Sweet Potato & Black Bean Kale Salad

Kale is on every menu these days.

Please don’t pass this one off. It’s not a trend and there is a reason it will never go away. We all know it is healthy but it also is incredibly versatile, delicious and holds up to heartier fillings that your average mixed greens.

Sweet and savory with a subtle tang and kick of heat, the flavor profile for this beauty is insane.

As you can see, what we have here is basically a deconstructed sweet potato and black bean burrito. There’s protein packed black beans, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cilantro and creamy avocado, all on a bed of kale that’s been massaged until it’s gloriously soft. The richly textured salad is then topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds and salty goat feta. Long story short, this hearty, nutrient-packed meal is ridiculously delicious.

Not to go full hippy on you, but giving your kale a little massage will completely change your life.

It has a magical transformational effect on the leafy green, tenderizing it and making it softer and easier to chew. Sure, massaging your greens may sound odd, but I promise it’s far less creepy than you may believe. And once you try this simple technique, you’ll be excited to eat more of this leafy green.

Please note that next day leftovers are even better than the original batch.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Kale Salad

For the salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup finely chopped red cabbage
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 large avocado, diced
1/3 cup crumbled goat feta (optional)

For the lime vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic and cayenne (if using) in a small bowl or jar. Season with salt to taste.

Place chopped kale in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing.  Massage the kale with your hands, rubbing in the dressing, for about 2 minutes. When the sweet potatoes are at room temperature, add them to the kale. Add the black beans, cabbage, cilantro, avocado, goat feta and gently toss. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

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