Foodie Files: Quinoa Salad

I love going to potlucks, and I dread them at the same time. I am not even remotely creative when it comes to food that I’ll be sharing with people. I don’t have much confidence in my culinary skills, so I stick with tried and true dishes. That usually means store-bought key lime pie. This time, I decided to get put more effort forth than just browsing the dessert section at Publix. 

I’ve never cooked quinoa before, so I was really intimidated by dishes containing it. But what’s the point in this quest of mine if I’m not going to step outside of my comfort zone? When I read the back of a package of quinoa, I could have kicked myself for not making it sooner. It really isn’t much different from cooking rice. I would love to have varied up my grains a long time ago. Rice gets tired really quickly. 

The recipe Sweet Potato, Apple, and Kale Quinoa salad, and can be found here

I won’t post the full recipe since it can already be found on another blogger’s site, but I can share some info with you. Victoria (aforementioned blogger) used quinoa, vegetable broth, olive oil, diced sweet potatoes, a large apple, dried cherries, salt, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette to pull this masterpiece together. She includes a recipe for the homemade vinaigrette, which includes balsamic vinegar (obviously), a shallot, honey Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, and salt.

  
I truly couldn’t have taken a less appetizers my picture than this. But you guys were warned well in advance of my photography talent. Anywho, garnishing the salad with goat cheese and pecans at the end is optional. I actually bought goat cheese, but forgot to add it to the salad. At least it was on hand when I made the frittata. Other than forgetting the garnish, the only thing I did differently was use dried cranberries instead of dried cherries because dude, have you seen the price of dried cherries? Holy smokes.

The original recipe calls for cooking the sweet potatoes in a skillet with olive oil and salt. I think I will roast them instead next time around to enhance the sweetness of the potatoes. I can’t wait to make this salad again. It was a hit with the kids as well as the potluck attendees. 

  

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