Sweet potato, kale and brown rice salad

By Joy McCarthy
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I’ve been making a variation of this amazing salad for many years. No matter who I make it for, whether they are health nuts or not, everyone loves it. Nothing makes me happier than feeding my family and friends something they enjoy and seeing them go for seconds. The combination of brown rice, navy beans and greens makes this a real “stick to your ribs” dish but won’t leave you feeling stuffed. The simple dressing has just the right amount of flavour to let the salad ingredients really shine.

This is a wonderful side dish to my Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Chicken with Baby Potatoes, or serve it on its own as a vegetarian main with Roasted Pear and Parsnip Soup with Kale Chips.



  • 3 cups (750 milliliters) diced sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) + 1/3 cup (75 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) brown rice
  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) water
  • 1 bunch curly kale, centre stems removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (425 grams) navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) loosely packed chopped fresh curly or flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) crumbled feta cheese
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Evenly spread the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon (15 milliliters) of the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork-tender.
  3. In a medium pot, combine the brown rice and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender and fluffs with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, red onion, navy beans, cranberries and parsley. Add the cooked rice while still warm and mix together. If you are not serving the salad right away, store it in the fridge.
  5. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice and the remaining 1/3 cup (75 milliliters) olive oil until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Top with the feta. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. 

Excerpted from The Joyous Cookbook by Joy McCarthy.  Copyright  ©  2019  by  Joy  McCarthy. Published by Penguin an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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