Another name for this recipe is Search Engine Optimization Salad because it’s January and we’re all feeling fat, hello. While warm, hearty, and high in micronutrients, this colourful meal is a nice break from all that meat and cheese I’ve been eating until today. Roasting the sweet potato and beets gives great flavour and the roasted kale (which are essentially kale chips) are nice and crunchy.
Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Kale, Sweet Potato, & Beets
Inspired by everything. This recipe combines multiple common techniques.
Serves: 4 generously
Time: 1 1/2 hours
- 2 cup quinoa
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 dash + 1 dash + 1 dash salt
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled & diced
(I can only get them large around here)
- 5 beets, peeled & diced
- 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated but skin kept on
- 6-8 stalks of kale, midribs removed & leafy parts torn
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
For garnish (suggestions):
- sunflower seeds (shelled)
- pumpkin seeds (shelled)
- pine nuts (if you’re a millionaire)
- Rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer. Then put it in a pot with 3 cups of water. Let come to a boil over medium heat, then turn heat down to medium-low. Cook until quinoa is soft and all liquid is absorbed, usually 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork to loosen the quinoa after cooking then set it aside.
Here is an interesting read on the toll that quinoa’s popularity is taking on the world.
- Make sure two racks are ready in the oven to accommodate two pans/dishes as follows. Preheat oven to 400 °F / 200 °C.
- In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato with 1 Tbsp oil, 1 dash salt, and pepper (to taste) until well-coated. Then add to a roasting pan or casserole dish.
- In the same bowl used for the sweet potato, toss the beets with 1 tsp oil, 1 dash salt, and pepper (to taste) until well-coated. Then add to the roasting pan. Doing this in two steps merely prevents premature staining of the sweet potato with beet juice.
That sweet potato was way too big but I wanted to cook it all at once. To do this properly, don’t crowd the dish like I have here.
- Place the pan of sweet potato and beets into the oven on one rack. Let roast for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile in another bowl (or the same bowl, but cleaned), toss the kale with 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp salt, and pepper (to taste) until well-coated. Place kale in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
This is much better.
- When the 20 minutes have passed, place the kale into the oven on the free rack. Let both pans roast for (another) 20 minutes.
- Whisk together a quick dressing using 1/2 cup olive oil, red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. You’ll need to re-stir each time you pour/dispense.
- If you are using them, toast the seeds/nuts in a pan on medium heat (without oil), stirring frequently for a few minutes until golden brown.
Somebody gave me raw trail mix last month so I only used some of the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Turn off the oven and remove both pans. Discard the garlic cloves (or eat some if you’re crazy like me. They’re tasty but have not been given enough time to mellow out as with full-on roasted garlic.)
- I prefer that the ingredients in this recipe be assembled into individual portions, rather than in one large dish for the table. Spoon on some quinoa first, then the warm vegetables, then the dressing. Top with toasted seeds/nuts.