Summer Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

This salad is as tasty and refreshing as it is healthy and nutrient-dense. I've made it several times now for big groups and it's a hit every time. It's easy to prepare in bulk, making it the perfect dish to bring along to your next group bbq or get together. It might be considered a side dish, but make no mistake, it'll be the star of the show. You'll feel like the Regina George of your next pot luck (minus the whole mean girl, getting hit by a bus bit...). It also keeps well in the fridge for several days, so meal prepping it to eat off of throughout the week ain't no thang. Fair warning - though this is super simple to make, you'll want to do most of the prep work a couple hours ahead of time, as this salad is best served chilled.

Ingredients

For the Creamy Cumin Dressing

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (pineapple juice is also dope)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Water to thin

For the Salad

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups spinach (kale also works well)

Method

  1. Make the dressing. Simply put all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time until you get your desired consistency...I usually add about 3 tbsp of water. This will yield about 1 cup of dressing, although you will only need about 1/2 to 3/4 of it for this recipe. Go ahead and save the remainder for another time! It's delicious on just about anything...
  2. First prep your sweet potatoes. After you've peeled and cubed them, toss them in olive oil and roast at 400 for about 20-25 minutes or until softened and fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa. In a pot, add the uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium/low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until the quinoa has puffed up and absorbed all the water.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa and sweet potato to a big serving bowl and let come to room temperature. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  5. When ready to serve, add the onion, corn, black beans, tomatoes and spinach to the sweet potato/quinoa bowl.
  6. Add about 1/2 cup of the dressing to the bowl and toss everything to combine evenly. Taste for flavor and adjust accordingly (add more dressing, add a little salt, etc.).

Servings: 6-8