Kale Sweet Potato Quinoa (or Hemp) Bowl


Yesterday I taught my gluten-free deliciously workshop at 889 Yonge and it was a success! I gave out samples of my homemade gluten-free banana bread and sexy maca balls. Not a single crumb was left so I’m pretty sure they were well loved. After I taught my workshop, I had a lunch meeting at Rawlicious with my creative guru Carol, who makes all my marketing materials look sassy and sophisticated.

By the end of the day (and after a crazy week) I was pooped. However, I needed a second wind because I was having the lovely Elaine, my soul sista over for dinner. She’s the kind of friend where you don’t have to vaccuum or clean before she comes over, so I knew the meal didn’t have to be fancy. I whipped up this kale sweet potato bowl and dazzled it with hemp seeds for some hearty protein and good fat. I knew she would like it because sweet potato is one of her faves, and mine too!

Before I share the recipe, I must do my nutritionist-duty and tell you why kale and sweet potato are so nutrient-dense.

Kale is king!

If you want to take one step today to getting healthier, then eat kale. It’s about one of the most nutrient-dense, beautifying, detoxifying foods on mama earth.

  • Powerful cancer fighter: Proven to lower the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate cancer. This is due to the volume of carotenoids and flavonoids in kale, two antioxidants.
  • Takes the “heat” out of your body. In other words, it’s anti-inflammatory. This is due to the omega-3 content — yes, kale has good fats known as ALA and it’s an excellent source of vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are proven to lower inflammation and in doing so, reduce heart related conditions. Plus from a vanity standpoint, when you lower inflammation, you lower skin problems such as acne and rosacea.
  • Detoxifying: Kale is a wonderful source of a wide variety of glucosinolates which support phase I and II liver detox pathways. So you will more efficiently rid your body of toxins by eating kale!

I could go on and on about kale, but if you are a nutrition-nerd and want to learn more check out: WHfoods.com. Let’s talk about sweet potato, not just for your Thanksgiving dinner! It’s one of my fave healthy comfort foods. It’s hard to know where to start with this sweet root veggie, but I will give you a snippit to wet your nutrition appetite.

  • Those orange-hued pigments tell us that it’s an abundant source of beta-carotene. In fact, sweet potato possesses one of the highest sources of bioavailable beta-carotene, even more than kale! Beta-carotene has a plethora of health benefits.
  • It helps your cells communicate better and when your cells talk more, this has cancer-preventative benefits.
  • Protects your cells from damaging free radicals.
  • Enhances the immune system.
  • Helps your reproductive system function properly.
  • Reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Prevents skin damage from the sun.

Now that you’ve had your fill of nutrition knowledge, let’s get right to this bowl of deliciousness!

Kale Sweet Potato Quinoa (or Hemp) Bowl

  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite size chunks
  • Half a red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 6 large kale leaves, washed, remove from stems, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds or cooked quinoa (if you use quinoa, I love this brand – Eden Organic and you can buy it online!)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt & ground black pepper to taste

Method: Preheat your oven to 375F. Place your sweet potato and onion onto a large baking dish with coconut oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, basically until the potato is fork tender. Check it at 45 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook it.

When the sweet potato is done, place the kale onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Bake it for about 10-15 minutes at 350F. You can cook it at the same time as the sweet potato if you like, just be aware that you will cook it for less time due to the temp of your oven.

Once all your ingredients are cooked, place them into a large bowl and mix together. Sprinkle with cooked quinoa (great to use leftovers) or hemp seeds if that’s not too hippie dippie for you! I love hemp and you don’t have to cook it.

Are you a quinoa virgin? No problem! Step-by-step instructions right here.

Joy McCarthy

Joy McCarthy is the vibrant Holistic Nutritionist behind Joyous Health. Author of JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Well without Dieting, professional speaker, nutrition expert on Global’s Morning Show, Faculty Member at Institute of Holistic Nutrition and co-creator of Eat Well Feel Well. Read more...

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