Southwestern Kale Power Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Avocado Sauce Recipe

Southwestern Kale Power Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Avocado Sauce Recipe: Some of my favorite foods of all time are combined in this substantial salad. This dish features black beans, spicy sweet potatoes, quinoa, and massaged kale, all topped with a dollop of creamy avocado sauce. For good measure, I mixed in some crumbled feta and toasted pepitas.


Southwestern Kale Power Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Avocado Sauce Recipe


Southwestern Kale Power Salad |




Quinoa and kale

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into very small, bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt


Sweet potatoes


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into small, ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

Avocado sauce


  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced into long strips
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)


  • 1 medium jalapeño, deseeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves


  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt, to taste





  • Before cooking the quinoa, give it a quick rinse in a colander with fine mesh under running water for a minute or two. Add two cups of water and the rinsed quinoa to a medium-sized pot. After bringing the mixture to a simmer over low heat for fifteen minutes, cover the pot and continue cooking.


  • After turning off the heat, leave the quinoa covered for five minutes. After uncovering the pot, remove any surplus water and use a fork to fluff the quinoa. Leave it to cool.


  • To cook the sweet potatoes, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. After adding the diced sweet potatoes and tossing to cover, add the salt, cumin, and smoky paprika. Mix everything together.
    When the pan begins to sizzle,


  • Pour in a scant ¼ cup of water, cover it, and turn down the heat to low so as not to burn the food inside. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring periodically, or until the sweet potato is easily penetrated with a fork.


  • To get the kale ready: move the kale to a big basin for mixing. To enhance the flavor, add salt to the chopped kale and “massage” it with your hands. Simply take handfuls of kale and crumple it up in your palms.


  • Continue until the kale has turned a deeper green and has an increased aroma. Mix ½ teaspoon salt, one lime juice, and two tablespoons olive oil together. Pour over the kale, tossing to coat.




Refined Sugar Free Banana Bread


  • In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients as instructed to produce the avocado sauce. Blend thoroughly, taste and add additional lime juice if needed. Season with salt.


  • To toast the pepitas, place them in a small skillet over medium-low heat and toast, tossing often, until the pepitas start to pop little sounds and turn lightly golden on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.


  • After the quinoa has slightly cooled, add it to the kale dish and mix everything together. Spoon into each of four large salad bowls the mixture of kale and quinoa. Add sweet potatoes, black beans, feta and pepitas, then a generous dollop of avocado sauce on top.







  • MAKE IT DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: Omit the feta.


  • Storage suggestions: This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for a few days. To keep the avocado sauce fresh, store it separately in a small bowl, with plastic wrap pressed against the top surface to prevent oxidation.


  • CHANGE IT UP: Butternut squash or carrots would be good substitutions for the sweet potatoes.


  • EDITS 1/1½024: Adjusted avocado sauce by omitting 2 tablespoons olive oil (unnecessary), decreasing the salt for the sweet potatoes from 1 ½ teaspoons to ½ teaspoon, and specifying the amounts of lime juice and salt.





How to Make This Power Salad?


  • Prepare the quinoa. The recipe calls for cooking the quinoa differently than what’s on your bag, but it follows my tried-and-true approach. If preferred, you can prepare the quinoa one day ahead of time.
    In a skillet, cook the sweet potatoes.


  • Although I adore roasting sweet potatoes, the skillet method works best with these small-cut sweet potatoes. We’ll add a small amount of water, cover, and steam them until they’re soft. Afterward, we’ll uncover them and continue cooking them until the edges start to caramelize.


  • Dress and massage the kale. By literally scrunching the kale in your hands until it becomes softer and darker, you may massage it to eliminate any sharp edges and enhance its flavor. Next, we’ll toss to coat with a basic olive oil and lime dressing that we’ve whisked up.


  • Prepare the sauce made of avocados. In a food processor, combine ingredients; mix. If you’d like, add extra lime juice. The sauce should have just the right amount of tartness.


  • Heat a pan and toast the pepitas. The flavor of freshly toasted pepitas is incredible, making the extra few minutes well worth it. It’s easy to turn on the heat and forget until they’re too toasted, so keep an eye on the skillet.



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