Many of us associate salads with spring and summer, but after eating so many heavy foods in the winter, a warm salad may be just what you’re craving. This delicious recipe featuring a salad dressing made from chickpeas—if you’ve never had this before, you going to love it—may hit the spot.

To make it extra soothing and satisfying on cold nights, I scooped out the flesh from roasted sweet potatoes. Before you roast them, rub each potato with oil so that it’s easier to remove the skin when you’re ready to eat them.

Add fresh mint and cucumber for a touch of coolness to this salad. Bring some heat with chili powder and cayenne pepper to round out this beautiful winter meal. Prepare this on a weeknight, and enjoy it again the next day with any leftovers at lunch. The dressing holds up well in a sealed container.

Meat Alternative: Sauté one minced garlic clove with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a pound of organic ground chicken with sea salt and freshly ground pepper over medium heat, cover, and stir every two minutes until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes. Serve the cooked ground chicken on top of this salad.

Photography by Amie Valpone



  • 4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 head dinosaur (flat) kale, finely chopped and stems removed
  • 4 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium head red cabbage, finely chopped
Creamy Chickpea Dressing
  • ½ cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas
  • 1 small lemon, juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini, well-stirred
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoon water, room temperature, plus more if needed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Poke holes in the sweet potatoes using a fork, then place the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to rub the oil onto each sweet potato coating the entire potato.

  3. Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 40 minutes or until tender and golden brown.

  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the kale, fresh mint, celery, cucumber and cabbage. Set aside.

  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, discard the skin, and place the sweet potato flesh in a medium bowl. Use a large fork to mash the sweet potato flesh and add a dash of sea salt and pepper, then transfer the sweet potato flesh to the kale salad.

  6. Combine the dressing ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, then drizzle the dressing over the kale mixture and serve immediately. Leftover dressing can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

    Yield Serves 4

    >>Amie Valpone is the founder of The Healthy Apple and best-selling author of the cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.


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