Healthy, easy and delicious vegan Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Chickpeas and Rocket recipe. It makes for a great nutritious lunch or a nice gluten free side dish!
This recipe was developed and written by Rhian from Rhian’s Recipes, who is a new guest blogger on my blog! Check her bio and her delicious and healthy sweet potato noodle salad recipe below!
Hi! I’m Rhian, half-Japanese half-British Cambridge graduate interested in cinema, literature, travelling, art, languages, beauty and of course, food! The focus of my food blog Rhian’s Recipes is Japanese cuisine-inspired recipes that are healthy and mostly vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free.
Although I create my recipes with various dietary requirements in mind, my main aim is to create delicious dishes that can be enjoyed by conventional eaters too. The vast majority of my dessert recipes are free from refined sugar. Feel free to stop by to check my recipes!
Healthy Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Chickpeas and Rocket
This Sweet Potato Noodle Salad is insanely delicious, surprisingly satisfying and super healthy. It’s perfect for this time of year, especially if you’re on a health kick after the over-indulgence of the festive period.
I absolutely love the combination of different flavours and textures too – the crispy, subtly spiced sweet potato noodles pair beautifully with the meaty chickpeas, tart-sweet pomegranate seeds, creamy avocado, crisp, peppery rocket and crunchy sunflower seeds.
This salad makes the perfect healthy yet filling lunch, but also works well as a side dish. It’s great for feeding a crowd because its vegan and gluten-free, so caters for a wide range of dietary requirements.
This salad is so well balanced. Nutritiously speaking, it’s packed full of plant-based protein, fibre, healthy fats, leafy greens, slow release energy-filled carbs, and beneficial spices.
How to Make Healthy Sweet Potato Noodles
This salad starts with sweet potato noodles (aka swoodles!). You can either use a spiralizer to make these, or if you don’t have one, you can use a knife to cut the sweet potato into thin strips.
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious but highly nutritious and packed with fiber. They are great both spiralized and blended (for example in this sweet potato lentil soup).
The trick to making the sweet potatoes taste delicious is to coat them in a mixture of spices and herbs (paprika, cumin, cinnamon and coriander). This gives them a wonderfully subtle aroma that doesn’t overpower the other flavours in the salad.
I did try pan-frying the noodles, but it took quite a while for them to get soft and crispy, so I decided baking them was better both in terms of flavour and texture. It’s also easier, as you can just throw them in the oven and momentarily forget about them while you prepare the rest of the salad.
How to Make Healthy Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Chickpeas and Rocket
Instead of just adding whole chickpeas, I decided to make a delicious chickpea paste that’s reminiscent of hummus, but much easier to make. All you need to do is add a little tahini, vinegar, salt and pepper and mash up your chickpeas with a fork. If you have leftovers, this paste is also great in a sandwich!
You can’t have a salad without some greens, and I picked rocket because its peppery flavour perfectly compliments the sweetness of the pomegranate seeds and sweet potatoes. Little spoonfuls of avocado add a rich creaminess, whilst sunflower seeds add a lovely nutty crunch.
Because the sweet potato noodles and chickpea paste are so flavourful, I didn’t feel the need to make a dressing – a little squeeze of lemon juice adds just the right amount of freshness and balances out all the other flavours.
Healthy Sweet Potato Noodle Salad
For the sweet potato noodles:
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the chickpea paste:
- 1 400 g (14 oz) tin chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 6 handfuls rocket
- 1 handful pomegranate seeds
- 1 avocado
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
MAKE THE SWEET POTATO NOODLES:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and turn into noodles either by using a spiralizer or cutting into thin strips with a knife. Place the sweet potato noodles on a baking tray with the olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, dried coriander, salt and pepper. Mix well and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until tender and a little crisp. Take them out halfway through to mix around so that they bake evenly.
MAKE THE CHICKPEA PASTE:
- Place the chickpeas and all other ingredients in a flat-bottomed bowl and mash with a fork. Leave the chickpeas a little chunky for texture.
MAKE THE SALAD:
- Once the sweet potato noodles are out of the oven, place them in a bowl with the rocket, pomegranate seeds and spoonfuls of the chickpea paste. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Use a teaspoon to scoop out little spoonfuls and arrange on top of the salad. Top with sunflower seeds and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Best enjoyed immediately!