Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kale, Lentil, and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Kale, Lentil, and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Usually, when I don't blog for a while, it's just because I need a break from the blogging race. Trying to keep up with the trends and seasons can be so exhausting, that I just need some time to have a life again and decompress. Unfortunately, this recent break was not for those reasons. I've been dealing with the loss of a friend. A loss that was so unexpected and unimaginable, that I have found it hard to put fingers to the keyboard for purposes other than writing in my own private journals. In terms of dealing with death, I have been sort of lucky in life. I haven't lost too many people that I have been close to. As my sweet friend was laid to rest this weekend, I thought about how to deal with the loss of a loved one. Writing my thoughts down in journals has helped. Long walks, yoga, and Pilates have helped to alleviate some of the stress. Spending time with those that are close to me has been number one. I am also taking some comfort in cooking. Surprisingly, I haven't been craving sugary sweets or fattening "comfort" foods. Rather, I have been craving nourishing, vibrant food that helps me feel energized. That's not to say that some stress-relief baking hasn't been taking place, but above all of the cookies, I would rather have a salad much like this one. It is food's way of reminding me that even in the coldest times of my life, both literally and figuratively, there is brightness at the end of the tunnel.

Kale, Lentil, and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Kale, Lentil, and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
(Inspired by Familystyle Food)

*Notes: This salad is great warm or at room temperature. Massaging the kale takes some of the bite out of it, but it is not a necessary step.

Makes 2+ servings

For the roasted sweet potatoes and apples:
1 cup peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
1 medium Fuji apple, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
4 cups roughly chopped kale
3/4 cup cooked French lentils, warm or at room temperature
2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes, apple, and shallot with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Roast in an oven-safe dish or pan for 30 minutes or until fork-tender. Set aside to cool slightly.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage the kale with your hands for five minutes. Toss the lentils with the kale.

Divide the kale and lentil mixture between two bowls or plates. Top each plate with the sweet potatoes and apples and then with chopped walnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

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susan said...

So glad to hear you are on the mend. Loss is hard and unlike you, I would have turned to the fattening, unhealthy food. Love your salad, Esi.

Nancy said...


Loss is never easy and sometimes harder I think when it's unexpected. I am so sorry about your friend - all the things you listed are wonderful ways of dealing with grief. Wish we lived closer so I could give you a big hug! This salad sounds delicious and just the type of nourishing and comforting meal you need.

DeliciouslyOrganic said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad to hear you are finding healthy ways to cope and I hope your friends and family can offer the support you need during this time.

TidyMom said...

So sorry for your loss!
The salad looks delicious!

vanillasugarblog said...

i'm sorry sweetie.
you have my number if you ever need to talk, cry or need a laugh i'm always here
yes, talking and hanging with close friends does help--keep doing that!

Joanne said...

I'm so so sorry my dear. After losing my dad unexpectedly this fall, I also took a break for a while. It just seemed like what I needed to do, so I totally get it. <3 you! Big hugs.

Esi said...

Thank you, ladies. I appreciate the support!

Brooke @ Foodwoolf said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I understand how losing someone so close to can have such a huge impact. I'm so happy your taking care of yourself and craving life-giving things like this beautiful salad, yoga, and long walks. Keep being good to yourself. I think doing kind things for ourselves in time of loss is how our loved ones would want us to treat ourselves in such a hard time. Hugs to you. xoxo, Brooke

Let Me Eat Cake said...

love kale! but i def don't massage it enough!

Shannon Grande said...

sorry to hear about your loss :( you certainly seem to be dealing with all the grief you must be feeling well though, and this salad will certainly help! <3

Sophie @ E Liquid said...

It looks really nice and I bet that it would taste great too.

lisa is cooking said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This salad does look like a fantastic dish to make you feel energized. I love it when something so healthy looks so delicious.