Fall Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad

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This is it, folks.  Recipe #1!!!  Exciting stuff.

For the very first recipe of this soon-to-be-scrumptious blog, I thought in light of the darkness and chill that has been moving in swiftly with autumn, I would go with something colorful, warm, comforting and delightful.  The zing from the red onions and starchy sweetness of the sweet potatoes balances surprisingly well with the pomegranate seeds.  They add a surge of light, juicy pop to the dish with the most subtle spark of tart.  Trust me.  When you try it all together, the end combination of all flavors involved is a really tasty treat.

The best part?  This recipe is great for you.  And its gluten-free, lactose-free and refined sugar-free.

This cooking and photography session were a tag team effort with my friend, Dali.  He too has a budding blog.  Take a looksie at his work here!

And now without further ado, the recipe:

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Ingredients:

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled, cut into bite-sized cubes

1.5 cup of spinach

1 small red onion, chopped

A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds (maybe 1/2 cup)

Roughly 2.5-3 cups of Quinoa (1.25-1.5 cup uncooked)

2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup

  1. Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions.  This should be simultaneously cooking as you begin with the sweet potatoes.
  2. For the sweet potatoes, use a bit of coconut oil or butter to cook them in a frying pan on medium heat.  Cook until the pieces are soft (this takes roughly 7-8 minutes), stirring occasionally so they do not burn.  They will start to brown on the outside.  Season with some salt and pepper as you cook, if you like.  Stir in the maple syrup.  When the sweet potatoes are nearly done (you will have to taste a piece to be able to tell), add the red onions and spinach to the pan.  Cook together with sweet potatoes for the remaining 2-3 minutes that the potatoes still needed.  The spinach will wilt a bit, the onions will appear slightly translucent.
  3. At this point, the quinoa should basically be done.  The quinoa is finished when all of it looks lighter.  Uncooked quinoa will appear as resembling tiny, solid white beads.  When its finished, they will have turned a light pale tan.  They will look fluffy, similar to the texture of bread.
  4. Remove the quinoa from heat when its finished.  Pour quinoa into a bowl.  Add in the sweet potato/onion/spinach mixture.  Stir to mix all ingredients together.  Sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds.
  5. Enjoy warm!  Delicious.

Leftovers for this recipe can be stored in Tupperware for up to three days in the fridge.

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