Sometime in August, a good friend of mine and I were talking about food (as usual), when she mentioned that on a recent vacation she’d ordered an amazing kale and sweet potato salad. Unfortunately she didn’t know how to make it. I’d recently learned to make delicious kale, in which the stems are cooked through but the leaves are just warm and still crunchy. I thought I could re-create the salad pretty easily, and thus this recipe was born! It’s delicious and can be made even more filling by adding grilled tofu or chicken (look forward to a post about grilling tofu on a panini press).
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 2 or 3 people.
Half a head fresh kale, chopped and separated into stems and leaves
1 yam or sweet potato
15 or so green beans, diced
Three large cloves garlic, diced
Canola or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce, depending on how much you like soy sauce
To cook the yam: stab all over with a knife so that steam can escape during cooking. Wrap in a wet paper towel and put on a plate. Microwave for 9 minutes, then let it cool.
While the yam is cooking, chop garlic and grate ginger. Fry in a pan with canola or other neutral oil until the garlic smells strong.
Add the kale stems, some extra oil, and half the soy sauce. It’s really important to add extra oil before adding the soy sauce because it prevents the soy sauce from burning into the pan.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale stems are cooked. Then add the kale leaves, pour some extra soy sauce over them, and stir frequently for about two minutes. The leaves should be warm and will get slightly darker in color, but that’s it. You don’t want to over cook them.
Transfer to a bowl.
Add the chopped green beans to the bowl.
Take the sweet potato out of the oven and chop it lengthwise three times, then widthwise several times. It should be in big chunks. Add those to the salad, toss, and voila!
Why it’s healthy:
Kale is a 1,000 on the ANDI index. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the ANDI index, it is a measure of nutrient density per calorie. 1,000 is the maximum score.
Sweet potatoes receive an 83 on the index, but as far as carbohydrates go they are a good choice. They contain a decent amount of Vitamins C, A, and B6. Compare that to pasta or rice 🙂
Garlic is antimicrobial.
Ginger is moderately anti-inflammatory.
Green beans have some protein, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Vitamin-wise, they contain Vitamins C, A, K, and others in smaller amounts.