I was at a loss for what to make for dinner tonight. This happens to me often but I find it totally absurd since I pretty much read about food all day. What makes things harder is that I always try to make everything from scratch. Everything, as in beans, stock, etc. Sometimes I buy canned beans, but never stock. Anyway, I know that sweet potatoes pair well with black beans, but I didn’t have any canned beans today. I had plenty of dry, but I like to soak them, so that delays things too – making black beans out of the question.
What I did have on hand was sweet potato and kale. And cranberries and quinoa. You’d think that I would be savvy enough to throw these things together with my own recipe, but that’s not the case. I need help with dressings! So I found a little guidance through a Google search which led me to the recipe from a blog called Once Upon A Cutting Board.
What’s funny about this recipe is that I don’t find the final image to look very appetizing. Not in the above blog post or in my final photo. I like the ingredients together, but they look prettier separately. See below?
Don’t let that deter you. It’s good and satisfying. It was our dinner tonight and will be our lunch tomorrow and I’ll probably make it again. Next time I’ll add walnuts to the mix. The older boy liked it because it has a sweet balsamic dressing, but the younger said, “me no like that, right mama?” He choked down a bite anyway.
OH! I thought I would mention that the reason you see a lot of sweet potatoes and quinoa on this blog is because those are the veggies available at the farmer’s market right now. They seem to grow year round here, so I’m used to them. But don’t worry, you’ll be seeing some variety soon.
The recipe you see below is my adaptation from the above blog. I didn’t have all of the things required so I hooked it up LGMFstyle. A couple of things to note: if you don’t work with quinoa often, make sure you rinse it first. Otherwise I’ve found that it ends up with a “dirty” flavor. And that’s not the kind of dirty we like. If you don’t have coconut oil, substitute olive oil.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Cranberry Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed
2/3 cup cranberries
Ingredients for the dressing:
scant 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
salt to taste
Combine 1 cup of rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until water is fully absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy – about 15 minutes.
Set cubed sweet potatoes to steam or boil in another medium sized saucepan until fully tender – about 15 minutes depending on size of cubes. Drain when finished.
Cut or tear kale into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
Make dressing by whisking balsamic vinegar, coconut oil, honey and salt in a small bowl. Pour over the kale. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. DO IT.
Allow cooked quinoa and sweet potatoes to sit for about 10 minutes after cooking before adding them to the kale along with the cranberries. MIX that business together and eat it up.