Nutrition is an important part of any health and wellness goal!  Any easy way to improve your eating habits is to try new recipes that feature foods with a high nutritional impact!

Quinoa and sweet potatoes are often described as superfoods, a buzzword used for nutrient-rich food.  According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids humans need, as well as magnesium, zinc, iron and folate. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, the Academy says, as well as vitamin A and potassium.

The recipe below, from Chelsea's Messy Apron, combines both into a quick and easy salad! 

Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
4-5 oz. fresh spinach (stems removed and coarsely chopped)
1 large avocado, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Optional: fresh basil, to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, do not use regular mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large lemon (3 tablespoons of juice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and coarsely chop your sweet potatoes. Place on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper (to taste). Toss everything to coat and place in oven. Let roast for 15 minutes and then flip the potatoes and roast for an additional 10 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter saponin coating. In a small sauce pan, combine quinoa with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cover the pan with a lid.

Turn heat all the way to the lowest setting and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the water has completely absorbed in the quinoa.

Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Set aside.

Toss the cooked quinoa and cooked sweet potato in a large bowl. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, prep the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking briefly. Whisk in lemon juice. Pour into a jar and store in fridge while you finish the salad.

Remove the stems and coarsely chop the spinach. Add to the salad along with the chopped avocado and cranberries. Toss everything together. If desire, ribbon some basil and top the salad with fresh basil.

Toss the salad with the desired amount of dressing. Enjoy immediately.

Tip: Do not dress anything you don’t intend to eat that day. This salad is best eaten immediately after being dressed, so if you want leftovers, only toss what you will eat with the dressing. 

Madonna Fit For Work can provide nutrition education with a registered dietitian to help your workforce eat healthier and manage weight.  To learn more, contact us.  

This information is provided for education purposes. Contact your health care provider before starting a new diet or exercise program.