sweet potato, lentil, and kale salad with chipotle lime dressing

sweet potato, kale, and lentil salad with chipotle lime dressing // www.heynutritionlady.com

I have SFBPD (seasonal food blogger photo disorder).

Stockholm is way the heck up north. Not quite in the arctic circle, but we’re kissing it. For perspective, we’re just a smidge further north than Juneau Alaska.

At this time of year taking photos for the blog becomes a real challenge. Photographing anything after work is out of the question as it’s already dark by 3:30 in the afternoon, and it’ll get only darker still. Before work isn’t much better. This limits me to a weekend frenzy of prepping and photographing during which my husband is under no circumstances allowed in the kitchen (a rule which he never abides by) and at the end of which it looks like a bomb has gone off.

Sometimes the photos don’t turn out all that well, especially on a grey and dreary day. If I was a better blogger I’d hold off on posting those recipes until I had better pictures. But I’m not, and so, you get this salad.

Manky as the photos may be, I assure you this salad is all kinds of delicious. It’s full of all of the goodness of the season: roasted sweet potatoes and kale are a match made in heaven. Chewy whole grain kamut and beluga lentils turn this salad into a substantial meal. And the chipotle lime dressing is the stuff that dreams are made of.

sweet potato, lentil, and kale salad with chipotle lime dressing // www.heynutritionlady.com

This salad is an excellent make-ahead meal. Kale is sturdy enough for a dressed salad to last a few days in the fridge. One might even say it improves a bit with time as the kale gives way to the dressing and loses its edge. If you leave the dressing off, this salad will last the entire week in your fridge. Just pack the salad in airtight containers with a little jar of dressing tucked along side (I like to repurpose those little jam jars you get in hotels) and you’ve got an entire week’s worth of lunches in one fell swoop.

One last thing – I’ve tagged this salad as vegan in spite of using honey in the dressing. I’m aware that honey isn’t technically vegan, but it’s my preferred sweetener for flavour, consistency, and because I’ve got a great jar of local ecological honey on hand. If you’re vegan you can replace the honey with agave, or you could try maple syrup though I have not tested that flavour combination.

MM_Know_Icon_FINALKale is a nutritional powerhouse! It is extraordinarily rich in micronutrients, dietary fiber, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. Kale is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and contains nearly twice the vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and also an important anti-inflammatory agent) than any other cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, etc).  Iron, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and phosphorous are among the complement of vital minerals found in kale. The dietary fiber in kale is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels. One recent study showed that this benefit may be improved by lightly steaming kale for about 5 minutes before consuming.

Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are increibly rich in beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.Sweet potatoes also have storage proteins called sporamins which have unique antioxidant properties.

sweet potato, lentil, and kale salad with chipotle lime dressing // www.heynutritionlady.com

Two years ago: Roasted Kale and Sweet Potato Salad (tis the season, apparently)

sweet potato, kale, and lentil salad with chipotle lime dressing // www.heynutritionlady.com
5 from 3 votes
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sweet potato, lentil, and kale salad with chipotle lime dressing

This hearty nutrient-packed salad is great for make-ahead meals. If you leave the dressing off it'll last a week in your fridge, and is perfect for packed lunches.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 -6
Author The Muffin Myth

Ingredients

  • SALAD:
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup beluga lentils picked over and rinsed
  • 1 small bunch Tuscan kale washed, destemmed, and sliced into thin ribbons - about 2-3 cups sliced kale
  • 2 cups cooked kamut wheat berries, or farro
  • DRESSING:
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 Tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 chipotle pepper finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. FOR THE SALAD:
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Peel and cube the sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, and spread out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place the sweet potato in the oven, and roast for 15-20 minutes. You want it to be just tender, not mushy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Place a pot of water on high heat and bring to the boil.
  6. Salt the water generously, then add the lentils. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes. You want the lentils to be just tender, not mushy.
  7. Drain and rinse the lentils, and set aside to cool.
  8. While the sweet potato is roasting and the lentils are cooking, you can get to work on your kale.
  9. Pull the leaves off of the stems, then stack the leaves on top of one another. Use a very sharp knife to slice the kale into thin ribbons.
  10. Combine the kale, sweet potato, lentils, and kamut in a large bowl. Toss to combine well.
  11. FOR THE DRESSING:
  12. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, honey or agave, chipotle pepper, Dijon, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  13. TO SERVE:
  14. Add dressing to the salad, stir well, and let stand for about 10 minutes to soften the kale. Serve.

Recipe Notes

-If you're making this for make-ahead meals or packed lunches, leave the dressing off until you're ready to serve. A little jar of dressing tucked alongside the salad is great for packed lunches. Dress it, and let it sit a few minutes before you eat so the kale can soften.
-If you're cooking kamut or another whole grain for this salad, cook twice as much as you need and stash the other half in the freezer for next time or for another meal.

