This healthy Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with cranberries, pepitas and maple dressing is filled with complete protein, antioxidants and makes a delicious vegan main or side dish - warm or cold. This recipe is from the cookbook Rush Hour Meals and is quickly prepared like every single recipe in the book.
Dinner time is kind of a scramble at our house most days of the week. I know, I should get more organized and start a slow cooker meal in the morning so that we can sit down to a ready cooked meal for supper.
Unfortunately, most days 5 o'clock comes around before I start thinking about dinner. Which doesn't leave me with a lot of time before me or other members of my family start feeling the first hangry pangs (totally a thing).
Of course, I could just cook some simple quick pasta on those night (read: most nights) but I also want to make sure my family eats healthy and gets wholesome nutrition at dinner time.
Rose Reisman wrote Rush Hour Meals: Recipes for the Entire Family exactly for those busy weekdays when cooking dinner has to be quick but should still offer nutritious value.
Most of the recipes in this book can be prepared in half an hour or less. All of them include nutritional information, clear labels for dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian recipes and even suggestions for making them kid-friendly.
Paging through the book right after arriving back home in Canada from Vietnam, I was really drawn to the quinoa recipes. This nutrition packed ancient grain, which is also a complete protein, isn't easily accessible in Asia.
I was definitely craving some quinoa and I realized I had never made a salad with it. So I decided to try out the healthy quinoa salad with sweet potato, cranberry and a maple dressing.
Before even trying it, I fell in love with the colors. Bright orange sweet potato cubes on a bed of fluffy quinoa, with red cranberry highlights and green specks of pepitas, basil and green onion. I love just looking at it!
And no surprise, the sweet potato quinoa salad also tasted absolutely delicious! Right after assembly it is still warm and makes a great main or warm side dish. Only once cooled I think if it more as a salad.
This recipe makes a big portion (for our small family) so we had plenty of leftovers. I actually used the quinoa salad as a fancy filling for my breakfast omelette the next morning.
I thought Olivia would love the sweet potato cubes, but it turned out the cranberries were more her thing. She even picked out a few right from the bowl that I was trying to take pictures of.
TIP: If you have an Instant Pot, try cooking the quinoa in it. I followed this tutorial and the quinoa comes out with the PERFECT texture!
More yummy and filling salad recipes:
Sweet Potato Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Maple Dressing
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1-½ cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- ½ cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- ¼ cup finely sliced green onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves
- ¼ cup unsalted roasted pepitas pumpkin seeds
- Preheat your oven to 425° F (220° C). Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil (I used coconut oil).
- Place the sweet potato cubed in a single layer on the prepared shaking sheet. Roast them for 15 minutes or until just tender.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the quinoa and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is light and fluffy and the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Transfer cooked quinoa to a serving bowl. Add the roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, green onions, cilantro, pepitas, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil and lemon juice. Add to the quinoa salad and toss until well coated.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of “Rose Reisman's Rush Hour Meals: Recipes for the Entire Family" from Whitecap Books. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
You can enhance quinoa's flavor by cooking it in vegetable or chicken broth instead of water. Season it with herbs, spices, or a drizzle of olive oil to add more depth and taste.
Quinoa pairs well with various ingredients such as vegetables, proteins like chicken or fish, and legumes. You can create salads, bowls, or side dishes with quinoa as a nutritious and versatile base.
Quinoa salad can be enjoyed either hot or cold, depending on your preference. Some people prefer it warm, freshly prepared, while others enjoy it chilled after it has been refrigerated.
The calorie count of a sweet potato quinoa bowl can vary based on the ingredients and portion size. However, a typical sweet potato quinoa bowl may contain around 300-400 calories, depending on the specific recipe and ingredients used.