Recipe of the week: Brown rice, sweet potato, and kale salad with almonds & goat cheese

Did I mention that I love winter vegetables? I would eat sweet potato in every meal if I could. Well, maybe not breakfast. Lord knows I would not stray from my Overnight Oatmeal obsession. But I've been gleefully having this new dish for lunch and dinner for the last few days. (I do have to admit that I have a high tolerance for eating the same thing several days in a row.) It was really easy to make and satisfies both my love of winter squash and goat cheese, so it's a winner.

Recipe: Brown rice, sweet potato and kale salad with almonds and goat cheese Prep time: 40 minutes Inspired by: Call Me Cupcake

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 3 T stone-ground mustard
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 7 T olive oil
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 275. Start the rice by combining one cup of rice with two cups water in a small pot. Bring water to a boil, then turn down heat and let simmer for 40-50 minutes (depending on what the package says to do - or until most of the water has been absorbed).
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Drizzle with 2 T olive oil, and add salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir them up til all the potatoes are coated, then spread out on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced with a fork. You can try one to see if it's as soft as you'd like. You can choose to add the almonds on top of the potatoes for the last five minutes, in order to toast them - I skipped this step but it might be yummy.
Rip kale off from the stems, into bite size pieces. Heat 2 T olive oil in wok or large pan. Add kale leaves and a few pinches of salt. Saute kale until it is bright green and slightly crunchy.
In a small jar, combine mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, and remaining olive oil (3 tablespoons). Put a lid on the jar and shake until mixed thoroughly.
When sweet potatoes and rice are done, combine those in a large bowl with the kale, chickpeas, and almonds. Stir to combine, then drizzle on the mustard vinaigrette. Then crumble goat cheese on top, and eat up!
One thing to note - I did add raisins for a little sweetness. I soaked 1/4 cup raisins in a bowl of water for about fifteen minutes to let them expand, then added those on top as well.