Monday, January 10, 2011

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

So lately, I've been having a lot of really good quinoa salads, that are all pretty similar, but with different elements.  Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a ton of time to test out a bunch of different recipes and blog them, SO I took my favorite things about each salad, blended them all together and came up with this amazing, mildly fresh and flavorful salad that's loaded with protein, whole grains, antioxidants, and vitamins...and it tastes even better than what it sounds!  (Not to mention it's GORGEOUS!)  This makes up a big batch, which for me works out great, because that means I have lunch or dinner all set to go for the next week!  (That's how I roll...I usually make up a big batch of soup or a salad, and eat it for lunch or dinner, so that I always have something healthy on hand if I'm in a rush!)

Preheat oven to 400

Peel and cube 2 sweet potatoes, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and toss to coat evenly.

-Roast until fork tender (15-20 minutes)

-Remove and set aside

Bring to a boil:

2 c. low sodium organic vegetable broth


1 c. quinoa, cook according to instructions.  (Quinoa is AMAZING!  You can use it anywhere you use rice, and it has so much protein in it, you won't know what to do with yourself!)

-Once the quinoa is done, put that, along with 4 c. cooked brown rice into a bowl, and let set.  Be careful not to toss or stir too much, or it will get mushy.

-Take the seeds from 1 pomegranate (roughly 1 c.) and throw them in with the rice.

-1c. fresh cranberries, pulsed in a food processor to roughly chop (or you could do it by hand if you want)...add that to the rice/quinoa mixture.

-1 c. of chopped cilantro, added to mixture

-3 oranges, segmented, then added to the mixture.  (Squeeze the remaining juice from the leftover orange over the rice...roughly 1/4-1/3 c.)

-Add your roasted sweet potatoes

-Saute 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped, (I used baby bellas, but whatever you have on hand works fine) in:
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. agave nectar
a splash of extra virgin olive oil

-Add to the rice/quinoa mixture and toss everything together

-Done!  It seems like a lot of steps, but everything goes very quickly, and it's so worth it!!  There are a few ways you can shorten the prep time for this too:

-Use precooked rice (I used the frozen kind that you microwave for 3 minutes!)
-Already harvested pomegranate seeds...those little guys are a pain to get out!
-Use mandarin oranges, rinsed (since most of them are packed in syrup)
-Use a high quality orange juice (no sugar added)
-Use pre-chopped sweet potatoes or squash

-There...those are all the ways I could think of that would make this go by even faster :) 

-I think I mentioned that this makes a ton too, so all of your efforts are so worth it!  I'm freezing some of it right now, I'll see how it thaws out, and blog it if it works!  Definitely try this's so amazing!!

-Note:  you could also serve this over fresh spinach with a balsamic reduction, topped with toasted slivered almonds :)


  1. Where would I find already harvested pomengranite seeds?... In the produce?

  2. Good question, Bridget...I have no idea! They may only be seasonal, but I saw them at Costco I know they're around...My guess would be in the produce section, if they're going to be anywhere. Let me know if you find them!