You know how there’s certain foods you just kinda (totally) ignore? Well, that was exactly the case with me and sweet potatoes/yams. I knew about this potato variety, but aside from my aunt Rosy’s epic Thanksgiving and Christmas sweet potato, cinnamon and marshmallow casserole; I seldom paid much attention to this unassuming vegetable. And the worst part is, it’s not like I disliked sweet potatoes. I just wasn’t interested. They simply didn’t flicker my attention.
I can’t help but use this conundrum to draw a parallel to dating and meeting my now husband. That crucial moment when you decide to give a person a chance. You see; we both worked at the same company (albeit not together) but I had a self-imposed rule about never dating anybody at work. And so every morning we coincided in the elevator ride a few floors up (either serendipity or he gently stalked me). He smiled, I smiled back, pleasantries were exchanged and we both went about our day; separately.
And then one day, said person summoned the courage to ask me for coffee. I got a single-word email that popped up on my computer screen one random afternoon & quite literally all it said was “Coffee?”. He seemed so cool and nonchalant about it, we started going for coffee regularly. And then you realize this person you felt entirely neutral about is privately very funny, fiercely loyal, incredibly smart and full of dating potential. It’s been 10 years since that first cup of coffee together, almost 7 of marriage and 2 adorable kids later. It’s also very, very late at night as I reflect on this and can’t help but wonder- wait, what?! It’s been that long?
Well, that’s kinda what happened with me and sweet potatoes, they worked their way through my chilli, I then added them to my breakfasts, to my oats, to salads and all of a sudden; I can’t get enough of this deliciously nourishing vegetable. She’s white potato’s healthier cousin. And if you give this salad a try, you will be making it on repeat. It’s THAT good. What I love about it is the caramelized sweetness of the roasted sweet potatoes combined with the juicy freshness of tomatoes, the spicy onions, the hint of cilantro/lime and the heartiness of the beans and organic corn. It’s also got a long fridge life, tested for 4 days now and going strong! Which brings me to my next point; it would make an excellent, healthy salad for meal prep to simply serve as a side during your busy week nights. You can eat it both hot, or cold- it’s delicious either way. There’s no way to lose with this salad. Oh, and it involves minimal prep. Here we go!
Southwest Sweet Potato Salad
- 2 large sweet potatoes or 3 small ones (washed, unpeeled)
- 1/2 large red onion finely chopped
- 1 small can of organic black beans, drained
- 1 small can of organic yellow corn, drained
- 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
- a handful of cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch (1/2 tsp) of dry oregano or cumin (optional)
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- a handful of chopped cilantro (a little less than 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1-2 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup or coconut sugar
- Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Cut the potatoes in half, and then slice into medium cubes.Place the sweet potato cubes into a bowl and season with a pinch of sea salt, the 2 tbsp of olive oil and the oregano or cumin. Give them a good toss with clean hands to coat them well.
- Place the cubes on the baking tray and bake for about 25-30 mins or until golden brown. ALL ovens vary. I would check them at the 20 min mark.
- While the sweet potatoes roast, throw all the dressing ingredients into your blender until smooth or whisk well by hand.
- In a large bowl, throw in the tomatoes, beans, corn, and onions. Coat them with the salad dressing and give them a good toss.
- When the potatoes are done & nicely roasted, let them cool down a bit and then add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Toss them around, garnish with fresh cilantro & enjoy!