This Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad is not only packed with nutrition, but it is also one of the most beautiful salads you could serve! Make this Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad for company or keep it to yourself for a light vegan dinner.
It is hard for me to believe that we are mid-way through March.
I always like to step back when we hit this time of year and take stock of how my year is going. There is something about the start of spring that really motivates me.
I didn’t set any huge “New Year’s resolutions” back in January, but I do have some pretty specific goals I would like to accomplish before the year is out.
The biggest and the one I’ve made a lot of progress with the last couple of weeks is cleaning up my diet.
I got really off track in the back half of last year, and it continued into the New Year with theme park visits, birthday celebrations and company.
It happens to all of us.
Last year was a challenging year, and I have a terrible habit of “eating my emotions”.
This year has been full of celebrations, and you only live once, right?
I think that it is important that wherever you are in your journey, you accept it and don’t beat yourself up.
I ate a lot of junk.
I stopped working out.
And now I have weight to lose.
As a healthy food blogger, I’m not proud of where I am at, but beating myself up isn’t going to accomplish anything other than making me feel worse.
So instead, I’ve dusted myself off, stepped away from the cheesy pasta and wine and made a commitment to do better.
I’ve been cooking like crazy, and you know what? I’m enjoying food more than I have in a very long time!
Today, let’s talk salad! This Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate is one that will not leave you feeling deprived.
It does require a little prep work, but it is easy I PROMISE!
All you do is chop up your sweet potatoes and get them roasting in the oven.
While they are baking, combine the quinoa, oil and water and crisp up your quinoa. If you’ve tried to make crispy quinoa before and failed, give this method a shot. It is the best I’ve tried!
Chop your apple and measure your pomegranates and walnuts.
And make your dressing.
Speaking of dressing, f you are someone who doesn’t like to make salads at home, one thing I would suggest is to ditch the bottled dressings. Most of them are bland, and many have much more sugar that I want.
A flavor-full dressing goes a long way towards making a salad enjoyable! (And one reason I love quinoa salad is that it does such a great job of soaking up the flavors from dressing.)
Making your dressings means you control the ingredients, and it allows you to tailor them to your taste and make sure only the good stuff is in there. (Here is a list of 50 Salad Dressing Recipes from Food Network.)
Recommended Tools to Make this Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad:
If you love roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate seeds, you are going to adore this Sweet Potato, Pomegranate & Crispy Quinoa Salad. It is a delicious and healthy salad that is perfect for company.
- Sweet Potatoes
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 small green apple diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 5 ounces Baby Spinach
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup walnuts toasted
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespooon sweetener of choice.
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer, and roast for 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet combine quinoa, olive oil, 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 10 to 16 minutes. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
- Make the dressing by combining balsamic vinegar, sweetener, Dijon mustard, garlic, sea salt and cayenne pepper in a blender. Add oil in a steady stream and process until emulsified.
- Toss apple and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl combine spinach, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and apple. Add roasted sweet potatoes, crispy quinoa and toss with the desired amount of dressing.
Tips & Variations for this Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad:
- Please note that zero calorie sweetener is used in the nutritional calculation.
- If you want to crisp the quinoa ahead of time, keep it in a glass jar at room temperature.
- In place of the pomegranate use dried cranberries. (I do this all the time since finding fresh pomegranate can be hit or miss.) . Dried chopped figs are also nice.
- If you don't feel like making this with crispy quinoa, don't sweat it! This Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad is great with cooked quinoa.
- In place of walnuts try pumpkin seeds or chopped hazelnuts.
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