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30 Semi-Healthy Days – Day 26: Sweet Potato & Kale Orzo Salad

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I always like to start the week off with a make ahead salad of some sort that I can take to work for lunch. I usually make something on Sunday that will get me through at least a couple of days at work because I know there is no way that I am going to get up early enough on a Monday to make my lunch. It’s just not a thing that I am capable of. I can get up to go to a barre class, but I can’t get out of bed to make a sandwich. 

If I had to pick a favourite pasta, I would choose orzo. It seems like a weird choice because most people would say something more normal like spaghetti or lasagna, but orzo is really near and dear to my heart. It’s just so versatile, and it tastes good with pretty much anything. You can have it in place of rice in a lot of dishes, in a soup, in a salad or even just as a pasta with some good ol’ marinara sauce. The possibilities really are endless, and there has never been a time when I have made orzo and regretted it. 

You could change this salad up to include whatever veggies you want. All I did was toss some sweet potato, carrots and cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil and some spices and then roasted them for 30 minutes. I realized belatedly that I only chose orange veggies, but it’s probably just because I love the colour orange so much that I am subconsciously drawn to it, even in food. You could add mushrooms or have roasted brussels sprouts. You really could do anything.

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Sweet Potato & Kale Orzo Salad
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups orzo
2 cups kale
1/4 cup flaxseed or olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Dash of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss the veggies in a large bowl with the olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper and Italian seasoning. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.

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Roast at 375 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until veggies are soft. 

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Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to package directions (bring pot of water to a boil, add orzo and cook for 10 minutes).

Put the kale in a large bowl. Drain the orzo and pour on top of the kale while still hot so the kale starts to wilt.

Add the warm, roasted veggies.

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Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper and garlic. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or cold.

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