Quinoa Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

 

I think salads have an unfair reputation.

You know what I mean. They are the quintessential “boring” healthy food. Think about it, are people ever really excited to eat a salad? Not many people I know. They eat them because they know they should, but they are never a first choice. I’m determined to change that!

 

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

 

The key to a great salad is, obviously, in the toppings. You need to have a variety of flavors that stand apart from one another, but still taste great together. You must have different textures— something crunchy, something juicy, something creamy. And you definitely need a great dressing. Something simple and light, but will compliment all the flavors in your bowl of greenery.

 

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

 

This Quinoa Arugula Salad gives you a little bit of everything— a little crunch, a little juice, a little bitterness, a little sweetness. I know I’m biased, but I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. The arugula is the perfect base, slightly bitter and light. The roasted sweet potato rounds are tender and sweet, the asparagus crunchy and bright, and the heirloom tomatoes juicy and fresh. Topped with some nutty quinoa and a light red wine vinaigrette… I was in salad heaven! And the word boring never even crossed my mind.

 

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

Quinoa Arugula Salad {vegan, gluten-free}

yield: 2 servings          total time: 40 minutes

ingredients:

for the salad

½ cup of white quinoa, dry
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small sweet potato, cut into rounds
8 asparagus spears, halved
10-12 mini heirloom tomatoes
4 cups of wild arugula
salt and pepper to taste

for the dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
1½ teaspoon of brown mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

directions:

First, prepare your dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar (or other container with a lid). Shake the container until all ingredients are combined and stick in the fridge to chill.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato rounds with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Lay sweet potato onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Halfway through, flip the sweet potato rounds over so they can brown and crisp up on each side.

Meanwhile, boil 1 cup of water and ½ cup of quinoa on the stove. Once it comes to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until quinoa is fluffy and the water is gone.

Cut asparagus spears in half, length wise, and steam for 5-6 minutes on the stove. They are ready when they turn bright green and feel tender when poked with a fork.

As the quinoa and sweet potatoes are still cooking, begin to prepare your salad. Begin by laying a hefty amount of arugula in each bowl (about 2 cups each). Slice mini heirloom tomatoes in half and place in one corner of the bowl. Lay steam asparagus next to the tomatoes. Once the sweet potato rounds are done, place them around the last edge of the bowl, leaving the center open. Finish your salad by spooning half of the quinoa in the center of each bowl. Sprinkle the bowls with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy! 

This recipe makes a good amount of dressing. You WILL have leftovers 🙂 I always make extra dressing so I have leftovers for the week!

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

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