Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potato and Baby Spinach

I'm always on the look out for new ways of cooking quinoa. This is a lovely warm salad and the pumpkin seeds give it a lovely crunch and the raisins a dimension. I adapted this recipe from one I found on food52. It uses butternut instead of sweet potato and is equally yummy. Our vegetarian friend enjoyed it, so it's 3rd party approved.


1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
500grams sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, dice
1/2 brown onion diced small
1 and 3/4 cups vegetable stock
pinch of salt
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 handfuls baby spinach
1/2 cup raisins 
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

  1. Put the quinoa in a bowl and cover it with cool water. Rub it between your hands and pour off most of the water. Add fresh water and repeat two or three times, until the water runs clear. Drain thoroughly in a fine-meshed strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl until you are ready to cook the quinoa.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large  pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the sweet potato and carrot and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the quinoa, stock and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, set a small plate next to the stove. Pour a few drops (about 1/2 teaspoon) of olive oil into a small skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the pumpkin seeds. Stir and shake the pan until the pumpkin seeds turn from green to olive to slightly golden brown. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and immediately scrape them onto the awaiting plate.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and add the spinach, pumpkin seeds and raisins. Cover the pot and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Mix and fluff up the grains with a fork. 

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