I was wanting to do something a little different for dinner, and really craving salad--this came from elements already in the kitchen and was served with Morning Star Farm "Grillers" (vegetarian burgers) on whole grain buns. The color is really festive and the taste just wonderful; the fresh crispy romaine combine with the earthy black beans and roasted, herbed sweet potato cubes and salty feta cheese blend well together, the fresh cilantro giving such a fresh and inviting flavor--it is also quite filling! The entire bowl, not counting the dressing, is 800 calories, less than most fast food burgers, and quite low in fat as well as calories. I am not a vegetarian, however I do think it's a healthy habit to have 2-4 meals a week without meat; beans and cheese make a great substitute protein! Serve with rye Wasa crackers or roasted garlic Triscuits and a tall pitcher of raspberry tea for luncheons--it makes a nice presentation when plated--I always get comments on the colors! —BeijingRose
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the sweet potato then cut into cubes. Spray a baking sheet with butter-flavored PAM, the toss the cubes on the pan, and spray them as well. Sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and a little salt. Roast them for 40-45 minutes. Remove and set out to cool.
Tear the romaine into small pieces, then chop and sprinkle on the cilantro, followed by the rinsed black beans, the thinly sliced onions next.
Toss the sweet potato cubes on top of the salad, then cut the feta cheese in rough cubes and sprinkle over the top,
Add all the Vinaigrette ingredients together in a clean jar with a tight lid, shake gently a few times to mix and pour over the salad, to your taste. I sometimes sprinkle a few toasted sunflower seeds on as garnish.
VARIATION: If you would like to make this an entree, you can add 1/2 cup of toasted and salted walnut halves and a small can of mandarin-orange slices (no sugar added) drained. This recipe also goes well with grilled chicken tenders on top or grilled shrimp.