A Week of Salads, Part 4: Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

My new favourite cookbook is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food. It is basically vegetable porn because I just can’t stop reading it. I will sit on the couch with it and read the book imagining all of the wonderful things that I’m going to make. Basically if you have any kind of vegetable in the house, you will be able to find a delicious recipe in the cookbook to use. I have made quite a few recipes from the book with a variety of different vegetables, and they have all tasted really good. I highly recommend it whether you are vegetarian, or if you are like us and just want to eat more vegetables.

This Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad is featured in Mark Bittman’s book and adds a new quinoa recipe to my repertoire, which is very welcome since I only had 2 quinoa recipes that I make, and I just happen to have a 9 lb + bag of quinoa in the pantry from when the bulk bin at Whole Foods went a little crazy and I was too embarrassed to put back the bulging sack of quinoa. This salad recipe feeds 4 people at 88 cents per serving, and is the perfect meal to make ahead for lunch on the go.

Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, or 1 cup raw
1 lb of sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 avocado
1/4 teaspoon chipotle flakes or pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves

If you don’t have cooked quinoa already, put 1 cup of raw quinoa in a saucepan and cover the grains with an inch or so of water. Put it on to boil and once it does, let the quinoa simmer until it is cooked. You can add more water if it needs some, or drain the quinoa if there is any water that hasn’t boiled off once it is cooked.

Peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces. Cook the sweet potato in boiling salted water until tender, around 15 minutes, and then drain it well.

Toss together the sweet potato, quinoa, bell pepper, chipotle, avocado, and onion, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk the oil and fresh lime juice together and toss the salad with half of the mixture, then taste and add more dressing as needed. I squeezed in a touch of honey into the dressing to accent the sweet potatoes with fabulous results. Season the salad and garnish with cilantro.

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