While I really, REALLY enjoy participating in the monthly Burwell General Store recipe swap, this month’s recipe left me feeling a bit at a loss.

I did not just read a recipe that had both Jell-o, cottage cheese AND onions, in the same dish.  Did I?

Why yes, yes I did.

Ok, I’ll eat just about anything, so while this combination may send some of you running to the bathroom, I can actually see how it wouldn’t be terrible, in fact, it might actually taste good. But for Lent I gave up both dessert (refined sugar mainly) and dairy.  So yaaaaaa, this so called ‘salad’ just wasn’t going to happen.  But something needed to happen, that’s the whole point of participating in the swap after all, to make something!

I was standing in my kitchen with my eyes scanning back and forth between the cabinets, produce basket and refrigerator, trying to find inspiration. My eyes kept coming back to the sweet potatoes sitting in a basket on the counter. I’m a tactile person and have to touch everything, so I grabbed a sweet potato and held it in my hand. I was immediately reminded of a sweet potato salad my friend made me last year that I fell in LOVE with.

That’s it, I’ll make a combination of the Jell-o salad and the sweet potato salad, perfect! The point of the recipe swap is to change a few of the ingredients and the cooking method of the original recipe to call the recipe your own. And I’m pleased to say I accomplished this task, and I’d even go as far to say I NAILED it!

Last weekend we had a fun afternoon of hanging out with some friends and grilling burgers. I made this salad as a side dish and my friend said, “I don’t know what it is about this salad, but I can’t stop eating it, it’s just GOOD!” Of course this is like music to my ears.

With spring here and summer right around the corner, I have a feeling I’m going to be making this salad A LOT to compliment all of my husband’s grilled masterpieces!

Sweet Potato and Avocado Salad

Yield: 6 servings


  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion (red would add more color, but I only had white)
  • 4 stalks (about 1 cup) chopped celery
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • optional: use extra avocados to serve the salad in.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bite size cubes. Toss with olive oil and lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Bake for about 30 minutes, toss half way through. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

While the sweet potatoes are cooling, chop the rest of the salad ingredients and make the dressing.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour the dressing over them. Mix the dressing and salad, and serve.

*Use as much or as little dressing as you like. The dressing makes more then enough for the salad.


I like to make the salad a day in advance so the sweet potatoes and veggies have a chance to absorb the dressing. It gives it lots of flavor.

Add a handful of chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro to give the salad extra color and flavor.

This salad is great to served on top of mixed greens to make it a meal in itself or serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken, steak, or hamburgers.


This is my 2nd post of ‘green week’ week, to celebrate St. Patrick’s day with naturally colored greens foods.  I kicked off the week with pesto pasta salad, did you see it?

* * * Update* * * May 2012: Come join The Salad Social at TidyMom sponsored by The International Olive Council’s Add Some Life.