Last weekend, I went to one of the most dangerous, treacherous places on earth: the Whole Foods prepared foods section. As always, it was a slippery slope. A little marinated tempeh here, some cranberry couscous salad there. Oh wait, now I am spending 20 bucks on this heavy compostable brown container, which has managed to contain over 2 pounds of food, by some miraculous defiance of physics.
Anyways, one of my all time favorite things to get at Whole Foods is their roasted sweet potato. It's so simple, yet so reliably delicious, healthy, and also acts as a good barrier for separating the salad/grains/indian food sections of your to-go container.
So, I decided to make this salad with some pantry items and some sweet potato that needed to be eaten. Such a simple combination, but so hearty and delicious! When roasted properly, sweet potato becomes charred on the outside, a savory note that goes well with the lemon that dresses the quinoa. It's the perfect foray into fall, where everything is roasted, and packs well for a healthy lunch. Enjoy.
Ingredients, but as always, feel free to adjust with what you have on hand (feeds 4):
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package
- 1 bunch (about 2 cups) arugula
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- olive oil, for roasting the sweet potatoes
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, about 1 tbsp pepper, and 1 tbsp salt. Scatter on a roasting pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven, once it has finished heating.
Cook the quinoa according to the package and set aside to let cool. Once this is ready, and the sweet potatoes are done (takes about 40 minutes) toss together with the arugula, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lastly, add the diced avocado. One thing I like to do is actually salt the avocado halves first, then put them in the salad. I find that avocado needs a touch more salt than the rest of the salad, and this assures that the flavors are brought out beautifully. Then, add the cubes to the salad. The reason we add this last is because it has the potential to mush a lot as you toss the salad, and no one wants avocado goo in their salad. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.
Feel free to make this ahead of time, as it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.