Another weekend here and gone. With Mairead and I holding down the fort, the last 5 weeks have been a blur! But with unseasonably warm weather I was able to enjoy some of the perks of fall this weekend, like lots of outdoor play with Mai and this delicious fall salad.
The ONLY good thing about Aaron working away for so long is I’m eating so healthy. I still cook healthy when he is home but there is often more consumption of bacon and beer when he’s in the house. And probably some cupcakes thrown in for good measure.
Now, I hate to brag, but I’m kind of infamous for my salads. I like a full salad but the iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber combo drowning in ranch dressing (siiiiick) would never make the cut in my kitchen. This weekend Mairead and I were gorging on this delicious roasted sweet potato and quinoa salad with maple dressing. I could have eaten this for breakfast, lunch and dinner it was so good.
Okay, I can hear the pitter patter of little feet upstairs and it is waaaay past bedtime. I’m out. Enjoy this one folks!
Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad with Maple Dressing
4 cups baby kale
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup goat cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine kale, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and a dash of salt in a bowl. Massage the kale for about a minute and refrigerate while preparing the remaining ingredients.
*This method tenderizes the kale and takes some of the bitterness out of the flavor.
Cook quinoa by adding 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
In a baking dish, toss sweet potato with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until potatoes are tender and slightly caramelized, about 20-25 minutes, flipping half way through.
Once potatoes are cooked, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a separate baking dish spread walnuts in a single layer and toast for about 7-8 minutes.
To assemble the salad, prepare the plate(s) with a bed of the prepared kale. Layer with quinoa, sweet potato, walnuts, dried cranberries and goat cheese. Drizzle with maple dressing. Enjoy!
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper