This healthy sweet potato, apple and avocado salad is paleo, gluten free, grain free and vegan!

Good news! I am beginning to wake up from the mental coma that is apparently caused by refined sugar and carb withdrawal. You guys, I have to admit I’m a little freaked out about how difficult these past two week have been for me. I told myself that I was only interested in staying off sugar for January and possibly February. But… I honestly had no idea how much of an ordeal this would be. And now I’m sitting here trying to figure out my next move. 

What comes next? I’m not sure. I don’t know if I ever want to go through the experience of quitting sugar ever again. This is reminiscent of several years ago when I cut out Splenda. I was so thrown off by the terrible withdrawal symptoms that I never went back. I’m certainly not planning on completely changing my style of recipe development. I love baking fresh bread and photographing layer cakes. And I love sweets. But maybe this was the push that I finally needed to simply taste my recipes instead of eating them. Or maybe when I go to create a dessert in the next few weeks that one bite of sugar will send me spiraling back down the slippery slope.

It remains to be seen. Thanks for hanging in there with me. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you a healthy, colorful, flavorful salad I’ve been enjoying. I adapted this recipe with permission from my friend Lisa Consiglio Ryan. Go check out her website!

Sweet Potato, Apple and Avocado Salad (Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 apple, sliced (approximately 1 cup)
  • ½ small red onion, chopped (approximately ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a large saucepan full of water to a boil and add sweet potatoes. Cook until soft but not mushy, approximately 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds in dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden and fragrant.
  3. Combine apple, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a large bowl. Stir in sweet potatoes and oil; add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in avocado and toasted sunflower seeds just before serving.
Notes
Recipe adapted from wholehealthdesigns.com

 

Tools I Used

(links go to my Amazon affiliate store)

Global 8 inch, 20cm Chef’s Knife
Kyocera Y Peeler, Red
Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler
Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls

More Salad Recipes

Savory Simple – Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
Savory Simple – Butternut Squash Cranberry Sorghum Salad
Savory Simple – Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
FoodieCrush – Beet, Carrot and Pomegranate Salad
Gimme Some Oven – Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette
Shugary Sweets – Southwest Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

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  • http://www.becauseilikechocolate.com Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    I love where this is going with the avocado, lime, cilantro and sweet potatoes. The apple is an interesting addition though, I am not sure if it is throwing me off or whether I love the idea of adding it!

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I have been obsessed with sweet potatoes lately. This salad is perfect!

  • http://www.tasteloveandnourish.com Caroline

    I’m super proud of you Jen! You’re an inspiration! This salad is just what I need right now. I’ve been eating SO many salads, but most of them have been lettuce and greens based. I love this combination of veggies and fruits. It looks so satisfying and delicious! I’m pinning now to make for lunch tomorrow!

  • http://www.figsandcream.com Kristin

    Love everything about this! Composition and colors! Love that dark stain!
    Thank you for all that you do.
    Pinned,
    K-

  • http://scrummylane.com Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Sounds so lovely and simple. I decided to cut down on (not totally cut out) sugar a while ago. I did it gradually and now I’ve noticed that I don’t crave it as much. Especially chocolate. Good news!

  • http://www.foodfaithfitness.com Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    What a simple fresh and healthy salad! These are some of my favorite foods, but I have never eaten them together…until now!

  • http://www.ahealthyhunger.com Gail @ A Healthy Hunger

    congratulations on your purge. You are far braver than I. LOVE this colorful salad!, it demands a try.

  • http://wanderlust-and-pixiedust.blogspot.com Nicole de B.

    I went low-carb a few years ago in an effort to lose a lot of weight. It worked! But in the process, I found out how bad I reacted to refined sugar. Wow. What a difference it makes not eating massive amounts of sugar all the time. Sugar is truly an addiction– and it takes hard work to detox from it. I still eat sugar from time to time, who can say no during the holidays?? But I try to limit it. And it IS easier for me now to “detox” from sugar after a major sugar binge. I find instead of a month, it takes about three days for me to not crave sugar. Sorry for the long (hopefully not preachy!?) ramble– I just wanted to say GREAT JOB fighting through the sugar withdrawal! And my husband saw me looking at this recipe and asked if we could have it for dinner. That’s high praise, indeed.

