Crunchy Cold Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potatoes have a “warming” quality, they are quite dense in nutrients and are a wonderful healthy vegetable. These are the flavors of autumn: maple, nutmeg, sweet potato, root vegetables, ginger. I am craving these flavors in the fall.

I ate a DELICOUS crispy sweet potato salad at the Grand America Lunch Buffet.
I wanted to recreate it.

Plus the best part is that I made a whole lot of the cold sweet potato salad and was able to make 2 other meals out of this.
3 meals with one recipe! Score, a definite win for busy moms out there!
Another great plus, this is a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free dish for Thanksgiving :)

Alas, I am not as good as my mom, I can’t just create a recipe from scratch (yet).
But I was inspired by THIS recipe on Epicurious, so below is what I made, with a few adjustments.

Enjoy!



Recipe 1:
Crunchy Cold Sweet Potato Salad

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 8 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salad

  • 6 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Directions:
Start by peeling and steaming the sweet potatoes. I peeled, then cut into chunks about 1″ x 1/2″, and put a handful in the steamer at once. 5 mins was just perfect to get them barely fork-tender. They should still be crispy. Don’t overcook because you lose a lot of the fantastic nutrients. 

Once the potatoes are cooling to room temperature, I made the dressing. The original recipe didn’t have as much orange juice, and I didn’t have any (fresh) ginger, so I adjusted until the ginger powder spice was enough to add that “kick” aftertaste.  Also the original recipe called for parsley (boring!) I just love cilantro and happened to have some extra in the refrigerator.

Add green onions, parsley, pecans, and all dried fruit. Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend.
This will keep at room temperature for 2 hours. After that, refrigerate for tomorrow’s leftovers (below)…


Recipe 2:
Warm Honey Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients
Leftovers from Crunchy Cold Sweet Potato Salad
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Honey
1 1/2 cups Water
Dash of brown sugar
Directions:
Boil 1-1/2 cups of water, add Quinoa until it begins to boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 mins. at 10 mins add in the 1 cup honey, continue simmering until almost cooked and the grains begin to “uncoil”. Add 2 tbsp pure maple flavoring.

In the pot, add in the sweet potato leftovers and continue simmering until potatoes are warmed through.  The potatoes will soften up a bit, but DO NOT let them get mushy! We are not aiming for the baked sweet potatoes you get at Texas Roadhouse. Those are sooo unhealthy! (marshmallows anyone?)

I love this because it is a warm sweet potato dish that is sweet and healthy! What a great alternative to over-cooked overly sweet yams at Thanksgiving. When you plate it up for your family, you can barely sprinkle on some brown sugar. (optional, of course).

Recipe 3:
Sweet Potato Orange Leafy Green Salad with Maple Ginger Dressing

Ingredients
Leftovers from Crunchy Cold Sweet Potato Salad
Bunch of Baby Spinach
Bunch of Kale
Bunch of Clementines

Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 8 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions:
Cut the Kale into small pieces. Small pieces– I love the texture of Kale, but only in small doeses. It really is so healthy for you and should be such a staple of your vegetarian or vegan diet because it provides plentiful nutrients. 

Whisk the ingredients of the dressing together.

Add the crunch cold sweet potato salad leftovers, add the oranges, and maybe add in a few more dried cranberries (I can’t get enough of ’em!). Toss with the dressing and serve!  

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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