Healthy, delicious and tasty – my Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad is a great side-dish or main meal.
Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient, and very easy to cook with. Pronounced keen-wah, Quinoa is an ancient crop, originally from the Andes. It is from the seed of a plant, which is related to chard and spinach. It is packed full of protein and is a great alternative to rice or cous-cous.
Having said that, Quinoa can be quite boring when not flavoured appropriately.
That’s where my Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad comes in.
The Sweet Potato is roasted, giving it a delicious caramelised flavour. The Quinoa, once cooked, is mixed with a beautiful dressing of lemon juice and zest, maple syrup and olive oil. Fresh parsley, spring onions and pine nuts add further flavour and freshness to this delicious salad.
It is such an easy dish to prepare and can be made in advance.
If I can offer one piece of advice, it is that I strongly recommend serving the dish at room temperature. Served too cold, and the flavours won’t be as prodominant. If preparing in advance, be sure to remove from the fridge prior to serving, to take the chill off the dish.
Make the Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad your own – you may prefer to add more lemon juice or zest, different fresh herbs, and maybe even protein of your choice (such as poached chicken or feta).
What is your favourite way to enjoy Quinoa? I am currently experimenting with several other recipes, so you’ll see more being featured on the blog soon. Also, be sure to check out my Quinoa Tabouli!
For now, enjoy – and do let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Packed full of flavour, this Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad is simple to make, and even easier to eat! It is vegan, gluten-free, tasty and healthy!
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed well *
- 500 gm sweet potato
- 2 spring onions/scallions finely sliced, white and green part
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts/pinoli
- 2 cup water for cooking the quinoa
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 200 Degrees C (390 F).
Peel and rinse the sweet potato, and chop into half-moon shapes.
Line a sheet pan with baking paper, and put sweet potato on the tray. Toss in oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes.
Remove once cooked and set aside.
Put the quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse well under cold running water, swishing the quinoa with your hand. Drain the quinoa well.
Pour 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the seeds are tender. When they’re cooked you will notice they have little curly “tails”.
(Or follow directions on the packet)
Remove from the heat, place a clean tea towel or 3 layers of paper towel over the saucepan, place the lid back on and stand 5 minutes. The tea towel/paper towel will absorb excess moisture. Place into a bowl and allow to cool.
Mix your dressing up and set aside – check you are happy with the balance of flavours and adjust accordingly.
Finely chop the spring onion and parsley.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, and toss.
Serve in a salad bowl or on a platter.
*It is important to thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Rinsing helps remove the outside coating of the grain, called saponin, which can cause a slightly bitter taste. The saponin is a naturally occurring chemical which is there to deter insects.
*Cooking the quinoa by the absorption method just means that the quinoa will absorb the amount of water used. Make sure the quinoa is well drained after rinsing.
*Adjust the amount of lemon juice and zest to your taste – you may prefer more.
*Serve the dish at room temperature.
*Serves 6 people as a side-dish or 3-4 as a more substantial meal.