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Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Pecans and Asian Inspired Sauce

Sweet potato is one of the most nutrient rich foods on our planet. It is packed with beta-carotene, potassium, fiber and it also tastes divine. You can steam it, bake it, fry it, mash it, zoodle it, slice it, you name it! My favorite is roasting with just a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. I enjoy it as a side to a warm meal but I also love when I have leftovers and the next day I can incorporate into a salad bowl. This version with the crunchy nuts and the Asian dressing is just divine! You have to try it. And feel free to add any veggies or any nuts, this is a versatile recipe.

Ingredients:

Serves 4 (meal sized salads)

  • 1 pack pre-washed greens 142 g (I used baby romaine)
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup packed fresh herbs, chopped (I used cilantro)
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 4 small Lebanese cucumbers, sliced
  • ½ cup raw pecan halves (you can use more)
  • Sesame seeds and lime wedges to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce (based on a sauce by the Wellness Mamma):

  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Zest and juice from ½ large lime or one small one
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • A splash of fish sauce (for vegetarian version can be replaced with ½ tsp. miso or simply omitted)
  • Water to thin out

 


Preparation

  • Pre heat oven to 400 degrees (if you are baking just one sweet potato, it might be better to use small toaster oven). Cut sweet potato into wedges or large cubes (1” cubes are good). On a baking tray, mix sweet potato cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown (the edges will start to caramelize but you don’t want to burn). Remove from oven and let cool.
  • In the meanwhile, prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients, except the water, with a whisk. Alternatively, ingredients can be placed in a food processor and blended. Because the quantities are small, this will only work in a small food processor. You can always double the recipe if you want to keep some dressing for another day and in that case, the food processor will work better.  Once ingredients are well blended, you add a little water, 1 tbsp. at a time and you whisk until desired consistency. The sauce is very concentrated in flavor therefore it is OK to dilute but you don’t want to dilute so much as to loose flavor so go slowly with this step.
  • In a frying pan, toast the pecan nuts in medium to high heat without any oil. Make sure to stir and to watch closely as this should take only a few minutes. As soon as the color changes, the nuts will be ready. Remove from heat and let cool. You can break up into smaller pieces or chop with a knife.
  • Arrange greens, herbs and vegetables in 4 large bowls or plates. Top with sweet potato, chopped nuts and dressing. Garnish with a few sesame seeds and some lime wedges. Enjoy!

 

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