Coat sweet potato halves in olive oil and place them flat side down on a baking sheet. Bake until tender and brown, turning once – about 20 minutes.
- Coarsely chop kale to make ribs easier to chew and digest. In a large bowl, toss kale, shallot, lemon juice, and enough olive oil to coat the salad, adding more oil as necessary. Using your hands, massage kale, squeezing until it begins to soften and absorb the oil. The kale will darken in color and feel soft to the touch. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer kale to a large serving dish and garnish with 1/4 cup of toasted sunflower seeds. Place roasted sweet potatoes on top of the salad.
Serve with Dijon mustard, if desired, adding a ?zing? to the dish.
Add white beans or salmon for a heartier meal.
For those with more adventurous palates, try this dressing instead of olive oil & lemon: 1/4 cup flax oil 2-3 tablespoon umeboshi/?ume? plum vinegar
In a measuring cup or small bowl, pour 2-3 tablespoons of ume? vinegar. Slowly pour in 1/4 cup flax oil while whisking vigorously. Ume (pronounced ?ooo-may?) vinegar is derived from Japanese umeboshi plums and has a very salty, pungent flavor that can be overwhelming, so use sparingly to taste. Find Ume in the Asian foods section of your local market.
Sarah Henderson is a former health educator and newly minted stay-at-home mom.? She and her family live in Southern California, where there’s never a good excuse not to get outside. Find her on Twitter at @celeryhearted.