This tasty SWEET POTATO AND APPLE QUINOA SALAD is full of flavor and makes the perfect vegetarian side dish for dinner or holidays!
The days are getting shorter, the air a bit cooler, and time to start thinking of some fall-ish type recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer and have enjoyed all the grilling out we’ve done but I do think I’m ready to make the “recipe switch.” Do you do the same with switching out your recipes (summer, fall, winter, and spring)?
During the summer months, our menu is full of quickly made recipes like grilling and simple side dishes. Maybe corn on the cob, grilled veggies, and fresh cut-up fruit. I don’t like fussing too much when I can be outside enjoying the weather. Keeping it simple folks! Now I’m ready to switch gears and comfort food comes to mind. That is where this quinoa salad comes in. Roasted sweet potatoes, apples, crannies, and pecans are so good together and with the addition of quinoa and a maple vinaigrette, you have a hearty dish and one that is lighter on the calories too.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – well maybe two! First I cooked the quinoa in apple cider which is a great way for the apple flavor to be carried through the entire dish. Then about one minute or two before the quinoa is done, I throw in the crannies. This really plumps them up and is especially great if your dried cranberries have seen better days! (Mine had!) What I also like about this dish is that it can be served warm, room temperature, or even cold the next day. While I did not use any “greens”, a scoop of this salad would be delicious mixed in with some arugula or other green salad mix. I love it when one dish can be served another way.
Love the Maple Vinaigrette!
- 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced into cubes about 1/4"
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 granny smith apple cored and diced into cubes about 1/2"
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups apple cider or juice
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- ½ cup chopped roasted pecans
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread out onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes until lightly brown and soft.
- Meanwhile prepare quinoa (rinse well) then place cider and quinoa into a medium saucepan; bring to boil; turn to simmer then cook about 15 minutes until done (toss in your cranberries near the end of the cooking time)
- In a medium bowl add the slightly cooled quinoa, cranberries, sweet potatoes, apples, red onion and toss well.
- In a small food processor combine the maple syrup, shallot, dijon mustard, vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add in the olive oil and mix well.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss.
- Top with the roasted pecans