“A woman can make a salad, a hairstyle and an argument out of anything,” is my mom’s favorite Russian Mom saying. I realize how it may seem a biiit sexist (Russian moms are typically what we call “traditional”), but the way she sees it, it’s definitely a compliment. It’s usually her reaction when she’s impressed with me MacGyver-ing something in the kitchen or around the house, and it always puts a smile on my face.
On a somewhat recent weeknight when my roommate and I were too exhausted to think up an actual recipe and go buy the ingredients, I put together these warm kale salad bowls for us using what we already had in the fridge and pantry. It didn’t turn out to be the greatest dinner of all time or anything, but it was delicious, nourishing and nutritionally sound. I got excited to share it here with you guys as a “template recipe,” meaning you could use it as inspiration for the technique and substitute in whatever ingredients you have on hand. And the technique is this: roast a sweet winter vegetable (think sweet potatoes, butternut squash or carrots), saute leafy greens (kale, chard or spinach) with garlic and pepper flakes, add in some grains or beans, finish them off with lemon juice, and put an egg on it.
This is a dish you can prep in advance on a Sunday night and eat throughout the week – you can roast the veggies, cook the eggs, and clean and chop the greens to make weeknight cooking a breeze. A warm kale salad is also a great way to eat your greens in the winter when a regular cold salad seems like a really sad prospect.
- 4 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed, patted dry and cut into ¾" cubes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed and minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1 small bunch of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Pinch of hot red pepper flakes, plus more to serve
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- One 14-ounce can of black eyed peas ("low sodium" or "no salt added", if possible), drained and rinsed
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, rosemary and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and spread them out in a single layer. Roast until potatoes are golden and starting to caramelize in places, 15-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, place eggs in a small pot and fill with cold water to cover. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for exactly 8 minutes. Place the pot under cold running water until eggs are cold. Peel the eggs and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
- Add kale and toss to coat it in oil using tongs. Cook until kale wilts a little and starts to brown in places, 2-3 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water to create steam and help soften the kale. Stir in the black eyed peas and cook for a minute to warm through. Turn heat off and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt, pepper or more lemon juice, if needed.
- To serve, divide the kale among bowls, top with sweet potatoes and quartered eggs, and sprinkle with black pepper and red pepper flakes.