Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mom's amazing salads

Visiting my mother this week and staying through mothers day, I've had the pleasure of eating several Mother cooked meals. I would say home cooked, but home is in Phoenix for me. But Mom makes some of the best salads I've ever had. I have a hard time finding salad dressings I like because I do not like slimy vegetables, and most dressings make the texture feel slimy to me. HOWEVER Mom makes a delicious black bean, mango and mint salad, and the following recipe is my new all time favorite healthy dinner. Mom admits she does not remember where she found this recipe, but she did not make it up. It sounds like a weird combo, but trust me, you will find the flavors all work together surprisingly well!

Spinach and sweet potato salad:
2 lg sweet potatos (peeled and cut into 1" cubes, about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 thick slices bacon (2 oz total)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1 small red onion (halved and thinly sliced)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1/3 c orange juice (from 1 orange)
1 lb fresh spinach leaves

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F
Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and tos to coat
Roast, turning occasionally until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 min
Remove from oven but leave on pan until ready to use

Warm Dressing:
Cook bacon in stainles steel or nonstick skillet over medium heat while potatoes roast, turning once or twice until crisp. Drain on paper towels and pour off fat, leaving any darkened bits in pan. Chop bacon. Put pan back overmedium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. when hot, add bell pepper, onion, ginger and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. cook, stirring once or twice until no longer raw. Stir in cumin and bacon. Stir in Orange Juice and turn off heat

Put spinach in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes, warm dressing, and f freshly ground black pepper to taste and toss to combine. taste and add salt if needed (I didn't feel it needed additional salt, but then I prefer things to have more of their own flavor, not the salts flavor)

Nutrition per serving
346 calories
8 g protein
30 g carb
6 g fiber
23 g fat
5 g saturated fat
853 mg sodium (lil more sodium than I'd like actually, may try making this with less salt when I make it at home)

THE WHOLE THING was delicious. I liked how the warm dressing caused the spinach leaves to wilt slightly, and a single bowl of it filled me up or I would have gone back for seconds. Me goin back for seconds on a salad is pretty amazing, but not needing to because I'm full, even more amazing. And the whole thing is accidentally gluten free.

For my vegan friends, try making this with one of your fabulous meat substitutes, I bet you'll love it.

Happy Mothers day to all! Make every moment with your loved ones count be it a holiday or not. Now I'm off to my step sister's wedding. I promise you I will let someone take a picture of me in a tie so that you can see what I look like all cleaned up since most of you are used to seeing me in shorts and sunglasses.

No comments: