Sweet Potato, Fennel & Olive Salad with Crispy Kale & Quinoa

Sweet Potato, Fennel & Olive Salad with Crispy Kale & Quinoa

This bowl has been my lunch for the last four days… I may have even eaten it for lunch and dinner yesterday! It’s just that good.

The idea of sweet potatoes mixed with olives, fennel and kale may not seem totally conventional, but it’s really one of the best combinations of flavours and textures that I’ve found in a while. The sweet, tender nature of the potatoes contrasts perfectly with the salty, ever so slightly chewy olives, the crispy kale and the crunchy, lime infused slithers of tangy fennel. Once everything is mixed together with the quinoa it’s just heaven, so unbelievably delicious and wonderfully energising. You’ll be jumping up and down after you eat it! You also feel like a total goddess while you eat it as you know that you’re taking it such an amazing amount of goodness with each bite, which is so awesome.

Everything in the bowl is bursting with goodness, but the real winner here is Kale, which is such a powerhouse of nutrition, it’s really the king of all vegetables. Did you know that per calorie it has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk? As well as being loaded up with vitamins K, A & C, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. You can’t really get much better than that! Really its the best support for every system in your body, as well as your hair and skin. I’ve even been putting kale in my morning smoothies to ensure that I eat it everyday.

The other veggie here which I don’t talk about all the time is fennel. It’s such a delicious vegetable, and one that is not enjoyed enough, as it makes an awesome addition to any meal, while also being a fantastic source of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. It even contains particular compounds which have been shown to prevent the occurrence of cancer. Most people tend to roast their fennel but I prefer mine raw and marinated overnight with lime and olive oil. This process softens the fennel, leaving it slightly crunchy but soft enough to devour, while also infusing it with a tangy deliciousness. If you haven’t tried it like this then you’re in for such a treat! It is seriously divine, everyone always loves it, especially as it’s so nice to get something new and unexpected into your diet. It also lasts about five days like this if it’s stored in an air tight box in the fridge, so you can marinate two or three bulbs at once, which only takes a few minutes, and then leave them so that they’re ready to add to any quinoa, salad etc over the week. It’s perfect. I do the same with my sweet potatoes and quinoa too, so that I always have a meal like this ready to go when I’m hungry and busy. This way a meal like this only takes 5 minutes to throw together so you won’t be tempted to stray to something unhealthy!

Serves 3

– 1 large sweet potato

– 1 cup of quinoa (260g)

– 2 fennel

– 5 kale leaves

– 1 cup of pitted black olives (180g)

– 2 juicy limes or lemons, 3 if they’re not super juicy

– olive oil

– cinnamon

– paprika

– rosemary

– salt

The night before marinate the fennel, Start by slicing off the spiky top and the very bottom edge, then cut the rest into slithers. Place it in a big tupperware box and cover with the juice of two limes, salt and olive oil – there should be enough liquid in there from the juice and oil to ensure that each fennel slice is coated. Then leave the box in the fridge to soften.

Heat the oven to 180C. Then cut the sweet potato in half, into slices and then into bite sized cubes. Place these in a baking dish with olive oil, salt, cinnamon, paprika and rosemary – stirring everything well with your hands to ensure that all sides of each cube is coated in deliciousness. Then bake for 60 minutes, stirring them once or twice during this time.

While the sweet potatoes bake cook the quinoa.

Chop the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and two or three minutes before the sweet potatoes are cooked add the leaves to the top of the baking dish with a little extra oil and salt.

Once the kale is crisping up remove the baking tray and mix everything together with the quinoa, fennel and olives. Enjoy!


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  • Annika

    Hi,just find your blog!!and for that I`m soo happy,your photos are lovelely, your recept amazing!!Everything look so good and it`s healthy!!Sure I`ll have a lot of fine ideas from here:) Thanks!! Annika Zürich

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      Thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful time cooking from it :)

  • http://afralicious.wordpress.com afracooking

    Such a crazy combination – I can totally see (or taste) it working!

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      It works so well! I’m so in love with it. I added half an avocado, pomegranates and pumpkin seeds to it today too and wow was that insane! So so delicious!

  • http://www.aclb.co.uk Anna Clare

    This is DELICIOUS! I was genuinely excited last night for left-overs lunch today. Thank you!

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      Thank you! I totally agree! I always make lots of leftovers of this to see me through a few days of lunches and snacks and no matter how many times I eat it I’m always excited by the though of it!

  • Bernardita peckham

    Great recipe thank you. All great ingredients

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      My pleasure, glad you love the look of the recipe! Can’t wait to hear what you think once you’ve made it!

  • Aka

    Wow the lime marinated fennel is so good I almost ate all of it before the rest of the salad ingredients were done! I also poured the marinade into the salad which worked well.

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      I’m so glad that you loved the fennel! It’s one of my absolute favourite things, I’m so addicted! I bet pouring the marinade over the salad is awesome too, not sure why I didn’t think of that – thank you :)

  • Bee

    Hi Ella. Is there any other green veggie that I could replace the kale with? (as there is no kale available in Germany – or at least not in my city). I really love your blog and receipes!

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Bee. It won’t have the same effect but yes you can totally replace it with something like sautéed spinach :)

  • Hannah

    Hi Ella!
    Just wanted to let you know you have a new biggest fan! I’ve made this and your portobello-pomegranate-quinoa since discovering your blog and absolutely adored them both! I can’t wait to ake more f your recipes, especially your pecan pie! As a Londoner it’s also lovely to read a British blog as I follow so many Americans! Just one question, what olives did you use here?
    Thanks for sharing!
    h xx

    • ellawoodward

      I’m so glad that you love the blog, thank you! I’m not sure which olives they are, I’ve used all different kinds though and it’s always amazing! These ones I brought at borough market, my favourite place in london! xx

      • hannah

        I love it there too!
        Second question! Where did you get your cast iron pan???

        • ellawoodward

          It’s from Le Creuset :)

  • http://lizmarshmallows.tumblr.com Elizabeth

    Hi Ella. :)
    I’m an 18 year old who lives in Singapore (with Vietnamese origins but born French). I had some health issues that led me to become a vegan and go gluten-free for many months. I eventually stopped because my parents got sick of cooking the same old things over and over again and I just couldn’t find the time since I was in the process of exams when I first started. Since then I’ve been trying to eat more varied food because eating the same healthy thing gets really boring and you just give a twist to everything!
    After finding your blog a couple of weeks ago I’ve been inspired to make time to cook for myself, particularly because my father travels a lot.
    I just wanted to thank you for all of your delicious and easy to follow recipes that have allowed me to live the healthy and varied menu I’ve been trying to pursue. Despite having some difficulties finding all the ingredients in Singapore I have managed to find some substitutes (if I can’t find pomegranate seeds, I’ll use blueberries instead sometimes).
    Just wanted to let you know that you’re appreciated all the way down on this end of the globe too.
    Thank you!

    • http://lizmarshmallows.tumblr.com Elizabeth

      One more thing! Your photos are fantastic and really convinced me to try some of your recipes the first time I stumbled upon your website.

    • ellawoodward

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Elizabeth! I’m so glad that you’re loving the blog and that it’s insuring you to cook!

  • Amy

    I stumbled upon your website by accident. How amazing! I just wish the app was available for versions other than ios 7.
    Can’t wait to try the recipes over here in Sunny California! Bravo….

  • courtney

    HI – when you say 1 cup of Qunioa, do you mean cooked or uncooked?

  • Heather Wilson

    How have I never discovered kale before now?! I am most definitely a convert and this recipe is so tasty. I didn’t have any fennel so I added a few artichokes. Already looking forward to having it for lunch again tomorrow!

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Sarah, so sorry but sadly I don’t have the gram measurements for this recipe but I think you may be able to find the conversion online. Hope you love the recipe! X

  • ellawoodward

    This is uncooked quinoa, which you then need to cook with water on the stove. Hope you love the recipe x