I found Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian at Ollie's a while back and thought, "why not?" I don't pretend to be a vegetarian or even super health conscious, but it's a good book to have for knowing about all meatless food categories and various food preparations. A few weeks ago I made the salad I'm posting today as a lunch for Drew and me, and it is a hit. I have a similar quinoa salad that I occasionally make that contains black beans, avocado, tomato, etc- a real Southwestern flavored dish, but I had never considered sweet potatoes, and they are wonderful here!
I opted to make the Southwestern variation of this recipe because everything is better with avocado, right? The salad takes less than an hour total time- maybe 30 minutes or less if you're efficient in the kitchen, and it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. If you have leftover sweet potato or quinoa, then it's a good fridge cleaner recipe. Even if you don't, this is an affordable, healthy meal full of delicious goodness!
I am posting the recipe as I made it below, which is the Southwestern variation. You can find the original recipe online or in the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian book by Mark Bittman.
Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
from Mark Bittman
1 cup dry quinoa, or 2 1/2 cups cooked
1 lg or 2 med sweet potatoes, about 1 lb. total
1 red bell pepper, core, ribs and seeds removed and diced
1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion
1 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Juice of 1 lime
Chili Powder- 1/4 tsp
If using dry quinoa, cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces. Cook it in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain well.
Toss together the potato, quinoa, bell pepper, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and onion; sprinkle with chili powder, salt and pepper. Whisk the oil and lime juice together and toss the salad with about half of this mixture; add all or some of the rest to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning.