Today I want to share a simple, balanced recipe for an entree salad that’s full of Southwest flavor. With avocado, sweet potato, and black beans, this salad is wholesome and delicious – but the dressing is the real star of the show. I make this tahini sauce constantly at home and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Things become a little bit simpler when you’re eating all plants. Since shifting toward a plant-based diet, I’ve realized that most of my meals are served in a single bowl and can be eaten with just a fork.
The beauty of throwing everything into one bowl is that it keeps things simple. Whenever someone tells me that it’s too difficult to prepare healthy meals, I want to invite them over. Or at least hand them a recipe like this one.
Salad and grain bowls are my go-to meals when I’m looking for something quick and simple.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Greens: I used spinach, which is incredibly nutrient dense and packed with fiber, beta-carotene, B-vitamins, and iron. (For more green inspiration, check out my ultimate guide to dark leafy’s)
- A whole grain or starchy vegetable: Every balanced meal requires some healthy, complex carbohydrates. I opted for sweet potato in this recipe but I also use whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, farro, and millet often.
- Plant-based protein: Including a good protein source is also essential to creating a balanced meal. I love using all sorts of beans, along with tofu and tempeh, in my bowl recipes. Choose from my favorite protein sources.
- Healthy fats: Adding a little bit of healthy fats to meals is a great way to get long-lasting energy. Some of my favorite sources are avocado, nuts, seeds, and olives. The avocado used in this recipe is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help lower cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar levels more stable.
- A delicious dressing: A must-have in my opinion. For creamy dressings, I love using tahini. It’s another source of healthy fats and also provides essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and calcium.
The Essential Tahini Sauce
I use a variation of this tahini sauce time and time again in my home. It works with salads, stir-fry, and grain-based bowls.
Here’s the basic recipe:
- Tahini (about 2 tbsp)
- Something acidic (lemon, lime, vinegar)
- Spices (switch them up to go with your other ingredients!)
- Water (about 2-4 tbsp, to thin out the tahini)
I hope you not only enjoy this simple salad bowl recipe but also feel inspired to switch up the ingredients using the basic outline above. You can use this to create endless simple and healthy meals!
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 tbsp tahini
- ½ tsp maple syrup optional
- 1 Lime zest and juice
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp chili power
- 2-4 tbsp water
- 2 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- ½ avocado sliced
- 2 tbsp scallions
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro choppedPreheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce sweet potato with a fork and place on baking sheet with whole poblano pepper. Roast until sweet potato is tender, about 30 minutes.
- While vegetables are roasting: whisk together tahini, maple syrup, lime, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Allow sweet potato and pepper to cool slightly before cutting into pieces. Add to a mixing bowl with black beans and toss with tahini sauce.
- Add spinach to bowls and top with sweet potato mixture, avocado, scallions, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
What are your favorite simple meals? Tag your creations @gratefulgrazer on Instagram!