Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Barley, Dried Cranberries, and Smoked Tofu

sweet potato kale salad with smoked tofu

Roasted sweet potatoes, kale, cooked hulled barley, smoked tofu, and dried cranberries, with an olive oil/apple cider vinegar dressing. If that doesn’t sound like the supper equivalent of wrapping yourself in a plaid blanket and watching the leaves change, I don’t know what would.

This salad is easy, comes together quickly, makes a bunch, lasts a while, and tastes really good. It packs nicely in a lunch or re-heats well for a supper. It’s a perfect recipe to have in your arsenal for those occasions you need something delicious that will cover you for the week ahead, and you want your choice to be guaranteed delicious. Like reading an old favourite book, this grain salad will not disappoint.

sweet potato and kale salad with smoked tofu2

This recipe is based on a recipe I came across in a copy of Alive magazine, sometime in yesteryear. Some recipes just jump out at me as ones I would very much like to make, and the original recipe was no exception. You’ll see that the original recipe calls for a great many more things that my pared down version – with time and repeated iterations, my version has become its own creation.

I love this dish too because it strikes the right balance of protein, vegetables, and long-lasting carbs. When I have this for lunch, I can avoid the mid-afternoon slump and just power on through. When you work in an office, this kind of lunch is a god-send, because falling asleep at your computer is generally frowned upon the workplace (or so I’ve been told).

But before we conclude and get to the recipe itself, let’s take a moment to talk about smoked tofu. I’m able to find organic smoked tofu at my local Metro grocery store, and I used to be able to buy it at my local independent grocer in Toronto. That being said, I don’t think it is the MOST available form of tofu, so if you can’t find it, I would recommend substituting chickpeas. God bless it, but regular tofu just does not cut it here.

sweet potato and kale salad with barley and dried cranberries

Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Barley, Dried Cranberries, and Smoked Tofu

  • Author: Emily Joldersma, R.H.N. (view the recipe that was the inspiration for my version: Oat and Sweet Potato Salad):
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, option for gluten-free, high fibre


  • 3 large sweet potatoes, diced (unpeeled if organic; peeled if not organic)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup hulled barley
  • 2 cups chopped kale (which is probably 4 to 6 big leaves)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 pkg (about 210g) organic smoked tofu, diced into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • for seasoning: ground black pepper, smoked paprika, additional sea salt (if required)


  1. Cook barley: bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and add barley. Cook for about 25 minutes or until water is fully or almost absorbed and barley is soft and chewy.
  2. Roast sweet potatoes: preheat oven to 425 F. Toss diced sweet potatoes with olive oil and sea salt, and roast until tender and slightly crisped, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. Prepare salad: in a large bowl, stir together cooked barley, dried cranberries, chopped kale, smoked tofu, and still warm sweet potatoes
  4. In a glass bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. Toss over salad ingredients, and finish with black pepper and smoked paprika, if desired.
  5. Enjoy! Note that this salad keeps well in the fridge, but is best served warmed.

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly

8 responses to “Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Barley, Dried Cranberries, and Smoked Tofu”

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