Cumin Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Avocado Salad

Hello,

This is one of the tastiest salads I have made in a while so I am excited to share it! It does take a little time to prepare but I promise, the payoff is worth it. Even if you don’t make the entire salad, just roast some sweet potatoes and make the dressing to drizzle on top. My 3-year-old son was eating the dressing straight from a spoon if that tells you anything 🙂

If you have a tried and true way to roast sweet potatoes, or even skillet roast them, by all means stick with it. I like this technique (borrowed from Cooks Illustrated) because I find it easier to cut them into an even width than to cut them into an even dice. The results are a creamy interior and a browned interior.

We hope you enjoy it!

Cumin Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Avocado Salad
make about 2 servings

Recipe notes: 1) the dressing makes more than is needed for two servings but the extra can be refrigerated and used for other purposes; 2) I used 1 teaspoon of cumin powder but I didn’t feel like the flavor came through much. I would use more next time but you can leave it out all together if you don’t like the flavor.

Ingredients:

  • For the roasted sweet potatoes
    • 1-1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 small to medium sized potatoes), thin ends trimmed, peeled and sliced 3/4″ thick
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • For the dressing
    • 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1-1/2 cups packed)
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons agave
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • For the salad
    • 1 bag of Awesome Asian & Lettuce Mix or other greens of choice
    • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
    • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

  • Toss the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil, cumin powder and salt until thoroughly coated. Evenly arrange on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and then cover tightly with more aluminum foil. Place on the middle rack of a cold oven and heat to 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the top layer of foil, and flip the sweet potatoes over (they should be browned on the first side, but if not, put back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so). Cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the second side is brown. Remove from the oven to cool.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add all of the dressing ingredients together in a blender and process on high for 30 seconds, or until full combined.
  • When you are ready to assemble the salad, divide salad greens between plates and toss lightly with dressing. Top with sweet potatoes, avocado, scallion and pumpkin seeds and serve.

 


Healthy Chickpea Snacks (Alice O’Dea Article)

Hello!

We wanted to share yet another great article from a Tant Hill CSA member, Alice O’Dea. This week, she is exploring the wonderful world of roasted chickpeas. Simple, healthy and affordable – it’s just the thing to make along with all of the wonderful greens you are getting right now. You can read the article here but I have also posted the text below. We hope you enjoy!

Well, we made it to March, folks. And we’ve reached that sweet spot in the year where a few of us have not yet abandoned our New Year’s resolutions, others are enduring Lenten sacrifices and the (very brief) spring preview we enjoyed this past week has some people already thinking about getting shaped up for summer togs.

If you fall into any of those categories, I’ve got a snack for you! It’s high in protein, low in fat, packed with nutrients and fiber; and it’s gluten-, nut-, soy-, sugar- and grain-free! It also can be packed with as much flavor as you’re willing to give it.

I’m talking about roasted chickpeas. This is a really cheap and easy treat to make at home. All you need are some chickpeas (dried or canned), a bit of oil, and some optional seasonings and spices. The prep takes just moments, and the rest is just baking time. When you’re done, you’ll have a snack or garnish that can add protein to your diet and keep you feeling sated for hours.

Start with the chickpeas. If you’re using the dried variety, you’ll have tocook them (or if you put in a little extra the last time you made a batch, pull them out of the freezer). If you’re using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them.

Either way, you don’t want the chickpeas to be at all damp, so dry them in some fashion. Some options are to run them through a salad spinner, blot them between towels, or—if you’re one of the few people who thinks ahead—put them on a baking pan and let them sit in a cold oven overnight.

I consulted almost 20 recipes for roasted chickpeas, and all but one of them called for roasting them in a oven that is anywhere from 375 to 450 degrees (the lone maverick suggested skillet roasting them in some oil on the stovetop over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes). If you pick the middle ground, that will put your oven at somewhere around 400–425 degrees.

While the oven is heating, mix up whatever flavors you want for your beans. There is a lot of room for improvisation here. You can shoot for a total of about a tablespoon of spices per can of beans (which is equivalent to about one and a half cups of cooked chickpeas). Use a combination of powdered cumin, chilies, coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, cinnamon, curry, turmeric, allspice or garam masala. Other things you might want to include are crushed toasted nuts or seeds, nutritional yeast, or ground herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram or sage). Some recipes I looked at also called for adding a few squirts of liquid ingredients such as maple syrup, soy sauce, tamari, liquid aminos, liquid smoke, or lemon juice and/or zest.

Mix your seasonings in a bowl, add the chickpeas, and then drizzle them with up to a tablespoon of oil per can of beans. Stir everything together until the chickpeas are coated, season with salt and pepper if you like, and spread the chickpeas out on a baking sheet. Bake until done, which should take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes. Stir the chickpeas around a little bit every 10 or 15 minutes so they cook evenly, and also to check for doneness. You want them to be crisp and golden. With so many variables at work, your cooking time will probably vary from batch to batch, so keep a close eye on them. I made two versions this week: one with canned chickpeas and another with some that I’d pulled out of the freezer. The canned ones cooked quicker, but the ones I cooked from dried beans ended up being a little lighter and crunchier.

With so many possible combinations of flavors, this is a treat that can hold up to numerous reruns without ever getting tiresome. Enjoy!