  • http://virtuallyhomemade.com Liz@Virtually Homemade

    Maybe a more gradual route would be better – but I’m certainly no expert. When I was in my early 20’s I went off all refined sugar. I still ate fruit and raw honey and some other natural sugars. Over the years I have slowly added in some refined sugar but have never eaten as much as I once did.
    However, the salad is gorgeous and looks amazingly healthy! Good luck :)

  • http://www.thesweet-toothlife.blogspot.com Mary Frances

    You are brave AND disciplined! This salad looks amazing; the sweet potatoes and avo are so pretty together!

  • http://thebeeroness.com Jackie {The Beeroness}

    I did the Splenda thing too. I gave it up about 4 years ago and never went back, now I can’t imagine having it again. I give up dairy from time to time, and since the first time I gave it up my dairy intake is about 20% of what it was. I love dairy, and you know, as a recipe developer you can’t really cut anything out 100%, but now I’m much more conscious of it and avoid it when possible.

  • http://www.stemilt.com Brianna

    I too am a sugar addict! Love this take on using produce for sweetness to a dish. The apple/sweet potato combo is a great one. YUM!

  • http://www.happyvalleychow.com/blog Happy Valley Chow

    That sounds like an amazing sound with some terrific flavors. Be sure to stop by my link party, Om Nom Nom Friday, and share your delicious creations. :)

  • http://www.piesandplots.net Laura Dembowski

    This is my kind of dinner! Sweet potatoes and avocados are some of my favorite foods. I eat far less sugar than I used to. It’s definitely not something I want to cut out of my diet completely because I think life should be enjoyable and sugar helps make life fun. I think you’ll find a balance that works for you eventually.

  • http://www.shugarysweets.com Aimee@shugarysweets

    I did the Suja 3 day last weekend and I feel great! I am totally in tune right now with enjoying my food and not mindless eating. I went out to dinner and even enjoyed my dessert, just eating a few bites was all I needed, so not like me!!! I definitely wont be avoiding the refined sugars, but am learning how to enjoy them! This salad looks incredible!!!!!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I’m glad you liked Suja! I’m really hooked, that juice gave me so much control back. In the end we can have all of the quality bites we want as long as we keep an eye on the quantity. I’m going to start working a little bit of sugar back in here and there. I love it too much to quit completely.

  • Paula – bell’alimento

    I am glad you are feeling better! This salad sound fresh, delicious and has beautiful colors too!

  • http://www.kgrecipes.com KgReciPes

    I love to eat this. Its look so delicious.

  • Kate@Diethood

    Quitting sugar?! Completely??? Oh my! I’ve done it and it was hell the first few days, but then I got used to it. However, I couldn’t wait to get back to it! :-D

    I love this colorful salad. I adore the apple and avocado combo.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I’m going to start working it back in very slowly and carefully. I’m not a fan of cutting anything out completely. This is just temporary to help me get there.

  • http://www.eatgood4life.com eat good 4 life

    I have never tried to detox from sugar and I don’t think I will ever do. I love sugar way too much. I tried to balance it out and do healthy sources. Good luck with your journey. Great looking salad. This would be right up my alley :-)

  • http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com Kitchen Belleicious

    so many great flavors coming together in this dish! I love them all and the color!

  • http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com Kirsten

    Jen, I’ve never tried cutting out sugar, but a New Years resolution is to add more avocado to my life . This salad looks like a great way to do that . Lovely photo.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.thisgalcooks.com Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    I was feeling kind of blah around the holidays. Too much sugar and carby foods was making me feel bloated, gross and I had gained a few pounds. I cut way back on the sugar and I felt SO much better! I haven’t totally cut out sugar but I have cut back a lot. It’s amazing how great you feel when you cut back. Good for you for accomplishing it! I think it’s all about balance and moderation but sometimes you just have to cut yourself from it for a while so you can kick your cravings!

    Great salad and beautiful photos, Jennifer. Pinned! :)

  • Beverly

    Yum!! I need to get back to these basic dishes and I love all the ingredients, which is a plus!

  • Iiona V

    This recipe is something I will try out. I’ve recently become semi-vegetarian.

  • Tina T

    This seems like something my entire family could enjoy! I’d even debate on blending it up for my 7 month old (minus the sunflower seeds). I absolutely love cilantro! (Did not always feel this way) after marrying my husband who is from a Puerto Rico, it’s a pretty big staple to have in my home. I have everything on hand and will definitely try this out tonight! Thank you!

  • bethp

    My husband and I just enjoyed this and it was amazing! Thank you for an awesome lunch idea. :)

  • Sangeeta

    I loved this recipe. I added some fresh mint also along with cilantro and topped the bowl with diced boiled egg to make it a complete meal. Yum
    Sangeeta