It’s fall (as i’ve announced from the rooftops) and we’re amping up our salads with all sorts of autumn flavors. Roasted sweet potatoes with a spicy kick of chili powder, sautéed apples, cranberries, buttery hazelnuts and the most delicious salad dressing to coat all of that wonderfulness in. You won’t even miss a meat topper.
I think I am one of those people that just never tires of salads. Fitting for my profession, I know. Though i’m convinced the reasoning behind this is my uncanny habit of throwing everything in my refrigerator over a bed of lettuce and calling it a salad. Chopped fruit, sautéed veggies, quinoa, rice, meat, nuts – no discrimination here. With that said, that’s basically how this salad came to be. The flavors and textures just worked. They met on a bed of greens and had a taste bud party (!!!).
And the dressing….. I could quite possibly sip from a straw if it doesn’t make it to my protein pancakes first. Never know until you try, right? 😉
If sweet + spicy is your jam, you will LOVE these sweet potatoes. So much so that they may not make it to your salad. Instead you may do what I did and eat half of them right off the cookie sheet before realizing they actually have a party to attend (re: taste bud party).
They are my new obsession and only require two ingredients: chili powder and brown sugar. The brown sugar slightly caramelizes the sweet potatoes as they roast to bring out their natural sweetness. Then the chili powder comes in and adds just enough kick to level out that sweetness and keep your taste buds on edge. Perfect side dish if you ask me!
The topping combo would also be great over some massaged kale. Yes, giving kale a nice rubdown makes it SO much more workable in salads. That’s a leafy green after my own heart… 😉
Whichever green you decide to use, this salad is packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and flavor. It’s great for work-week lunches or accompanied by a flavorful meat dish for dinner. It’s Autumn on a plate!
Autumn Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
Makes three large salads, ingredients distributed evenly
- 1 bag spring mix lettuce, or lettuce of choice
- 1 medium-sized apple, sliced into thin, bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium-sized sweet potato, cubed into small pieces
- 1/4 cup reduced-sugar Craisins
- 3 tbsp hazelnuts, lightly crushed
- 3 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp coconut oil or grass-fed butter for sautéing
- Cooking spray
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and chili powder until combined. Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray (this acts as the glue for the sugar and spice). Toss sweet potatoes in brown sugar and chili powder mix. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing half-way through, until tender. Let cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk ingredients for salad dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Melt coconut oil or grass-fed butter in a non-stick skillet over low-medium heat. Add apple slices and cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Set aside to let cool.
- Assemble salad by arranging a bed of greens on a large plate. Evenly distribute cooked sweet potatoes, apples, Craisins and hazelnuts over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Nutrition Facts per Serving (one salad with ingredients and dressing evenly distributed)
Calories: 260; Total Fat: 10 gm; Saturated Fat: 1 gm; Cholesterol: o mg; Sodium: 90 mg; Carbohydrates: 41 gm; Fiber: 6 gm; Sugar: 26 gm; Protein: 3 gm