Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
This lively and fresh Sweet Potato-Quinoa Salad combines quinoa with baby spinach, tender roasted sweet potatoes, sweet dried cranberries, and creamy avocado cubes. A tangy lemon vinaigrette dresses this salad.
Servings 4 -6 as a side
- 4 cups (1.3 pounds; 550g) cubed(1/2-inch dice) sweet potatoes (~2 medium/large sweet potatoes)
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup (190g) quinoa (uncooked) + 2 cups water
- 5 cups (4.4 oz.; 125g) fresh baby spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 large avocado, chopped
- 1/3 cup (50g) dried sweetened cranberries
- Optional: 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 4 tablespoons (59g) red wine vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons (26g) Dijon mustard, do not use regular mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon EACH: dried basil, honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced (~1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 cup (108g) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons (47g) juice)
SWEET POTATOES: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Place on a large sheet pan with plenty of room so the veggies can roast (not steam). Drizzle with olive oil and salt + pepper. (Add to taste; I add 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Toss everything to coat, space out the potato cubes, and roast for 15 minutes, and then flip the potatoes and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes or until desired tenderness.
QUINOA: Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve in cold water for about 30 seconds. In a small saucepan, combine rinsed quinoa with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan with a lid. Turn heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until the water has completely absorbed in the quinoa. Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5-10 minutes. After it's finished steaming, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In a hurry? Spread it on a sheet pan and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
DRESSING: Combine all the dressing ingredients and salt and pepper (to taste-- I add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper) into a large Mason jar. Seal and shake until combined. Store in the fridge while you finish the salad. Shake again before dressing the salad. See Note 1.
ASSEMBLY: Remove the stems and coarsely chop the spinach. Toss spinach and completely cooled quinoa together. Add in the cooled sweet potatoes, chopped avocado, and cranberries. If desired, add in the basil.
ENJOY: (Before adding dressing, read note 2.)Toss the salad with the desired amount of dressing. (You'll have some leftover, depending on how dressed you liked your salads. We use about 3/4 of the dressing but add as much as you'd like.) Taste and season once more; I typically add another 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt to the salad. Enjoy immediately.
Note 1: To keep the salad fully vegan, swap out the honey for another liquid sweetener, such as agave.
Note 2: Storage. Only add dressing to the amount of salad you intend to eat that day. This salad is best eaten immediately after being dressed, so if you want leftovers, only add avocado and dressing to the portion that will be eaten immediately. For more storage tips read the last paragraph of the blog post.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 954kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 3089mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 61392IU | Vitamin C: 109mg | Calcium: 416mg | Iron: 13mg