It seems like everywhere we go nowadays, whether it’s the grocery store or a local restaurant, we can always find a food, dish or beverage that comes with the “power” label. I’m always buying power greens at the grocery store, I’v tried an array of bottled power juices and I couldn’t resist the green power smoothie at the local Panera. I’m not sure about the validity of the “power” claim but in general, most of these foods have a high level of nutritional value. All I know is that it can’t be bad. So I decided to come up with a quick and easy power salad that I can whip up in no time and enjoy at least 2-3 times a week.
I started with this recipe for Warm Lentil, Kale & Potato Salad, which I tried and loved, but decided to make some modifications. I replaced the baby potatoes with sweet potatoes for the higher nutritional content (especially when it comes to vitamins) and just because I love sweet potatoes. To mix it up, I may even substitute quinoa for the lentils in the future. And as always, I made sure to use ready-to-use ingredients to cut down on prep time, like the steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s and already cubed sweet potatoes and chopped kale. This salad is a winner in so many ways. It’s not only good but it’s also good for you.
The Power Salad Recipe
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups of peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (about an inch thick)
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (I used Trader Joe’s steamed lentils)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, 3-4 cups chopped
1 handful dried cranberries, about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
salt & pepper, to taste
Lemon Dijon Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup, or honey
aalt & pepper, to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 400ºF. Place cubed sweet potatoes on an aluminum foil wrapped baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Toss and space out the sweet potatoes on the pan. Bake for about 15-17 minutes, being careful not to overcook. There will be additional cooking time later on.
2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add garlic, thyme and lentils and stir for 2 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and stir. Cook for another minute or so. Then add the kale, cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes until kale starts to soften and wilt (if using baby kale, cut down on cooking time). Transfer to a large bowl and add dried cranberries and toasted nuts.
3. For dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
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