Call me a bandwagon cook, but I have been all about quinoa lately. The possible combinations for add-ins to make a quick dinner are endless, it makes great leftovers, and it's super healthy. I'm also obviously a big fan of Mexican food, so I decided to make a Mexican-ish quinoa. This version uses the popular combo of sweet potatoes and black beans, with some red onion, cilantro, feta, and avocado mixed in. I tossed it with a cumin-lime dressing, and we all really really loved it. Joey specifically told me as we sat down for dinner that he had a big lunch, and was glad we were having a lighter dinner. He then proceeded to eat seconds. Caroline had seconds, I had seconds... and then thirds while I stood over the serving bowl eating spoonfuls as I cleaned the kitchen... it was a hit all around. The slight sweetness of the sweet potatoes goes really well with the smoky-spiced dressing and the cool avocado and feta cheese.
The sweet potatoes are cubed and tossed in chile powder, salt, and pepper, and roasted in the oven. As they roast, the quinoa is cooked, and you can prep the rest of the ingredients - drain and rinse the black beans, chop the rest of the veggies, and mix up the dressing. By the time the sweet potatoes are done, the salad is ready to be mixed up and served. It's easy, it's healthy, and it's very family friendly. And as a bonus, the leftovers make for a perfect lunch!
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quinoa with Cumin-Lime Dressing
a Pink Parsley Original
- 1 med-large sweet potato
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chile powder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- zest of 1/2 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp chile powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- pinch of cayenne
- 2 Tbs canola oil
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2-3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1-inch cubes (you want about 2 1/2-3 cups of chopped sweet potato. Toss with the oil, salt and pepper, and chile powder and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until they are lightly browned and tender.
Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and broth to a boil in a a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
As the quinoa and sweet potatoes cook, mix up the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, garlic, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, and oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Add the quinoa to the bowl with the dressing and stir well to combine. Lightly stir in the cooked potatoes, red onion, cilantro, black beans, and feta. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. When ready to serve, top each serving with avocado.