15 August 2017

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Food, recipes

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The most filling, healthy salad ever!

For my girlfriend Daphne’s birthday, I agreed to set up a dinner for everyone involved. I made the cake, salad, and chicken. Thankfully, everyone loved the salad I made.

Between the sweet potato, quinoa, and peanut dressing the salad was surprisingly quite filling.. and beyond delicious!

I was surprised at how successful it really turned out. However many times when I cook sweet potatoes it seems I cannot fully get them crunchy. Yet, this time I was able to master the crunch.

I find that the crunch in the sweet potato is really important in this recipe.

If they become too soft, when mixing the salad together the sweet potato will break apart and create a ‘mushy’ texture to the salad.

If you’re someone who is picky when it comes to textures, this would be a for sure deal breaker.

 

Sweet potato quinoa salad


Now for the quinoa.

When first starting to cook quinoa, it can take forever before mastering it.

In university, I would usually end up not putting enough water in the pot and the bottom of my quinoa would burn. Where the top of my quinoa wouldn’t be cooked enough.

Or even worse, I used to open the lid because my poor curious self, needed to check up on how the quinoa was doing.

If there is one thing I can tell you when it comes to quinoa, do not open the lid!

Unless you see flames of glory coming out of that pot and your kitchen is in flames, do not open it!

The best way to cook quinoa is by leaving the lid shut and letting the heat and steam fully cook the quinoa to perfection.

 

Close up of the salad.

The way I cook my quinoa to perfection is like so.

First off, I’m a busy girl and don’t have time to cook 1/8 cup of (uncooked) quinoa every day.

Thus, I always make sure to cook at least a cup of quinoa and store it properly to have later.

Makes life a lot easier.

Secondly, I always measure my quinoa to water ratio. It’s a 2 to 1 ratio: 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa.

I don’t care how professional you think you are if you want the good quinoa, measure it out.

Then it is important to wash it out before placing it in the pot.

Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin. If you don’t rinse it off your quinoa, it could give it a soapy, bitter taste.

Boxed quinoa is usually pre-rinsed. But, to be on the safe side I always give it a rinse in a fine-mesh strainer.

Optional. Put a little coconut oil in a pan with the quinoa and cook for a minute. 

Thirdly, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Once boiled, bring heat to low and leave for 15 minutes. Like I said, don’t open it.

Lastly, leave the top covered and let stand for 5 minutes. Again, do not peak.

This is the best way to cook your quinoa in general but especially for this salad!

 

Another option for the dried cranberries if you’re not a fan is changing them for regular cranberries or raisins. I personally love the dried cranberries and find them perfect for this combination.

 


Will this salad work with other varieties of lettuce?

Absolutely!

I am a huge fan of kale and believe it can be thrown into almost any recipe.It’s healthy, delicious and would taste amazing in this salad combination.

I personally would not put any iceberg lettuce in this recipe. It is pretty much water and I reckon would taste odd with the sweet potato.

If you want to add a little romaine, let me know how it tastes! Other than that, I do believe this recipe can be easily interchanged.

 


The dressing is also to-die-for.

On its own, I tasted it and was so hesitant to use it.

I’m not sure if it’s me but whenever I have sesame oil in a dressing I usually find it to give a strong taste. My friend convinced me to throw the dressing in with the salad since I had worked so hard and to just give it a try.

Once paired with the sweet potato and quinoa, it was absolutely to die for. I always choose tamari vs soy sauce.. and here’s why.


Benefits of Tamari vs. Soy sauce:

  • Less salt in Tamari sauce
  • Rich in minerals 
  • Helps in the digestion of fruits and vegetables 
  • Abundance of amino acids 
  • Source of B3, protein, manganese, tryptophan 
  • Tamari contains barely any wheat

 

If you’re looking for a healthy salad choice that’s going to fill you up. This is definitely the salad for you.

A lot of people think that because they’re eating a salad, they’ve made a healthy choice.

Yet, salads like ‘taco salads’ or ‘Caesar salads’ are unbelievably unhealthy and can be the equivalent to a burger.

This recipe I have created is great because the dressing contains a sufficient amount of protein, while the salad itself is filled with good carbs and seeds.

Quinoa is a power food and when incorporating it into a salad, you are bound to feel full afterward’s. It’s always difficult to find a salad that’s going to fill you up. Though I did pair this salad with chicken (which that recipe will be posted in the next couple of weeks) it is a filling healthy recipe to go for. 

Another benefit of this salad is it is great and easy to make for parties. If you’re off to an event and you’re looking for a delicious salad combination that’s original and going to give off the vibe you’ve put a lot of effort into your food, this is a great salad for that.

The appearance of this salad is very appealing and would bring attention to any room. So when looking for something somewhat easy to cook up and show off, this is the perfect salad for that. 

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and have decided to make up this salad. Please give this post a share and let me know what you think. Whether it’s the salad you’ve made or the post you’d like to comment on, please leave me a message down below or on my contact page. 

Thanks for visiting my site.

Much love,
XX Annie.

 

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