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Fall Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

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Sometimes I just crave a good, hearty fall kale salad. Do you?

This salad is paleo-friendly, gluten-friendly, dairy-free, allium-free, and grain-free. Whew! That’s a lot of “free’s” If you want to spice up the salad – I won’t be offended, see below for my recommendations on grains, cheeses, and other extras you can add.

I feel that having a kale salad in fall is the equivalent of eating ginger cookies in December. In both situations, good things and cozy vibes are on their way!

All The Texture Goodness

I love a good mix of texture in my food. For this recipe, you have apples that are dehydrated by roasting with a ginger honey glaze that caramelizes a bit, the crispy-edged but soft-centered and browned sweet potatoes, the crunchy pistachios, and the chewy kale. Don’t forget the grilled chicken if you’re adding that too!

You don’t need many ingredients, but it’s full of flavor and has all the textures you could want. The crunch from the pistachios is my favorite!

Spice it Up!

I made this salad for my paleo friends out there. So if you’re looking at the recipe and thinking… I think this could use a few things. Here are some ideas for how I recommend spicing it up:

Grains: A great way to add in some healthy carbs and possibly a vegan protein if you’re skipping on the chicken. My top two recommendations are quinoa or orzo.

Cheese: I love cheese, so any excuse to sprinkle some fresh Parmesano Reggiano on my food is greatly appreciated. I also recommend trying: Pecorino, feta, or burrata.

Think About That Meal Prep!

Some people meal prep others don’t. I have a hard time doing it – but the busier things get with The Somm Chef, the more I’m finding I really benefit from it. So I’ve started to look at ways to cook certain ingredients once during the week and save half for another meal. Enter: This Fall Kale Salad, with Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Both kale and sweet potatoes hold up well overnight for additional meals like:

  • Egg Bakes
  • Grain Bowls – for a quick lunch idea
  • Tacos – as the main item or alongside shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Sides to other proteins, like my Steak Au Poivre
  • The options are really endless…

You can choose to make more of anything (i.e. just sweet potatoes, or just apples) to save and use for later in the week. I love to make extra sweet potatoes and once roasted and cooled, I put them in an air-tight container in the fridge. It’s easy and something I don’t have to spend a ton of time thinking about. They’re also just good to snack on plain.

Sweet Potato Substitutes

I saw someone post on Instagram the other day that they really disliked pumpkin, and very few things during fall catered to that. So I also used a sweet potato to mix it up – because I guess not everyone likes pumpkin?

However, you can do the same thing in this Fall Kale Salad with butternut or acorn squash, or even pumpkin if you prefer that! The key is to cut the pieces about 1/4″ thin and keep them bite-size – this way they cook faster but they’ll also get nice and crispy on the edges.

Fall Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Apples, roasted sweet potatoes

The Glazed Apples

Some people loved baked apples, others cringe at the thought. If you are in the second camp – don’t roast ’em! This fall kale salad will still taste like fall. Just toss the apples in the glaze and set them aside until ready to plate everything up. Or, if you prefer just toss them with everything else and the dressing for the salad. If doing this, squeeze just a touch of lemon on them if you have a while before plating. That will help ensure the apples don’t oxidize and turn brown.

The glaze is simple: honey, grated fresh ginger (or ground dried ginger), and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix it up and toss the apples in before baking. The glaze will caramelize just slightly and add a subtle extra background flavor to the apples.

I use the same dish I made the glaze in for the salad dressing which has similar ingredients – maple syrup, lemon, and honey. You could, of course, do honey and lemon juice instead, however, I liked the complexity of the maple syrup and the depth of flavor it has. It goes really nicely with the roasted squash.

Glazed apples for fall kale salad with sweet potatoes,

The Kale

You could always substitute kale for another green, like arugula, rocket, spring mix, etc. So feel free to adapt to your taste preferences.

I recommend that when using kale you take about 1/2 tsp of kosher salt (a small pinch really) and a drizzle of oil and massage the salt and oil into the leaves, scrunching them up as you go. This helps to denature them a bit, both making them easier for your body to digest raw, as well as easier to chew!

