February is Heart-Healthy Month.
Celebrate with this tasty Roasted Sweet Potato and Citrus Quinoa Salad!
My backyard currently looks like some sort of combination between a giant maze and a luge course. I’m fairly certain our dogs feel like they are training for the Winter Olympics when they go out. Here in upstate New York, we’ve been hit with wave after wave of snowstorms lately. That snow doesn’t have anywhere to go but up. Higher…and higher…and higher. (I heard that we’ve had more snow here in recent weeks than any time since the early 1980’s.)
Now that the snow is as high as the back deck, my goal is to build an ice sled off the corner of the porch. You know, pack the snow in, flatten out the top, build some ice rails on the sides…the whole 9 yards. Heck, maybe I can even pour some water on top of the ramp to get it nice and icy. Doesn’t that sound so Calvin & Hobbes? Of course, with my luck, I’d probably end up flying straight through the back shed. Oh well, the risk might actually be worth it!
When we’re snowed in like this, my wife and I both crave fresh fruit like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t know if it’s our bodies asking for Vitamin C or our minds asking for warmer temperatures, but bring on the fruit! We’ve been known to make massive fruit salads to snack on for lunch. There is always a big bowl of fruit sitting on our counter, and we each grab a piece of fruit for lunch everyday.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Citrus Quinoa Salad
So let’s have a little heart-to-heart conversation. How are those New Year’s Resolutions holding up? Do you have a pile of leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate sitting on your counter? Well, it’s time to balance those sweets with this tasty Roasted Potato and Citrus Quinoa Salad! With February being Heart-Health month, I decided to whip up a fun and healthy salad using Dole fruits and veggies. (Yup, fruits and veggies in the same dish!) Not only is this salad tasty (like really tasty), but apples are also loaded with heart healthy benefits. That’s a win-win in my book!
A couple of weeks ago, my wife went on a girls’ skiing trip for the day. (That’s ok, she left me home by the fire with the first Game of Thrones book.) When she came home, she told me that one of the other girls had made a big quinoa salad for everyone to share at lunch. But this wasn’t any ordinary quinoa salad. It included roasted sweet potatoes, green apples and red onion. Of course, I was intrigued.
I’ve been thinking about that salad for days now, and I decided to recreate a similar version. I added in some diced pineapple…mainly because I love pineapple. I also whipped up an Apple Cider Vinaigrette to toss in there, too. The result is straight magic, folks! I would never have thought about combining roasted sweet potatoes with chopped fresh fruit. But this salad could very well become a staple side dish in our house…it’s that good!
Eating healthy isn’t hard at all when the dish is loaded with flavor. Speaking of healthy, a moderate amount of daily exercise can be super helpful for your heart, too. I’m not saying you need to hit the weights every morning. Just a 30-minute power walk each day will do it. Or perhaps play a game of basketball or hit the ski slopes with your friends. It all counts. As for me, I think I’ll get today’s exercise in by building that ice sled in my backyard!
Did you make this Roasted Sweet Potato and Citrus Quinoa Salad at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). Enjoy!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Citrus Quinoa Salad
For the salad
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1½ cups quinoa I used red quinoa, but any color quinoa works!
- 3 cups vegetable or low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 green apple thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh pineapple cubed into ½” pieces
- ¼ cup red onion diced
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Wash and scrub the sweet potato. Cut into 1” cubes.
- In a medium bowl, toss the cubed sweet potato with the canola oil until evenly coated.
- Spread potatoes onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake potatoes at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly golden and tender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saute or frying pan, toast the quinoa over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. (The quinoa will begin to make a popping noise near the end.)
- Once quinoa has been toasted, add stock and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 2-3 more minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- To make the Apple Cider Vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients (apple cider vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper) until well combined.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes with the apples, pineapple and onion. Add the vinaigrette to the bowl and toss until well coated. (Note: I typically like to serve this salad at room temperature.)
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dole.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.
Looking for more tasty salad recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: