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Roasted Sweet Potato, Blueberry, Feta and Pecan Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing






I have never really been much of a salad person. Given a choice between soup or salad, I will almost always pick the soup. Unless it is something disgusting like cream of lamb intestine soup *shudder*  (I actually have a story about this soup, but I will spare you the gory details. Let's just say it wasn't pretty!)

Anywaaay, let's talk salad. I have really been trying to incorporate tons of fresh fruits and veggies into our diet. Salad is a good way to do that. I came up with this salad a few days ago, and I just loved it! Trust me, if I go crazy for a salad, it must be a pretty special salad.

I  had originally planned on making a maple mustard vinaigrette but I realized that I didn't have any apple cider vinegar, so I came up with this version using balsamic vinegar. I also roasted a sweet potato to bring out its natural sweetness and  lightly toasted some pecans. I think the secret to a really good salad, is a variety of flavours and textures. This one has sweetness from the blueberries and the  sweet potato, crunchiness from the toasted pecans and the baby romaine, a salty bite from the feta, and a sweet-tangy flavour from the maple balsamic dressing.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Blueberry, Feta and Pecan Salad
( I don't really measure anything, add as much or as little as you like)

one large sweet potato, peeled and cubed into bite-size pieces
about 1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
whole pecan pieces
feta
 fresh or dried blueberries (cranberries would also be delicious)
baby romaine or  other mixed greens of your choice
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cube sweet potato and toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and golden, about 45 minutes. In a separate pan, add the pecan pieces the last 7 or 8 minutes of cooking time ( If you are like me, you will probably want to set a timer for this.) In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato, lettuce, blueberries, pecans with the vinaigrette. Arrange on plates and sprinkle with crumbled feta.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
( this will make enough dressing for 4 to 6 large portions)

2 Tbsp pure dark amber maple syrup
1 Tbsp honey mustard
about 1/2 tsp. salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp canola oil

 In a jar with a lid combine all ingredients. Shake well. Taste and adjust seasoning. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Tags: Salad, Sweet Potato,

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