A Winter Salad

Warm Arugula, Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Salad

Winter. Oh, winter, how I love and hate you. I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow and the cool shades of brown. I love the idea of death turning into life and regrowth. But I hate the nasty snow that is made 3 seconds after the beautiful downfall in the city. The hustle and bustle, the cars, the people, it just poisons the beauty of nature. I also really, really, REALLY dislike layering and winter coats. 


Minus ALL that hate, the best part of winter is the food. Warm, rich comfort foods that really feed the soul. Stews, soups, casseroles and hot tea and coffee; this is my winter. I love the seasonal winter veggies and honestly try and utilize them when they're at their peak season. I also LOVE salad, but it's not really thought of as a "winter food" - is it? Well, in this post I'm going to share with you one of my favourite winter salads that are warm and hardy for all my fellow gluten-free and dairy-free homies!



Warm Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Salad  

Doesn't that look BOMB? So fresh and so simple to make, and it can last a few days in the fridge no problem. Arugula is a spicy baby lettuce; it tastes peppery and adds a little zing to any food combo. I love arugula based salads because you can pair them with lemon and goat cheese (I'm drooling). 



Next on the list are roasted sweet potatoes. If I could live off one group of veggies forever, it would be the root vegetables. I added some salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin to mine before baking them in the oven. You can literally do anything with sweet potato: bake, fry, boil, mash, stew, blend, sweet or savoury it's a staple in my kitchen. 

The final major ingredient is wild rice. Yes I know, this isn't a veggie but wild rice is high in fibre, keeping the digestive system running smoothly and is packed with phosphorus, zinc and folate. You can read more about wild rice benefits here

Cook it up and use it as the base of your salad, then add the arugula and roasted sweet potato. To top it off, I added some herbed goat cheese and/or buffalo cheese - both which are free of cow dairy for all my fellow allergy people. For the dressing, it's up to you but I fully believe in a lemon and pepper olive oil dressing. It has got a nice touch of acid and goes SO WELL with the arugula. 


That's it, that's all she wrote! Mix that puppy up and then try not to devour it in 30 seconds. I typically add some hemp hearts to all my salads for a little extra protein, but that's up to you. Enjoy! 

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch of arugulas
  • 1 Cup of wild rice, cooked
  • 2 Sweet potatoes chopped
  • Herbed goat cheese
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Avocado Oil
  • 1 Lemon (use to your taste)
Recipe

Set the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry 1 bunch of arugula and set aside. Cook 1 cup of wild rice as per package instructions. To make it a little more crunchy, add less water to the cooking. Once cooked and cooled, use it as your salad base. 

Wash and chop 2 sweet potatoes. Lay them out on a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray and drizzle with avocado oil (or any oil you prefer). Add your paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and a pinch of oregano. I don't really measure, but I can tell you I put lots of paprika...Bake the sweet potato for 20 minutes or until preferred doneness. After they finish, set them aside and let them cool a bit.

Assemble the salad! Start with the rice, then add the arugula and sweet potato. For the dressing, I drizzled some avocado oil and a LOT of lemon on top with some freshly ground pepper. Again, you can do this to your liking OR in a separate jar to taste test before you smother the salad in dressing. Now mix it up.

To top it all off, I added some crumbled herb goat cheese the first time, and the second time I added buffalo cheese (but the goat is way better).

You can freestyle this by adding some nuts, dried fruits or lentils.


Let me know in the comments below if you made it and loved it!!

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