People ask me all the time, what is your favorite quinoa recipe? Many times, the honest answer is however I cooked it last. It was awesome, it’s still fresh in my mind, and that’s about as far as I get.
In keeping with that tradition, I would like to share my new favorite recipe – Sweet Potato Salad with Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette. I got the idea for this salad from Quinoa, Apple, & Goji Berry Salad on the Savoring the Thyme blog. I knew that vinaigrette was a keeper recipe as soon as I read it.
This salad on Savoring the Thyme is part of December 2010′s Kitchen Play, a monthly contest where six bloggers each create a different course using a sponsor’s products. This month’s sponsor is MySpiceSage.com, hence the lovely Honey-Curry Vinaigrette Jennifer created with a variety of spices and the exotic Goji Berries in the salad.
The Kitchen Play contest allows me to play along and compete for a $100 prize by recreating a recipe on this month’s menu. I was already sold on the vinaigrette, so it was an easy choice to make this salad. If you are a foodblogger, be sure to visit the Kitchen Play site and read the rules to their latest contest if you would like to compete.
You might also want to check out the spices at MySpiceSage.com. They have a beautiful array of bulk spices and specialty ingredients that are tempting me. Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood is still top on my Christmas wish list, but second on my list now is a gift certificate to MySpiceSage.com. I would have a blast picking out new spices and chilies and other ingredients I read about but never find at my local supermarket.
I didn’t have Goji Berries, but I still had (still have, in fact) some granddaddy sweet potatoes to use up, and I knew they would be just as colorful in the salad. I also had some broccoli and cilantro. I had half a lemon that I am pleased I squeezed into the dressing because my son mentioned he liked it. I added cayenne pepper to the dressing because I love it in everything.
Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
4 cups cubed sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp ginger
dash of salt
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water or broth
dash of salt
1 stalk of broccoli
1 medium granny smith apple cut in small wedge/dice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
about 1 cup
1/2 cup canola oil
4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium clove of garlic, pressed or minced
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
I started by cubing a large sweet potato which yielded about 4 cups. I put the sweet potatoes in a pan covered with about an inch of water and added the ginger and a little salt. I brought them to a boil and turned down the heat and simmered them about 20 minutes until soft enough to pierce with a fork.
When I drained the sweet potatoes, I kept the water to use as broth for the quinoa and put the sweet potatoes aside. I like the golden color sweet potato broth gives quinoa, and I wanted to give the sweet potatoes some time to cool before I added them to the salad. If you are pressed for time, you could cook the quinoa using fresh water or another broth while the sweet potatoes are cooking.
To cook the quinoa, I brought 1 1/2 cups of the reserved sweet potato water to a boil and added the quinoa and another dash of salt. I reduced the heat, covered the quinoa, and set a timer for 15 minutes. I diced the thick stalks of the broccoli and then cut the florets into bite sized pieces. After 5 minutes had passed, I stirred the diced stalks of broccoli into the quinoa and 5 minutes after that, I added the broccoli florets to the quinoa.
When the quinoa and broccoli were finished, I removed them from heat, fluffed with a fork, and transferred to a cool bowl.
I mixed up the Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette which is pretty simple – just measure all the ingredients and whisk them together.
I made the dressing before I chopped the apple so I could toss the apple pieces in a couple of tablespoons of the vinaigrette to keep the cut sides from turning brown. Then I chopped up the cilantro. You could use another fresh herb like parsley or mint if you prefer.
All that was left was to mix the quinoa, potatoes, apples, cilantro, and vinaigrette together. I used the whole cup of vinaigrette on this salad. You may not want to use all of it depending on your taste and the volume of vegetables you use.
You can serve this salad as is, or you can refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight to let the flavors come together. If you are keeping it overnight, you might want to reserve some of the dressing to pour on just before serving.
Two of us wolfed most of this down the first night, and then we had modest servings for lunch the following day. If there are only two of you and you are trying to eat less, you might want to cut this recipe in half so there isn’t so much to tempt you to overdo.
What do you think? Is this a recipe your family would enjoy? Do you have a recommendation for cooking quinoa? Feel free to comment below.
This is one of my very favorite recipes included in my free e-book, Keenonquinoa’s Favorite Quinoa Recipes. Download your copy today for an easy to print version of this recipe.
You may also follow @keenonquinoa on Twitter.