Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes I feel like I deprive my son and husband of beef and pork so I made the suggestion that Marty grill some steaks for dinner last night. He seemed pretty receptive to that idea-I wonder why- and so I went ahead with making a vegetarian cold dish in the afternoon to compliment the steak- 0r should I say, to give me something to eat since I will not eat steak. I've never understood the appeal-sorry meat eaters!

I've made something similar that I really love called Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad (scroll down) and decided to change up the ingredients just a little bit. It was quite tasty with a good bit of protein in the quinoa and the black beans. Lately, I've been keeping sweet potatoes on hand all the time. They are super cheap (I think I got some from Kroger for 37 cents a pound recently) and filled with so much goodness! Not to mention, the sweetness makes them extra special. Oh, and they are paleo friendly, right, Dena and Jason?

1 large sweet potato or 2 small potatoes, diced to about one inch with skin on
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large tomatoes or 4 small tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (unless it's an English cucumber, than only dice it)
a handful of chives, chopped
a handful of  fresh citrus mint (or regular mint), chopped
3 tsp of balsamic vinegar
the juice of one lime
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbs of olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
green leaf lettuce and more lime juice on the lettuce 
1cup dried quinoa (follow directions on box)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Meanwhile, follow directions to cook the quinoa (should be 1 cup to 2 cups of water). 

On a cookie sheet, spread sweet potatoes out and toss in 1 tbs of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Toss and flip them, and continue cooking for 5 or so more minutes. Watch carefully. Because they are diced small and have natural sugar in them, they could burn. Make sure they are cooked all the way through and taste really yummy before removing them from the oven. Let cool.

Once quinoa is finished, spread it out on a platter or some tin foil in order to allow it too cool before adding it to the salad. Don't use parchment paper (I've done that before-big mistake).

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and toss. Then, add the quinoa and sweet potatoes once they are fairly cool. Cover and place in the fridge for about an hour. Serve on a platter of green leaf lettuce, arugula, or any other lettuce of your choice. I added some lime juice to the lettuce as well.

***One more comment about sweet potatoes. Roasting sweet potatoes this way, with some chopped fresh rosemary, is delicious. They can be eaten cold this way as well and easy to transport to work. A great little treat to snack on any time of the day!


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