I finally broke down and bought a spiral slicer. I got the GEFU Spirelli and after making this dish two ways – once with my speed peeler and once with the spiralizer, I’ve got to say I’m digging the spiralizer. It feels a lot less dangerous in my hands, and while there is some waste – it’s pretty much on-par with the speed peel method (at least for me – I’m kind of a sharp object hazard).
This dish is satisfying on many levels – the pesto is great, the noodles (when spiralized carefully) can just about be twirled, and the chicken lends a great fattiness to the dish that really brings it all together. A knockout weeknight meal.
These sweet potato noodles can also be used a thousand different ways – I see them becoming a staple in this household; maybe yours, too. Serve with bacon, garlic & sauteed spinach; with a bright popped tomato sauce; alongside mini-meatballs; carbonara-style; with briny olives and creamy goat cheese; with sliced steak and chimichurri … and that’s just off the top of my head.
Paleo, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Whole30
Kale Pesto & Chicken Sweet Potato Noodle “Pasta”
Adapted from Gourmande In the Kitchen’s Sweet Potato Noodles with Kale Pesto
1 longer than it is fat sweet potato per person
2-3 chicken thighs per person (I prefer boneless/skinless)
2 big hands chopped kale (I used half a 10 ounce bag of Trader Joe’s organic cut kale)
Big hand full almonds
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Big pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch kosher salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Red Boat fish sauce
Coconut or olive oil for cooking
Salt & pepper
Extra Virgin olive oil to serve
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan to serve (completely optional)
First, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When the water is boiling, add your kale and blanch 2 minutes. Drain and let sit in the drainer while you prep everything else.
Next, get your chicken working. If you’re using boneless/skinless, chop into roughly bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Put into a large pan with 1-2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil. Sautee over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through. Set aside when done.
While the chicken is cooking away, prep your sweet potatoes. Wash and peel and either shave with your vegetable peeler into ribbons or use a spiralizer for long curly strands. Set aside until the chicken is finished. When the chicken is done, add the sweet potato noodles to the leftover fat in the pan – adding a little more coconut or olive oil if needed (you want 2-3 Tbsp. here). Sautee 3-5 minutes, or until the noodles are softened and just beginning to brown.
On to the pesto. Toast your almonds in a dry pan and add to the bowl of a food processor when done, along with the garlic, parsley, drained kale, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, fish sauce and salt. Blitz to combine, adding the oil in a steady drizzle as you go. If the mixture is too dry, add a Tablespoon or so water.
To serve, add the chicken and some pesto (2-3 Tbsp. per person) to the sweet potato pan and toss (gently!) to combine. Serve sprinkled with a nice stout cheese if you eat cheese (Pecorino Romano and Parmesan make good serving buddies) and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Serves 2 if you use 2 potatoes & 6 small chicken thighs – with enough pesto leftover for 3-4 more servings. Could easily serve 4-6 with enough sweet potato noodles & chicken.