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Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad

Active Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 30-40 minutes / Total Time: 45-50 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Corner: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great oil to incorporate into your diet. This oil has a smoke point that is suitable for medium-high heat cooking, making it a good option for sautéing and baking (just be sure to buy coconut oil made for cooking, rather than skin care). Coconut oil is amazing for our health, and scientific studies prove it. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are extremely beneficial for brain health and provide our bodies with an easily convertible source of energy.

Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad.JPG

Ingredients:

  • For the salad:
    • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1 cup diced red onion (from about 1 small)
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed overnight or all day in the refrigerator*
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 6 cups baby spinach
    • ½ cup cilantro leaves
    • ¼ cup toasted pepitas**
  • For the dressing:
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
    • juice and zest of two limes
    • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

*If you ever forget to thaw frozen vegetables like peas or corn overnight, simply place them in a colander and run cold water over them for a minute or so. Drain well and/or pat dry, and proceed with the recipe.

**To toast nuts and seeds, place them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until they begin to turn golden and give off a nutty smell. Watch them carefully: nuts go from toasted to charcoal in no time flat!

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add sweet potatoes and onion to a large bowl, drizzle with coconut oil, and toss to coat. Reserve the bowl, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender and starting to brown. Remove from the oven.
  3. Add black beans, corn, and ½ teaspoon salt to the reserved bowl and toss well to combine. Reserving the bowl again, add black bean mixture to the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes and carefully toss to combine. Roast 5-10 minutes, or until the beans and corn are warmed through. Transfer all of the vegetables back into the reserved bowl.
  4. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a lid. Whisk or shake to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing to the vegetable mixture and gently toss to combine.
  5. Place a bed of 1 ½ cups spinach on each of two plates. Top each with ¼ of the sweet potato mixture, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1 tablespoon pepitas, and a drizzle of dressing. Serve.
  6. Package remaining salad in airtight containers for lunch tomorrow. Refrigerate until needed.