Roasted Pepper and Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

When I contacted Gabrielle of Hippie Go Lucky about being apart of my new feature series, she also expressed the desire to put together a little recipe swap. And I, of course, immediately said yes please please please. We picked a theme: fall-type food (a pretty open and delicious theme selection), rounded up a few of our favorites, and sent them off to one another to try and then share on our blogs. I was most excited about this Sweet Potato Quinoa recipe she sent me and got right around to making it this weekend, and making it my own.

I made this Saturday for dinner and it was a big hit. Mostly, I'm just fairly proud of myself that I was even capable of functioning enough to make dinner on Saturday, let alone a pretty involved salad with numerous steps, because I was having one rather mighty Dr Who hang-over. The Day of the Doctor was like early Christmas, mostly because David Tennant. P.S. Did anyone else watch the Graham Norton show later (with Matt Smith & David Tennant as guests) and see his braid!? OHMYGOD. Anyway, it worked out in my favor because I could walk away from the kitchen a lot while things were roasting, and take a break while things were cooling, to catch more of the all day Dr Who madness.

I think this salad snapped me out of my craze (even if I watched more Who while eating it, shhh) because it was so good. Surprisingly delicious. Way better than I was anticipating. It is a little involved, but still easy, great for a Saturday dinner. The combination of flavors is completely perfect, the spicy honey lime dressing contrasting the smoky roasted peppers and the sweet potato. The feta and avocado are what really make this salad though, so try not to leave them out.

Roasted Pepper and Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
yield: serves 4 to 5 | adapted from this recipe

For the Salad                                                           

1 cup uncooked quinoa (will make 2 cups cooked)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, cubed
      + olive oil and a bit of salt for roasting
1 orange bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
1/4 of a large sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 to 3 cups fresh spinach
a handful of chopped cilantro
avocado, sliced for topping

For the Dressing                                                     

1/4 cup olive oil
The juice from one lime
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Begin with roasting the peppers; they will take the longest (about 45 minutes). Place the jalapeño and bell pepper whole on a small foil lined baking sheet. Rotate the peppers (put a different side down on the pan) using a pair of tongs about every 10 minutes to insure even roasting.
3. In the mean time, chop the sweet potato into small cubes and toss them in a bowl with some olive oil and a few pinches of salt until all pieces are evenly coated. Place these on a separate foil-lined pan and throw them in the oven to roast when the peppers have about 20 minutes left.
4. Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes) and the peppers' skins have started to blacken, shrivel, and blister (about 45 minutes).
5. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth. When done, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
6. While waiting for the peppers, potatoes, and quinoa to cool, whisk all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
7. When the peppers are cool to the touch, peel off the skin and remove the ribbing and seeds and chop into small pieces.
8. Toss the chopped onion, roasted potato cubes, the peppers, spinach, and the feta in the bowl with the quinoa. Pour in the dressing and give everything a good toss.
9. Top each serving with a garnish of cilantro and fresh avocado slices.

xx Emorie