I’m calling this a snack instead of a dinner because it’s a rather small amount to eat for a whole meal, but I’d already had a 300-400ish calorie snack on my way home from work. After doing a couple errands I was dying to stop by a drive-thru and get a bean burrito or a cheeseburger, but I did my best self-talk and managed to make it home empty handed: phew! But what to eat?

Kale and sweet potatoes are a great combo. Here are some steps to make my easy snack or side dish of roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed kale:

– Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set up a cookie sheet with a piece of foil spread on it for easy cleanup.

– For chopping the sweet potato, I quarter it, then halve the quarters with the flat side down, and slice the potato into 1/4-inch thick wedges, and put all the pieces into a large bowl.

– Normally I go sweet with sweet potatoes! But tonight, I mixed up about a teaspoon (or maybe a touch more) of olive oil, a squeeze of sriracha, and a sprinkle of cumin + a sprinkle of cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil and spices over the potatoes, mix to coat each piece, and spread the wedges on your cookie sheet in one layer – then it’s time for the oven.

– After the sweet potatoes cook for about 10 or 12 minutes, start heating up a large saute pan. To prep the kale, I wash and dry it (with paper towels, since I don’t have a salad spinner) well and then rip the leaves off the stems with my hands. Discard the stems: they’re bitter and yucky. Once I have a big pile of kale I run my knife through it a few times, chopping until the kale is in 1- or 2-inch square pieces.

– At this point it’s probably about time to check your sweet potatoes and toss them with a spatula, turning the pieces over.

– In the heated pan I drizzle a teeny bit of olive oil, throw in a few handfuls of kale (however much will fit), and toss it around a bit to coat. Then I throw in a bit of water, maybe few tablespoons, and cover the kale to steam up a bit. I’ve done this so often now that I have a feel for the timing of it, but basically I do a combination of steaming and sauteing until the kale is the doneness that I like. Some recipes instruct 5 minutes or so; I probably cook my kale for more than 10 minutes overall.

– Once the kale is done, plate it and top with some salt and pepper. That’s all! Experiment with other subtle flavors, like using chicken stock and lemon juice instead of water to steam, but kale is flavorful on its own, which is one reason I love it. By this point, the sweets are probably done. Pull ’em out of the oven and introduce them to the kale.

This snack clocks in at less than 300 calories (erm… unless you include summer ale like I did), and the fat primarily comes from the olive oil. Sweet potatoes and kale are both nutritional powerhouses, so I encourage you all to incorporate them into your diets. I hope I gave you some ideas!

Despite my nice plating at the start of this post, I really ended up eating it like this:

Happy weekend, everyone!

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