Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

You know that feeling the week after the holiday season, or a vacation, when you just want a bowl full of veggies, because you haven’t had enough recently? Because I do! And salads like this are the answer. A bowl full of greens, but also sustenance — sweet potatoes, walnuts and goat cheese!

And, this salad is one even veg-haters will like (said it already, but: potatoes, cheese, nuts… I mean is it even a salad? You don’t have to tell them there’s — ehem - kale under all those potatoes).

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite roots. Their flavor is SO good, and they pair well with virtually anything. They are also super rich in beta carotene (dark orange sweet potatoes have more beta carotene than carrots!) and vitamins A and C. 🙌

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

The whole thing is then drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette which has shallots and dijon mustard and even a little bit of honey — just the right balance of sweet and acid. It’s a pretty classic vinaigrette and one that you can use on just about any kind of salad or with any veggie (not just this salad!). (And if you don’t have shallots, it’s OK to skip them — but they really are good and worth the effort, so go ahead and just add them to your grocery list right now).

Lastly, if you’re into meal planning (I’ve never been that organized, but if you are, I’m in awe), you can make a big sheet pan of sweet potatoes ahead of time. Use some of them on this salad for light lunches throughout the week, and use the other half as a side with this Parma Rosa Chicken for dinner.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

P.S., If you like this salad combo, you may also like this Fresno Mint Broccoli Salad with Sweet Potato!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Published January 8, 2018 by
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Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, roughly diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil, such as avocado
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 cups kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Roast sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss potatoes in 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast in oven for 40-45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soften all the way through and crisping on the edges. Set aside to cool.
    2. Prep the kale: place torn kale pieces in a salad bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice. Using your hands, massage the kale with the lemon juice until the kale is bright green (Why do this? It makes is softer, easier to digest, and nicer to eat).
    3. Top kale with sweet potatoes, cranberries, walnut pieces, and goat cheese crumbles.
    4. Make vinaigrette: combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a jar and shake to combine. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and serve.

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    Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

    Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

    This recipe for roasted chicken in a Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce is fit for a dinner party, but only takes four steps to make …and one of those steps is preheating the oven. 🙌

    Coq au vin (chicken stewed in wine sauce) is usually made on the stove stop or in a dutch oven, and while it’s not an overly complicated dish, making it on a sheet pan is way easier. Which, sometimes you just need.

    So, while you’re off doing whatever else you need to do — making a side salad, getting house chores done, watching Netflix - the combination of onions, garlic, and wine simmers away in your oven. And that combo, if you are not already familiar with it, is magical. The is alcohol in wine actually helps make the dish feel more flavorful, even though it burns off. As the sauce simmers in the oven, all those flavors become more concentrated.

    The chicken thighs soak up all those juices, and the potatoes get crispy edges. And finally, when you pull the pan out of the oven 30 minutes later, that wine has become herbaceous and if you can imagine it, almost creamy. And the chicken juicy and tender.

    Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast
    Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

    There is something about roasting chicken with potatoes that feels fit for cold weather days. We just had our first real snow — snow that actually stuck to the ground. Isn’t funny how after 27 years of Colorado winters snow still gives me this giddy, “It’s snowing!” feeling?

    For me, what’s missing in classic wintertime dishes is a splash of brightness — you know what I mean, a pop of fresh. Herbs can totally help, but in this case cranberries are the star, adding spots of tart and fresh flavor. And add so much beauty, too! Even after being roasted, the cranberries add some beauty to this pan.

    We ate this along side some roasted brussels sprouts (why not take advantage of having the oven on?), but a side salad or steamed veggies would be great, too! Traditional coq au vin is served over pasta, but this is far from traditional, so don’t feel bad about breaking any rules.

    Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

    Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

    Published November 13, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried cranberries (Fresh will add a touch of bright tartness, while dried will add a bit of sweetness. Both work well in the dish!)
  • 1/2 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 springs thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. Arrange chicken thighs, onion wedges, quartered potatoes, and cranberries in a single layer in the dish.
    3. In a jar, combine remaining 9 ingredients. Place lid on jar, and shake briefly to mix. Then, pour wine mixture over chicken and potatoes.
    4. Place pan in middle rack in oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the middle of the chicken thighs reach 165°F. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, remove bay leaves and then garnish with additional thyme and serve hot.

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    Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

    Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

    South Boulder Peak is mountain just outside of Boulder that tops out at 8,549 feet above sea level. Compared to the range of Rockies behind it, it's a baby peak, but it's a peak nonetheless. On Thanksgiving Day we started up it's trail around noon, after a light breakfast. Getting our bodies moving before a really big meal is sort of our thing. 

    It was two hours to the summit and two hours down, the descent rocky and slow. By the time we were an hour from the car, it was three, and our light breakfast wore thin. "I could eat a vat of jell-o," Oliver said, though he's not a fan of jell-o, and shortly there after, "Let's make Cornish Hens." That's when I piped in about stuffing. Stuffing!! It's the secret star of the show, right? Stuffing, boxed or homemade, is what everyone goes back to get more of. 

    We made it to the car, and that evening we dined like royalty on my mom's cooking. We had salmon and two types of cheese, fresh salad, and even pie. It wasn't meant to be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, just an evening with family. (That's what it's about anyhow, right?) 

    Gluten-free Cornbread Stuffing with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans
    Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

    Still, that stuffing craving lived on. It wasn't four days later and I was in the kitchen, stuffing Cornish Hens with cornbread dressing. 

    When I sat down to write this post, I toyed with the fact that Thanksgiving has already passed, and that it's likely no one in the world is looking for a cornbread stuffing recipe anymore. I thought to myself: But stuffing could be eaten at Christmas (or whatever other winter holiday) right? And yea, the answer is you can eat stuffing whenever you please. It’s great at Christmas (some may even make this a tradition) but also delicious on any old Sunday. The leftovers make for a pretty happy desk lunch, or even breakfast. 

    This recipe calls for gluten-free cornbread. I share a link to my go-to gluten-free cornbread recipe below. I asked a crowd of you on Instagram Stories if I should make this recipe grain-free before sharing, but most of you love stuffing as much as I do, and said to share it now! You get me.

    This stuffing is pretty simple, but the addition of fresh cranberries gives it a tart burst of flavor and a hint of red color, and toasted pecans add extra crunch. 

    For those of you who are looking to make this grain-free, I would encourage you to experiment with using a grain-free (almond flour based) cornbread in this recipe. Report back on how it works! I'll be running my own experiments. A long time ago, I also shared a meat-based stuffing here

    Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

    Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

    Published December 14, 2017 by
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    Serves: 8   |    Total Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 8x8 inch pan of cool cornbread, this is my favorite cornbread recipe, but feel free to use your favorite recipe (day-old cornbread works well!)
    • 1/2 cup celery, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1/2 cup cranberries
    • 1/2 cup whole pecans 
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup chicken stock 
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease an 8x8inch baking pan.
    2. Sauté the diced onion and celery with the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Then, scrape onion and celery into a mixing bowl.
    3. Dice cornbread into 1/2-inch or 1-inch cubes, and add to mixing bowl. Then, add cranberries, pecans, and sage. Season with salt & pepper.
    4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and broth together until combined. Then, pour the broth mixture into the cornbread mixture. Use a spatula to fold the cornbread mixture until all of the ingredients are equally distributed and the broth is well incorporated.
    5. Scrape stuffing into prepared baking dish, patting down into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, or until stuffing is golden on top. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then serve warm.

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