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Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Mushroom Salad

September 22, 2011

I just got home from a two week exploration of Ireland and the U.K. It was amazing. Can I go back now?

One of my favorite parts of traveling anywhere is the cuisine. Well, the cuisine and the local libations, I suppose. You can’t really be in Dublin (or anywhere else in Ireland really) and be in such close proximity with excellent pints. From Guiness (Dublin) to Beamish and Murphys (Cork), Smithwicks and Kilkenny (Kilkenny). Nothing can really compare to an excellent stout so fresh it was probably brewed less than a week before and traveled only a few miles to reach the pint glass.

But back to the noms. Irish food, as one would expect, often involves potatoes or fish. One of my favorite meals I had was an Irish Boxty platter, basically a selection of potato pancake, potato dumplings in a cheese sauce, and potato bread with tomatoes on it. And you can’t go wrong with a basket of Fish and Chips. I will, one day, figure out how to recreate the Boxty. Until then, I will dream of delicious, fluffy clouds of potato.

In London, I enjoyed excellent Indian fare and some great market food. For the Indian, I had a Spicy Seafood Dosa, or kind of like a crepe full of Potato/Lentil Masala and Spicy Seafood. With chili sauce…Yummm. I spent two afternoons wandering Bourough St. Market and after a refreshing Pimms Cup, I enjoyed a Vegetable Pasty. Pasty stands abound on the streets of London, and they are incredible. Basically handheld pies. I am not sure why we haven’t capitalized on this excellent version of to-go food here in the states yet.

And now that I am back in the states, with only minor jetlag that has me waking at at 6am every morning, I am also back in the kitchen. Soon, I will experiment with some of the foods I experienced abroad. For now, I will post a bit on the salad I made yesterday from, of course, the ever full vegetable drawer. Its not that the fam doesn’t eat vegetables, its that the box that arrives every week of organics is a bit large and also contains a wide array of veg, which sometimes means a weird array. So I found this salad in Real Simple Magazine that involved carrots, originally, but we substituted sweet potato. We also used a bit less mushrooms, as the original recipe called for 1lbs and that is a LOT of mushroom packages.

Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Mushroom Salad:

1 Cup dry Quinoa

2 cups water

3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

1/2lbs mushrooms (a mix of crimini, shitake and oyster is what we used)

2Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp Thyme leaves

juice of 1 Lemon

5 cups of baby spinach (a 4oz bag)


Preheat oven to 425F. Chop potatoes and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 15 or so minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme to the potatoes, toss and return to oven for another 15min.  In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil, add quinoa, cover and reduce heat. After about 15 minutes, the water should be absorbed and the quinoa fluffy. Set aside. Remove vegetables from oven and toss with lemon juice.

To assemble salad: Place a few handfuls of spinach onto a plate. Top with quinoa and then with the potatoes and mushrooms. If you’d like a dressing, you can add whatever you want. I just added a bit of balsamic vinegar and some olive oil.

Yum! It was a big hit. I think I ended up with more potato than the original recipe had for the amount of carrots, but I would say this served about 6 (the recipe said 4). I would  also recommend more spinach, or whatever lettuce/greens you might want to use. I am a fan of spinach, so a small 4oz bag didn’t hold up to the amount of quinoa/potato mixture and five people. I also think the quinoa/potato and mushrooms are excellent by themselves as a side, and I had that for lunch.

A few of my faves from across the ocean.


One Comment leave one →
  1. eli escobar permalink
    December 18, 2012 3:52 pm

    I’ve made this regularly since finding it on your site and wanted you to know how much I love it. Thanks for sharing!

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