Spicy Peanut Kale Bowls Topped With Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries

spicy kale peanut bowls / food loves writing

Around here lately, while Tim has been replacing stair treads, putting up walls, painting the basement, swapping out bedroom doors and otherwise working on this house we’re hoping to finish, I’ve been in charge of keeping us both fed. This is an unusual arrangement for us, me in the kitchen and him elsewhere, and it’s made me realize how thankful I am to usually be working with him at the sink or stove, side by side. It’s also made me realize, with not a little surprise and maybe terror, that I have a goooood appetite these days. People keep asking me if I’m having pregnancy cravings, and I guess I don’t know. Can I blame the second trimester or should I just be real and admit I’ve always been a fan of Let’s Try This New Recipe, which is much easier to make happen when it’s just me alone at the fridge. If you’re following along with us on Facebook, you’re getting a regular diet of This Was a Good One posts, and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am, because with the exception of a corn flour cake (three ingredients to make a fluffy cake? I should have known better.), I’m finally trying out and liking so many things I’ve pinned and pined for. The only negative, and I don’t even know if it’s worth calling a negative, especially after I’ve swapped stories with friends who literally could barely keep down water for months of their pregnancies, is that once I make something and have some, I generally don’t want anymore of it, at all, no thanks, no how. I keep making things and they’re fine and good even, but then my short attention span and I are over it. Besides that and my belly and some crazytown emotional mood swings, I feel pretty normal overall and sometimes almost forget there’s a baby hanging out inside of me, just until I start feeling all his wild kicks in my belly before bed at night. Anyway! I don’t know if a window into my little personal pregnancy journey is interesting to anyone besides me and Tim and my mom, but I’m forcing myself to record at least a few baby-brain thoughts here, if only because I know I’ll want to remember them.

Back to our food lately: Tonight’s dinner experiment did not go at all as I had planned. I’d envisioned spiralized carrot noodles (aka coodles!), tossed in a fun peanut sauce, maybe with some sautéed kale. But then my beautiful organic rainbow carrots from last week’s Green Bean Delivery box were too skinny to make full-on noodles, yielding little carrot curls instead, and in order to justify the fact that I’d pulled out the spiralizer to begin with, I wound up making sweet potato noodles (swoodles?) and roasting them into crispy curly fries. A giant onion-carrot hash cozied up with an entire bunch of kale to make a sautéed vegetable purée that, thanks to a quick bath in some peanut garlic sauce, became a spicy-Thai-reminiscent dinner, topped with the crispy swoodles for crunch. I was a little heavy-handed with the cayenne pepper in the sweet potatoes, so the dinner definitely needs a starch on the side—rice or toast would be best—but it was actually a surprising winner, as was the banana shake I found online and made later for dessert. If you’re looking for a hearty bowl of vegetable-loaded comfort food, kind of like a new take on a killer bowl of curry, this is the ticket. Oh and PS! A few little announcements down below, just before the recipe.

spicy kale peanut bowls
spicy kale peanut bowls
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spicy kale peanut bowls with shoestring sweet potatoes

Spicy Peanut Kale Bowls + Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries
Serves two

I’m writing the directions in the order of how I made things, but you could alternatively make the peanut sauce ahead of time, maybe even the kale hash ahead of time. I would probably make the sweet potatoes though fresh on the night you want to serve.

The only other thing you need to know about this recipe is that, kind of like a good curry bowl, it really needs some rice or bread alongside to balance out the spice. We ate heaping helpings atop toast, but alongside a big bowl of rice would also make sense. The starch helps soak up some of the spiciness and completes the meal.

For the sweet potato fries:
2 sweet potatoes, spiralized
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Dashes of cayenne pepper, as desired*

For the peanut sauce:
(you will have extra sauce)
1/2 cup water (or broth)
1 teaspoon ginger powder
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (or raw honey)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
a squirt of sriracha sauce

For the kale bowl:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 onion, sliced
3 cups shredded or spiralized carrots
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup water

+ cooked rice or slices of toast, for serving

for the fries: Preheat the oven to 400F degrees and get out a rimmed baking sheet. Combine all the sweet potato fries ingredients on this baking sheet, tossing together to coat. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp, tossing once.

for the peanut sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients and let the mixture cook down for about 10 to 15 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it’s a little thinner and you’re impatient, it will still work, too.

for the kale bowl: In your biggest skillet, melt coconut oil and add salt, pepper, turmeric and ginger, letting spices toast for a few minutes. Add onion slices, stirring them to coat in the spice mixture. Add carrots and stir together. Cook for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are all very soft. Last thing is to add the kale and water, letting the mixture cook until the kale wilts and shrinks and mixes in with the onions and carrots well. This will be quick, just a few minutes.

to serve: Add about half the peanut sauce to the kale mixture or, enough to coat the kale without making everything soupy. Pile kale mixture atop pieces of toast or bowls of rice and add sweet potato fries on top of that.

*cayenne – be gentle! although if you’re heavy-handed like me, a nice starch will cover over it.

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

12 thoughts on “Spicy Peanut Kale Bowls Topped With Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries”

  1. I love the baby brain thoughts! I got the Day One journal app during my pregnancy, because I knew I’d wanto remember what I was feeling and eating and thinking about each week, along with the bump pics. Of course since M has arrived, haven’t had much time to keep up with it!

    • Oh man I am dying to hear more details about little M! I’m already psyched for things to slow down (if they ever do?) so I can get all the stories!

  2. I’m always looking for big hearty bowl of veggie-type dinners so this sounds awesome (and those shoestring sweet potato fries? So good!). Your photos in this post are so lovely too.

    PS yes to baby brain updates! I’ve been wondering how you were feeling and how you guys were getting on.

    • Aw, thanks, K! Sometimes I feel like the baby stuff has taken over my brain so I am trying to hold myself back, haha. You’re nice to want to listen. : )

  3. I love hearing baby stories even though we are years away from the journey ourselves 🙂 And I love these kale bowls! I can’t wait to get a new spiraliser so that I can try them out! Good luck with the radio interview 🙂

    • Oh good! I’m glad there are a few of you who don’t mind. ; ) I’ve always eaten up pregnancy stories, too. It’s so crazy how everybody’s body responds in a slightly different way! Our bodies are so amazing.

  4. I’ve been so busy on the house that I am just now seeing this post–there is something terribly wrong with that. AND YOUR PHOTOS ARE FREAKIN AMAZING ON THIS POST.–LOVE THEM (and you!).

  5. Shanna! Just catching up on some of my blogging reads – its been a whirlwind week back in Singapore – visiting friends and family. Your posts are always so refreshing to read – and baby brain thoughts and curly sweet potato fries go so well together! At least in my opinion! So happy you are doing well, and Tim’s comment above cracked me up. You guys are the sweetest.


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