Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese

This may not count as a real recipe post because 1) I didn't measure anything or even pay attention to amounts, 2) I didn't take any pictures, and 3) I don't remember what my third reason was.

But since it's been awhile since I posted something not pertaining to airline nightmares and unwelcome overnights in Fiji, I thought I'd post something food-related. Besides, I'm supposed to be writing a reflection essay right now, so what better time to write about food instead of conflict?

I haven't done meal planning in several weeks, which means my grocery shopping has been sporadic and poorly planned. Which means I am left with random stuff that requires some creativity to put together into a meal.

Enter tonight's dinner.

It started with some leftover sweet potatoes which I roasted last weekend, then cooked up some quinoa and toasted a handful of almonds. Then I put it all in a bowl with some blue cheese and seasonings.

And you know what? It was pretty good!

Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese

Yield: 2 servings

1-2 sweet potatoes, cubed (peeling is optional)
Olive oil
Dried rosemary, dried thyme, salt and pepper, paprika, brown sugar, and cinnamon - all to taste (I used very little brown sugar and cinnamon and went a little heavier on the herbs)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
Handful of almonds (or other nuts of choice)
1-2 Tbsp. blue cheese crumbles (Feta or Gorgonzola would also be good)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or other vinegar of choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Toss the sweet potatoes in olive oil and seasonings. You want enough olive oil to help the seasoning stick and to keep the potatoes from drying out, but not so much that your potatoes end up being real oily. Start with less olive oil than you think you need--you can always add more! Spread the sweet potatoes on the pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, until toasted and tender, stirring halfway through.

Rinse quinoa and cook according to package directions, using 3/4 cup water and adding a sprinkle of salt.

Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Pour in a handful of almonds and toast for several minutes, stirring/shaking frequently, until nuts are toasted and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from heat; coarsely chop.

Whisk together 1 Tbsp. olive oil and red wine vinegar.

In a bowl, combine all the elements of your meal--quinoa, sweet potatoes, almonds, and blue cheese. Drizzle on half of the oil and vinegar mixture; taste; add more if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yummy! Since my sweet potatoes were left over, this meal came together in about 15-20 minutes--enough time to think of it and cook the quinoa. While I was making it I found myself wishing I had some kind of leafy greens to add, but the end result didn't taste like it was missing anything.

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