Now that we’ve climbed out of a frozen tundra and into Spring, I thought it’d only be right for me to bring back Salad Sundays. And I figured it can’t hurt to combine a scrumptious salad with the comfort of a lazy Sunday. Both are definitely favorites of mine.
After a long Winter of eating lots of comfort food, I’m ready for the fresh air of Spring and some lighter food options. If I’m being completely honest, it’s been an exhausting few months at work, which has led me to fall off track so.many.times with eating and with working out. Every year when the busiest months of work are over, I tell myself I’m going to get back on track and keep moving forward. My magical date for starting fresh and rebooting is April 1st, so I’d better get myself in gear. Focus, focus, focus.
Springtime makes me think of healthy, colorful food and it kind of motivates me to put that extra pep in my step. Typically if I can maintain eating healthy then naturally I’m able to keep focused on working out, which leads me to feel healthier overall. Can’t be that!
So really, that’s what this salad is all about—eating healthy, colorful food that makes you feel good. This salad is certainly as colorful as can be and is entirely healthy, even with the dressing. The dressing is really unlike any other dressing I’ve tried before. It’s made with almond butter, a decent amount of lime juice, and a touch of maple syrup—talk about tickling your taste buds with goodness. This dressing is hands-down one of my favorites because it’s just that good. It’s not your run-of-the-mill salad dressing. Nope! It's good for you and is packed with bold flavors, making it a good way to kick up your salad another notch.
I used kale for this salad, but don’t hesitate to add chopped raw cabbage, or even some fresh spinach leaves. I’ve tried all of the above and loved it every time. I topped our salads with diced green bell pepper, diced cucumber, halved grape tomatoes, black beans, and roasted sweet potatoes. If you’ve never had sweet potatoes in a salad…do it! Oh my goodness, we were blown away by how gooood they were in this salad. The creamy, caramelized, sweet bites were simply divine. I also sprinkled on some chia seeds and flax seeds, as well as a small handful of nuts. I used cashews and honey roasted peanuts, but feel free to use whatever sounds best.
If you happen to have any leftover almond butter dressing…I highly recommend you make my Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Burgers and slather a generous bit right on top. So incredibly delicious. I may have also just eaten the dressing by the spoonful…
Loaded Veggie Kale Salad with Almond Butter Dressing
Yields 2-4 servings
For the salad
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes with skin—washed and diced
- 8 cups of kale—destemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1½ cups cooked black beans or 1 (15 oz.) can—drained and rinsed
- 1 bell pepper—seeded and diced
- 1 cucumber—peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes—halved
- 1-2 green onions—sliced
- ¼ cup of nuts (I used cashews and honey roasted peanuts)
- 1-2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1-2 tbsp. flax seeds
For the dressing
- ½ cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
- 1 garlic clove—minced
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 4 tsp. maple syrup
- 4 tbsp. water
For the salad
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
Toss the sweet potatoes with the EVOO. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Gently flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Divide the kale between bowls and sprinkle with salt. Top each salad with some of the roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions and sprinkle with a bit more salt. Top each salad with some of the nuts and sprinkle on the chia seeds and flax seeds.
For the dressing
Add all of the ingredients, except for the water, to a bowl. Carefully whisk until smooth. Add the water 1 tbsp. at a time and whisk to incorporate. Note that the dressing will thicken a bit as it sits.
Top each salad with your desired amount of dressing. Toss to coat.
Store leftover salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Oh She Glows