This Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Vegan Cilantro Pesto is nutty, tangy and filled with a whole lot of greens. Perfect recipe to kick off Spring.
I’m in love with this salad that I’m sharing today. It is tangy, nutty, and has a whole lotta greens going on. Get ready to be in salad heaven with this Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Vegan Cilantro Pesto.
Let’s start with this delicious cilantro pesto. Fresh cilantro is combined with pine nuts, red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil – the outcome is a creamy and fresh dressing you could use on anything.
As for the sweet potatoes, I used my spiralizer to get them thin and crispy. Don’t have a spiralizer? No problem. You could grate these or just cut them into chunks – just be mindful of the cooking time, as the thicker they are the longer they need in the oven.
This salad is the perfect kick-off to spring. Eat it hot or cold – great for BBQs or picnics.
Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Vegan Cilantro Pesto
FOR THE CILANTRO PESTO
- 1 bunch cilantro large stems removed
- 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 red onion roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE SWEET POTATOES
- 1 large sweet potato spiralized
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE SALAD
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh peas
- 1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 4 cups baby spinach
FOR THE DRESSING: Combine all the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, in a food processor. Blend on high, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Transfer pesto to a bowl and add salt and pepper. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.
FOR THE POTATOES: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick spray. Cut off the tips of the sweet potato and use a spiralizer to cut potato.* Spread potatoes out on baking sheet and top with olive oil and garlic. Mix to coat evenly. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip potatoes and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.** Remove from the oven and top with salt and pepper.
FOR THE QUNIOA: While the potatoes are cooking, place quinoa and water in a pot over high heat. When water begins to bowl, turn heat to low and cover the pot. Steam quinoa for 10 minutes. Add peas and beans to the pan and stir to combine. Allow to heat through for an additional 5 minutes.
TO ASSEMBLE: Layer a cup of spinach on a plate, followed by 1/2 cup of quinoa mixture, 1/4 of sweet potatoes and cilantro pesto to taste. Serve and enjoy!
*If you don't have a spiralizer, you can grate the potato or cut it into chunks - just be mindful that this may affect cooking times.
**You may get a couple of pieces that get overly crispy. Be sure to check on potatoes to make sure they don't burn.