 

sweet potato, lentil, and kale salad with chipotle lime dressing // www.heynutritionlady.com



 

Comments

  1. Sweet potatoes, kale and lentils, I’m in!!

    I feel you about the light thing. It started to get dark at 4:30 pm in Chicago land yesterday. Ugh! I bought a photography tent and lights last year and they work well. That could be your answer to the minimal amount of light you get.

  2. Like Linda, I feel your pain. And I like that you’ve given the ‘disorder’ a name. 🙂 Right now at 4.15 pm it is low grey clouds and somewhere underneath the sun is setting. No chance of photos. But, but, I do sometimes break out my big, tall soft box light thing or a smaller Lowell Ego light. They are all a bit of a faff, and if you don’t have room to store them not particularly practical, but they do help. Having said that, your photos are always fantastic so I wouldn’t fret at all about how they come across to us. In the dead of winter nothing short of a full photographic studio would give top notch images for many of us northerly bloggers. 😉 Anyhow, you have used all of my cold weather favourites in one bowl. Awesome share. PS my husband also trespasses into ‘my’ territory, usually in sweaty football gear and rummaging for something to eat.

    • Aww, thanks Kellie. Perhaps if I shot in raw and learned a bit more about editing I could make them a little better rather than the uneducated fiddling I do. But sweet of you to say. It is a lovely bowl of of autumn goodness, isn’t it?

  3. This looks so wonderful & I can’t wait to try it! Do you think buckwheat, quinoa or rice could make a good replacement for the kamut, wheatberries or farro (for gluten free)? I am so glad I found your blog. Love the education you include and that your blog is user-friendly! 🙂

    • You could definitely make a substitution! If I could choose I’d go with a short grain brown rice because it would be nice and chewy like the Kamut is. Give it a go and let us know how it turns out! And thanks so much for your sweet words about the blog 🙂

  4. The salad is beautiful (and I think it even photographed well given the circumstances). These really are all my favorite savory fall flavors in one bowl! I can’t wait to get my hands on this! Best of luck with finding lights that work for you. I am getting a setup like Linda suggested in hopes to learn to take better pictures in the dark

  5. Oh my, I feel you about the no light. Although here it’s almost dark by 4:30pm, which is not as bad as 3:30pm! I recently invested in an artificial light, but there’s definitely a learning curve when you’re used to natural light! I read your comment above, and I would definitely recommend always shooting in RAW – it is so far superior than shooting in a compressed format like JPEG. You can tweak almost anything! If only we could tweak Mother Nature 😉

    • Yeah, I know. Shooting in RAW is one of those things I know I *should* do and it’s probably not as scary as I think it is to have to go in and tweak everything. And yes, tweaking mother nature would be nice from time to time, wouldn’t it?

  6. Ugh this salad is perfect! I love all the nutritional elements and can seriously taste the flavor. I know it sounds weird to call a salad mouth-watering, but this is seriously mouth-watering!! Love it, lady!!

  7. I have the same problem! It is pretty much dark when I get home from work everyday, so I’m always in a cooking and photographing frenzy all weekend. Once I took so many photos in one day that I got a horrible cramp in my hand and could hardly sleep it hurt so bad! It is so sad when you go through the trouble of making the whole dish and then you just don’t have good enough light to take the photos. I think these photos look really good though and I really love this dish! Sweet potatoes, lentils, and kale of some of my favorite things to eat these days and this salad looks awesome 🙂

    • Oh man, I know what you mean. Last weekend I had to do all of my photography in one day, and it was my blog stuff plus a photo project for a friend. By the end of the day my back and hamstrings were all tweaked out from having been bent over my photography set up all day!

  8. The photos are far from manky; full of bold colour and healthful scrumminess! I do feel the same though, how do people manage to squeeze in a recipe before it goes dark? Do they do them all at the weekends? x

    • I can only take photos on the weekends! There’s not enough light before work and it’s dark by 3pm now, so after work is out of the question. The weekends are a flurry of cooking and photographing at this time of year!

  9. I think I’ve found my daughter, Heather’s kindred spirit! She is a professional photographer, and is cooking mostly vegetarian and vegan. She spent one summer on study abroad in Stockholm, which is about the time she decided to become a food photographer. So now I find myself trying to take better quality pictures, and adding more vegan and vegetarian meals to our diet. Even though I live in southern California, the light is terrible in my kitchen this time of year, so I don’t know how you do it! This salad is incredible. I shared a link to your recipe on my blog this week so that Heather could try it out. Thank you! pestoandterracotta.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/salad-in-january-you-bet/

    • Thanks for sharing the recipe, Leslie! It’s definitely one of my favourites. And how funny to have so much in common with your daughter. The light during winter in Sweden is definitely a challenge, but that just makes things interesting, right?!

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