Getting Back into the Groove

I’m sure you noticed that I have been spending a lot of time on breakfast recently.  Now that I have added some variety to my breakfasts, I am moving back to my goal of spicing up lunch.  I feel like after my vacation, it took me some time to get back into my healthy eating and exercise groove.  But now that I am in full-on training mode, I am also back in the kitchen preparing my weekly meals. 

I made a new friend on my way home from Florida a few weeks ago.  And no it is not my typical style to pick up friends on airplanes.  But as chance has it, we have a lot in common.  She shared with me this fabulous recipe and so I made it for lunch this week.

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad

Recipe by my new friend LS

I made a few minor adjustments in measurements written in next to the original recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa*

1 medium size sweet potato*

1 tangerine or ½ orange

¼ cup craisins

¼ cup sliced green or red onion

¼ cup sliced almonds (I omitted these)

*use vegetable or chicken stock for boiling, if desired

Dressing:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I used half as much=2 Tbsp)

3 T. orange juice (I used 1/4 cup)

2 t. lemon juice

¼ t. crushed fresh garlic

½ t. fresh mint, sliced fine (I didn’t have any)

1 ½ t. fresh basil, sliced fine (I used dried because I didn’t have fresh)

1 T. Dijon mustard

Sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Boil sweet potato in stock or water until fork tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare quinoa according package directions using either water or stock.  If using water, add a little salt to the water.  Turn off heat, cover, and set aside when completed.
  3.  Make salad dressing.  Combine all Dressing ingredients in small bowl and mix with hand-held blender on low at first, then increase to medium, until well blended and thick/creamy in appearance, approximately 1 min.  Set aside.
  4. Check sweet potato.  When done boiling, let cool for a minute, then dice and place potato cubes in the salad dressing.  Set aside. 
  5. Peel tangerine/orange, removing any seeds if necessary, and separate the slices.  Cut slices in half to make them bite size. 
  6. Add all remaining ingredients – tangerine/orange slices, craisins, onion, and almond slices – in the quinoa pot.  Pour salad dressing and potato mixture into quinoa.  Stir to combine and coat everything with the dressing.  Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, if necessary.

May be eaten hot or cold, so serve immediately or refrigerate for later!

Initially, I rinsed and drained the quinoa that I bought from the bulk bin at Whole Foods.  I have heard mixed feedback on whether or not this is a necessary step.  So I’m asking you…DO YOU RINSE YOUR QUINOA?  I prepared my quinoa per Terry Walters instructions in her book Clean Food

So check out my new kitchen toy!!!  It is a citrus juicer and I love it.  I can get so much more juice out of my lemon and limes and it is easy to wash.

I baked my sweet potato in the oven and then diced and added to the dressing.

I cut up an orange and combined it with green onions and dried cranberries.  I omitted the almonds this time around (I didn’t feel like chopping them).

Add the cooked quinoa and dressing with sweet potato.  Stir to coat and ENJOY!

This salad is AMAZING!  It looks and tastes just like something you’d find at the Whole Foods salad bar (only better)!  Maybe I should make a habit of picking up new friends at the airport!

2 thoughts on “Getting Back into the Groove

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