Sweet potato and green bean salad is a delicious, substantial salad, perfect for transforming barbecue sausages, cold meat or lentil burgers into a filling meal. The fruity orange dressing is a perfect complement to the sweet potatoes.
Yumgoggle is happy to welcome Wendy from Cinnamon and Kale as a guest contributor. Wendy is passionate about sharing healthy tips and recipes. She offers recipes for main meals as well as desserts and snacks. Eating healthy doesn’t mean new and unfamiliar ingredients but rather a better approach to the way one eats.
As a child, we often had potato salad made with white potatoes and mayonnaise, but I think now that’s a little less common. This sweet potato and green bean salad tastes much nicer and fresher and is also healthier.
Sweet potatoes and white potatoes are unrelated and come from different botanical families. Unlike white potatoes, sweet potatoes count as one of your 5 A Day and are particularly high in beta carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes originated in South America, but are now very popular in the UK and the US, and are widely available. Sweet potatoes are a tender plant, but there are now varieties that have been bred to grow in the UK.
Green beans add a lovely vibrant color to this salad. They are also a good source of a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin c, folic acid, and fiber.
People often steer clear of dressings on their salad when they are trying to stick to a healthy diet, but actually a dressing can add health benefits itself. Olive oil, and in particular unheated extra virgin olive oil, is very good for you. It has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, and can also help to control blood sugar levels.
Olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, one of the few diets with proven health benefits, including heart health. Adding a healthy oil to your vegetables and salads also means that you are able to absorb more of the fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Tips for making sweet potato and green bean salad
If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, then omit the dressing until later. But you can cook the sweet potatoes and green beans in advance, and store them in the fridge for a day or two.
You’ll need to roast the sweet potatoes first, but they cook in about half an hour. I don’t peel them, but do give them a quick scrub first. Leaving the skins on will increase the fiber content of your salad. I wouldn’t recommend cooking the sweet potatoes in a microwave as they’ll be too moist which might spoil the salad.
In this recipe, I have used frozen green beans. But in the summer, I hope to switch to runner beans from the garden. Of course, you could also use fresh green beans if you prefer. If they are available, a purple variety would also look beautiful in this salad.
The dressing just takes minutes to make. I usually just whisk it in a cup or a jug. Like most dressed salads, it’s best to toss the whole salad in a bowl so that it is thoroughly mixed.
A final sprinkling of sunflower seeds adds a nice crunch and texture to the salad. But you could easily replace them with other seeds that you have available such as pumpkin. Or if you prefer, omit them altogether.
This salad is delicious served warm or cold. It’s a great accompaniment to meat and veggie dishes. You could also add a can of cannellini beans to turn the salad into a meal. It makes a perfect summer lunch dish.
Find more recipes from Cinnamon and Kale on YumGoggle. This coleslaw recipe from Cinnamon and Kale will be perfect to serve at your summer parties. Roast chickpeas are an easy snack that could also be used on salads for some crunch in place of croutons.
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
- 5 ounces green beans
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 tangerine or ½ an orange
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- Place the sweet potato dice on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the green beans until just tender (frozen beans will take just 3 minutes, fresh around 5 minutes).
- Make the dressing by whisking the juice, remaining olive oil, honey, and seasoning. Toss the cooked vegetables with the dressing, and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.