How to Destem and Cut Kale

First, you’ll want to de-stem the kale. To de-stem kale you can fold it in half lengthwise (along the stem), and you can take a knife and cut the stem away from the leaves, or you can just rip the stem out with your other hand. Either way you’ll end up with an oblong U shape.

Once you destem, then you’ll want to layer up the leaves as best you can. Roll them up and then you’ll slice them, about 1/4-1/2″ wide pieces. Once your roll is fully sliced, take your knife can cut the circles in half. This prevents the kale pieces from getting too long.

See below for a step by step after destemming:

Fall Kale Salad, how to cut and destem kale. How to julienne kale.

Other Great Fall Recipes To Try

Did you make this Fall Kale Salad?

If so, please rate and comment below to let me know what you think! I try to get back to every single comment and I love hearing how your experience was. Also, tag me on Instagram! It’s awesome to see your posts and what you make.

Print

Fall Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

This hearty kale salad is a great option for dinner or a make-ahead lunch! See notes for additional add-on ideas to make it your own. 

  • Author: thesommchef
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

1 Medium size Sweet Potato

2 Gala Apples

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Bunch of Kale, destemmed and julienned

12 Small Radishes, thinly sliced

Apple Glaze

1 Lemon, juiced

2 tsp Fresh Ginger, grated

1 Tbsp of Honey, can be subbed with Maple Syrup

Dressing

1/2 Tbsp of Honey

1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp of Dijon Mustard

Black Pepper

Sea Salt

1 Tbsp of Olive Oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and cut sweet potato into thin, bite-size pieces about 1/4″ thick. I took a circle and cut it in half, and then cut triangles out of each half-circle. 

Kale Salad, how to cut sweet potato

2. Toss sweet potato in bowl with a neutral oil, salt, and pepper. You want a good amount of oil on these as that will help with the browning. Put in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. 

Fall Kale Salad how to coat sweet potatoes

3. Preheat the grill. Lightly oil your chicken with a neutral oil and salt and pepper. Set aside until the grill is hot (usually about 5 minutes). While waiting – clean your workspace and get ready to cut the apples, kale, radish, and make the dressings. Put chicken on the grill until fully cooked (about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of breasts — it’s okay if the chicken is done a bit early because it should rest for a few minutes). 

4. Your sweet potato timer may be going off, or just about to. The potatoes should start to brown, but not fully there yet – they should need another 10 minutes or so. Thinly slice your apples. In a small bowl or mason jar, (you can use this same one for the dressing too!) combine the glaze ingredients and whisk or shake well. Toss the apples in the glaze to evenly coat and place on a sheet pan. Put in the oven with sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes.**

Apples after baking

5. Destem and wash kale. Then roll and slice into strips as illustrated above. Place in a salad bowl with a sprinkle of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Gently massage the kale for 30 seconds and let rest. 

6. Cut the radishes. Remove the chicken from the grill, cover with foil and let rest. 

7. Make Dressing by combining all ingredients and mixing well. Season to taste. Add sweet potatoes, apples, and radishes to the kale. Slice or dice the chicken and place it on top.

8. Drizzle the dressing over everything and serve!

 

Notes

Ways to Spice It Up: 

Grains: A great way to add in some healthy carbs and possibly a vegan protein if you’re skipping on the chicken. My top two recommendations are quinoa or orzo

Cheese: I love cheese, so any excuse to sprinkle some fresh Parmesano Reggiano on my food is greatly appreciated. I also recommend trying: Pecorino, feta, or burrata.

Keywords: Paleo, Gluten Free Dinner, Paleo Dinner, Paleo Salad, Grain free, Dairy Free, Salads, Fall Salad, Fall Meals, Fall Recipes, Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Fall Recipe Ideas, Recipes To Make With Apples,

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Share a photo on instagram or facebook & tag me, @TheSommChef — I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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Hi! I'm Sydney,

nice to meet you!

I left a marketing career in Hollywood to go to the Culinary Institute of America. After a few years of working in restaurants, I am now a private chef and sommelier in the 30a area.




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