This delicious Autumn Quinoa Salad is loaded with warm baked sweet potatoes, toasted pecans, your choice of bitter greens, and then tossed in maple dijon dressing. It's an easy to make and healthy side dish recipe that is perfect for fall.
It's Novemberrrrrrr! Eek, this year is seriously flying by at warp speed. I feel like it was just last week that it was summer and now I'm sitting here with a Halloween candy hangover. What's going on?!!
Today I want to share with you a recipe that will help make up for all those mini chocolate bars we ate yesterday. → So not complaing about one day a year it's mandatory to pig out on candy bars. ←
I've got an Autumn Quinoa Salad for you, and it's loaded with all sorts of everything delicious and healthy.
There's quinoa in here (obviously) but it doesn't play the leading roll. You know how some quinoa salads are just too quinoa-y? Not this one. This is the right balance so that the quinoa blends in rather than takes over.
There are lots of sweet potatoes, roasted to perfection with a little warm cinnamon and spicy cayenne. Nutty toasted pecans, chopped bitter greens, and a sweet maple Dijon dressing bring it all together so you get a little bit of every flavor in each bite.
You see those bitter greens chopped up there? ☝️☝️ Can you guess what they are?
Those little bits of deliciousness are dandelion greens. Have you ever eaten them before? They're quite strong flavored and bitter and add the perfect little bite to the salad.
Things you should know about dandelion greens:
♡ They're delicious!
♡ They are the same as the dandelions growing in your yard.
♡ If you use any kind of toxic weed killer DO NOT pick and eat the greens from your lawn. Just don't.
♡ If you don't spray creepy stuff on your lawn you can pick and eat the dandelion flowers, too.
What to do if you can't find dandelion greens:
I get it, dandelion greens are hard to find. I'm super lucky to have an awesome (and totally chaotic) little market a block away from my place that sells just about everything I could every want and tons of things I have no idea what to do with. Have you ever cooked banana flowers? You know, the pointy red things that hang down from the center of the bananas on a tree? Ya, me neither. Sunrise Market (where I shop) sells them all the time and one day I'm going to buy one.
Aaaanyway … I wouldn't go out of your way to look for dandilion greens. I don't know about you, but the idea of having to grocery shop all over town for one little recipe just doesn't sound like fun. You can replace them with arugula, kale, or even spinach.
Back to this Autumn Quinoa Salad …
Make it, make it, make it! Damn, am I ever demanding. 🙂
If you're into fall flavors, you're going to love it. I like to serve it with a piece of fish or some simple baked chicken for an easy and healthy dinner. Enjoy!
If you make this Autumn Quinoa Salad make sure you snap a pic and tag #theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create!
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into ¼ inch slices
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- A pinch of each: cinnamon, cayenne, and sea salt
- ½ cup pecans
- ⅔ cup quinoa
- A few handfuls of bitter greens, minced (see notes)
- 1 tablespoons each: olive oil and maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon each: balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- A generous pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the sweet potato slices with the olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, and sea salt and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20 -25 minutes, turning once, until they are soft and starting to brown.
- Place the pecans on a small baking sheet and toast them in the oven along with the sweet potatoes for 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they will burn easily at this temperature if you leave them in longer.
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Usually 1:2 quinoa to water ratio and cooked for 12-15 minutes. When the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork and set aside with the lid off.
- Make the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- When the sweet potatoes are cooked, mix them with the quinoa, pecans, and bitter green in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well.
Don't bother peeling the sweet potatoes. Just wash and slice.
More tasty autumn salad recipes: