Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad | In Jennie's Kitchen

As I write, snow is falling, the kids are sleeping, and my To Do list is frighteningly long. Last night I stayed up way past my bedtime (as usual), making sure all the items were ordered for the family in need we adopted in town. I didn’t hesitate to say yes when Family of Woodstock had a wish list for a family of six. I figured people would be more likely to sponsor smaller families because we’re all on mindful budgets during the holidays. Donations from remarkable friends and The Children’s Place made this possible, and I’m eternally thankful.

We leave for London in 10 days, and while work is busy, and that’s a good thing, I’m trying to make holiday baking a priority, too. So, before I head into the kitchen to make some cookie doughs, and try my hand at homemade almond paste (wish me luck!), I wanted to stop in here, and share this Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad recipe with you.

I made this salad a few weeks ago, perhaps even longer than that, for work. I love the simplicity of the ingredients, and how they come together for a very flavorful meal. Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of sweet potatoes. In testing this salad, and eating way too many sweet potatoes within a week, I discovered two things: 1. I actually do like sweet potatoes, and 2. my tummy feels differently than my taste buds. Yep, turns out they’re a food I should eat in moderation, if at all.

I wouldn’t have known this had I not started my cleanse of sorts three months ago. By eliminating so much from my diet, I’ve been able to isolate which foods cause me indigestion, stomach upset, achy joints, or headaches. I’d been feeling great with my mostly clean eating 5 to 6 days a week, limiting my sugar, eliminating dairy, eggs, meat, nightshade veggies, etc.

Then I began testing this salad assigned for work, and after three days of eating sweet potatoes, it all clicked. When I noticed stomach cramps creeping back in, slowly every day after eating, I thought about what I’d been eating differently. Boom. Sweet potatoes.

Now, I realize this story doesn’t make a compelling case to try this salad, but rest assured it’s a wonderful salad. I loved every bite of it, and I learned a valuable lesson that I felt necessary to pass along. If you eat sweet potatoes, and have no worries, then go ahead and enjoy this Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad! But, if you’ve noticed you feel bloated, or have an upset stomach after eating them, then reading up on why sweet potatoes can be bothersome is worthwhile (start here).

In any case, thanks for your patience with this somewhat long, meandering post on a Monday morning. I’m going to make those cookie doughs I mentioned earlier, and since public schools are on snow delay, I’m going to give the girls a treat, and let them sleep in a bit this morning, too!

Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad | In Jennie's Kitchen

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad | In Jennie's Kitchen

Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach & Pecan Salad

Don't take life too seriously when putting this salad together. Spinach is the green I highlighted here, but arugula would be nice, too, as would watercress. Something about pecans reminds me of fall and winter, but if you want to use walnuts instead, go for it.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 cups baby spinach rinsed & dried
  • 1 sweet potato roasted & cut into half moons or triangles
  • 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves toasted & chopped (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons Vinaigrette Dressing recipe is here


  • Prepare, and roast the sweet potatoes.
  • Add the spinach, sweet potato, onion, and half the pecans to a deep bowl. Spoon the dressing on top, and stir to mix everything. Divide the salad amongst 4 dishes, or arrange on a large serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top, and enjoy!





1 Comment

  • L Benson

    I too have been on a food journey of sorts – trying to isolate the cause of my chronic migraines. I’ve had to eliminate egg, dairy, and gluten. I don’t eat any land critters (a choice I made over a decade ago for reasons unrelated to my health), so it’s been a bit of an experience eating in restaurants and as a guest in others homes. However, I find that it has been so so worth eliminating those foods that exacerbate my migraines. It’s the “do I want a donut”, “yes!” – “but is it worth a migraine”, “no!” game 🙂 Though I must confess, I’m not yet out of the phase where I longingly stare at donuts and other “off limits” food.

    I suppose the real reason I felt compelled to comment today has little to do with food. With almost no transition, here it is…

    I have been a reader for years – I have always appreciated your storytelling voice, your kindness, your honesty, and your badass dinner spreads 🙂 Since the election, I have struggled to read some of the blogs that I used to enjoy. Those that seem to be purely about “pretty” things or the latest outfit or piece of home decor. Those who didn’t even comment on the election, about this thing that has knocked so many of us down and rocked us to our cores. I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate you and this space you have created. There is a time and place for “pretty” and there is a time and place to get real – to talk about the life changing, life threatening things that are occurring in our society today.

    With every blog or instagram post (of yours) since the election – I have felt just a little bit better. I’ve felt a little more hopeful, a little less alone. I look at the things that you are doing and think “YES!” – this, THIS is the good in the world. There are still people out there, people who care, people who see the danger in sitting by and doing nothing, people who are trying to figure out how to make a difference and how to cope with the consequences of November 8th. There is so much risk in doing nothing, in just accepting and “hoping for the best” — to come to your space and see what you are doing is nothing short of inspiring.

    So thank you, thank you for speaking up. THANK YOU for everything you are doing to make this world a better place.

    I have never felt the danger in quietly sitting by more than I do now – doing nothing IS doing something. It is allowing everything wrong, and cruel, and threatening in our society to occur. It is accepting injustices that should have no place in our world. I am SO uplifted by people like you who are speaking up and whom are out there doing SO many somethings!

    Thank you so much, truly, you are a light in this frightening time.