I’ve been experimenting with warm, winter salads and this roasted sweet potato and quinoa salad has been my favorite so far. Roasted sweet potatoes are tossed with warm, nutty quinoa. Add some peppery arugula, crunchy pecans and salty feta and you’ve got a warm, substantial and filling winter salad.
I started out by experimenting with butternut squash, but butternut squash is difficult to work with. Because I’m all about easy recipes, I decided that sweet potatoes would be a better choice since they are easy to peel and cut up. Bright orange sweet potatoes are a winter superfood – rich in beta carotene (a powerful antioxidant), vitamin C, potassium and calcium.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’m a big quinoa fan and try to include it in my diet whenever I can. It’s a complete protein and has a good dose of fiber and iron. I used white quinoa – it has a nice nutty flavor and cooks up with a light and fluffy texture (vs. the crunchier red variety).
A couple of notes:
- When roasting vegetables they tend to shrink in size, so cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch pieces.
- Spread the sweet potatoes out evenly on the pan before putting them in the oven. If you mound up the sweet potatoes, they will steam rather than roast.
- Even though I’m touting this as a warm salad, it works well cold the next day.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Roasted sweet potato and quinoa salad – a warm, winter salad featuring roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, peppery arugula, crunchy pecans and salty feta.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 to 4
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes – about 1 1/2 pounds
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
- 3/4 cup of quinoa – I used white quinoa
- 1 veggie bouillon cube
- 4 cups of arugula – roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of pecans – roughly chopped
- 2 oz feta cheese – diced into cubes
- 2 tbs minced red onion
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp country dijon mustard
- 8 twists of pepper from a pepper mill
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel the sweet potatoes, cut up sweet potatoes into 1 inch pieces, toss with 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
- Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the sweet potatoes and return to the oven. Cook the sweet potatoes until tender and caramelized.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, cook quinoa as per the package instructions. When done, set aside to cool slightly.
- Wash and roughly chop the arugula, mince the red onion, roughly chop the pecans and dice feta.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Toss roasted sweet potatoes with the warm quinoa and arugula. Add red onion, pecans and feta cheese. Drizzle over dressing and toss gently to combine.