fall soul bowl

i found my sweet potato soul mate. ever since stumbling upon her blog via food52, i've been addicted to jenné claiborne's sweet potato soul cooking videos. her cooking is so colorful and nourishing and all vegan, and the joy she exudes on screen is just contagious. it's impossible to not head straight to the kitchen as soon as you can pull yourself away from the screen. 

the recipe below is inspired by sweet potato soul's maple mustard tempeh buddha bowl, and it makes for the perfect work lunch. my weekday lunches are usually a salad comprised of a mix of roasted vegetables, a grain and tahini or balsamic dressing, so this isn't too far of a cry from that. usually, i'll take a peek at harlow's menu (one of my favorite restaurants in portland, oregon!) for inspiration because they serve these amazing bowls that are packed with creative, flavorful goodness. this recipe reminds me so much of something harlow would have on the menu! 

this salad has a lot of elements, so i recommend doing your meal prep on sunday so it makes for easy lunch prep throughout the week. you'll need to roast potatoes, cook the farro, quick pickle the onions and massage and chop the kale. it sounds like a lot, but believe me, it's worth it! i relied on serious eats' roasted sweet potato recipe and bon appétit's method for quick pickling red onions. the bon appétit recipe notes that you can pickle the onions two weeks ahead, which is perfect for meal prep. just make sure you refrigerate the prepared onions. 

sweet potato farro bowl with pickled red onion and nutty tahini dressing

what you'll need:
serves 4

1 package (8 oz) farro, cooked
3 sweet potatoes, diced
1 head lacinto kale, massaged and chopped
1 avocado, diced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp tahini
4 tbsp warm water
1, 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 shakes red pepper flakes

what you'll do:

for the roasted sweet potatoes (h/t serious eats)

  1. in a large sauce pan, dump in chopped sweet potatoes and cover with water. heat water to 160° fahrenheit. keep this heat consistent as you cover and set aside for 1 hour.

  2. while sweet potatoes rest in water, place oven racks in upper and lower middle positions. preheat oven to 400° fahrenheit. drain sweet potatoes, then pour into large bowl. toss sweet potatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, adjusting for taste. pour sweet potatoes across two rimmed baking sheets and roast until bottom side is browned, about 30 minutes. remove from oven, turning each potato so that each can brown on the other side. this should take about 20 minutes.

  3. transfer cooked sweet potatoes back into a large bowl. let cool and set aside.

for the quick pickle onions (h/t bon appétit

  1. whisk together apple cider vinegar, sugar, kosher salt and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve.

  2. place red onion in large bowl, then pour vinegar mixture over the onion. let rest at room temperature for an hour. 

  3. drain excess liquid before serving. place leftovers in covered bowl in fridge. 

for the dressing

  1. in small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, tahini, water, ground ginger and red pepper flakes.

for all other salad elements

  1. in large bowl, mix in cooked farro, kale,  avocado, roasted sweet potato, pickled red onion (drained). pour in dressing and toss thoroughly.