SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS SALAD: SPICED SEA BASS, SWEET POTATO AND KALE SALAD WITH AVOCADO VINAIGRETTE + TOASTED PEPITAS

I'm wrapping up my month long experiment of cooking with Blue Apron. There were quite a few recipes I loved and would without a doubt make again and again! This Whole 30 dinner was a favorite of mine.  It's a healthy meal, but it's also incredibly flavorful and full of delicious, fresh ingredients.  One of my goals this year is to incorporate as many vegetables as I can into each meal, and work on creating more interesting salad options. I never thought to add sweet potatoes to a salad, but it really helps bulk up this dish and keep it filling. For the protein, Blue Apron sent filets of barramundi, a sea bass that I hadn't tried before. If you can't find sea bass at your grocery, I feel like any firm white fish would work well [cod is typically an easy one to come by] or you can never really go wrong with salmon in my opinion! The dressing was made creamy and rich by mixing avocado into the dressing, as well as adding slices of it to the salad. By far the best part of this meal were the toasted pumpkin seeds [aka pepitas!]. They're SO delicious, I'd literally put them on any dish at this point! 

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MEXICAN-SPICED SEA BASS, SWEET POTATO AND KALE SALAD WITH AVOCADO VINAGRETTE + TOASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS [ADAPTED FROM BLUE APRON]

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 6oz sea bass filets
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and mashed
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and dried, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 TB pumpkin seeds
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
  • Spice mix: 1tsp garlic powder, 1tsp ancho chili powder, 1/4tsp smoked paprika, 1/4tsp cumin
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425. 
  • Place sliced sweet potatoes on a large sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and about half of the spice mix.
  • Toss to combine and arrange in an even layer.
  • Roast, flipping halfway through for about 20 minutes until lightly browned. [tip: all ovens are a bit different temperature-wise, so make sure to keep an eye on any vegetables you roast, especially when they're thinly sliced like these!]. Remove from oven.
  • Half the avocado and thinly slice one half, topping with a squeeze of lime juice. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the other half of the avocado in a large bowl and add the remainder of the lemon juice and mash until smooth, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Zest the clementine, adding it to the large bowl, as well as the juice from the clementine.
  • Add 2-3 TBsp extra virgin olive oil to the bowl, as well as the garlic and jalepeno. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the sliced kale and toss to thoroughly coat [tip: I always use my hands to massage the dressing into kale and it makes a HUGE difference!]
  • While the kale marinates, add a small drizzle of olive oil to a pan and heat to medium-high. Add the pumpkin seeds, season with salt and pepper and toast stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt.
  • Pat the fish filets dry with paper towels, season on both sides with salt and pepper and the remaining spice blend.
  • In the pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium high . Add filets skin side down and cook for 3-5 minutes until the skin is crisp. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Toss the roasted sweet potatoes with the kale and season if needed.
  • Serve the salad on a large plate and top with the fish filet, sliced avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds.
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DRINK PAIRING: I happened to try this new [to me] beer that tasted DELICIOUS with this dish! Not sure how available Monday Night Brewing is in the world, but if you see it, give their Blind Pirate Blood Orange IPA a try.  I'm not a massive IPA drinker, but the citrus in the dressing paired perfectly with this beer! 

I really can't recommend this recipe enough! If you're not into fish, I'd honestly eat this salad without any protein, but it would also work well subbing chicken breast or sirloin steak.  SO GOOD.

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