Sometimes late at night, after a particularly grueling day, I snuggle up to my husband while we are lying in bed and whisper in his ear, “There is one thing I have never regretted.”
And he will ask me what.
And I will say, “I have never regretted spending that insane amount of money that we did on these mattresses.”
Then I roll over and start snoring.
And Black Friday was one of those days. It’s kind of mine and my daughter’s thing to go shopping on that day every year, but this year we waaaaay over did it to the point we were both physically hurting. We were limping actually. And propping ourselves up on walls while they other one said “Just give me five more minutes in here.” And throwing ourselves across the display beds at Pottery Barn, while getting the evil eye from the salespeople.
I was *so* incredibly happy to come home to my memory foam.
But we had a great time and we can’t wait to do it again next year, except, yes, I can wait, because I still have back pain.
So let me tell you about the salad I made for Thanksgiving, because the nutrients in this salad are probably what kept me from going completely under on Black Friday. And I know Thanksgiving is over, but sweet potatoes live on. You can always find them at the store and they are healthy and pretty and yummy. But mostly healthy. Which is why I made this salad, because I needed something that didn’t have huge amounts of butter or cream of chicken soup on the table. I roasted chunks of sweet potatoes with just a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. They went into a big salad bowl filled with some fresh greens. I added toasted pecans, then I drizzled with a totally yummy, sweet orange and mustard vinaigrette. To die for. I had been thinking about this salad for a while before I made it, and it came out just like I wanted it too. I love the warm sweet potatoes with the fresh, cool greens. Plus, think about all the healthy stuff that is in there. This would be a great salad to entertain with this holiday season.
–You really don’t have to measure anything but the dressing ingredients. Just put however many pecans and sweet potatoes you want in there.
–The dressing comes together in a few seconds in the blender.
–Speaking of dressing, I did not use it all on this salad. You may or may not. Depends on your tastes. I am trying to NOT drown my salads in dressing, so I just used a little. My daughter said it needed more. We disagreed on that.
–Please toast the pecans. Just do it. They are waaaaay better and add so much more crunch.
–The salad will get a little wilty if you store it in the fridge after the dressing is on it. I ate it anyway, for days after. In fact, I slightly microwaved my bowls to warm the sweet potatoes a little. The greens did wilt, but I could deal. It was still really good to me.
–This is a SWEET dressing. If you don’t like sweet dressing on your salad, this recipe might not be right for you. My sister would hate this. But she is weird when it comes to food. Don’t tell her I said that.
- 4-6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into uniform bite size cubes
- Extra Virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Kosher salt and coarse black pepper to taste
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 2 medium oranges
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 to 12 ounces pre-washed spring mix (or baby spinach)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with hands to coat. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, stirring a couple of times.
- Place pecans on a small baking sheet and toast in oven along with potatoes for ten minutes or until dark golden brown and nutty smelling. Remove from oven and let cool.
- To make the dressing, place the juice and zest of two oranges into a blender along with the balsamic vinegar, light brown sugar, dijon mustard, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Turn blender on and slowly add ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil until mixture is smooth.
- To assemble salad, place the greens in a large salad bowl. Add the pecans and sweet potatoes and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to evenly coat. You might not use all of the dressing.