As I sit down to write this, it feels a little like calling an old friend you haven’t talked to in years. There’s some guilt for having let so much time go by, a bit of awkwardness getting to where you left off, and oh, where to begin….
I must say, it’s good to be back in the food/health region of the blogosphere. I think I mentioned, we’ve been renovating our new house over the past two months or so now. In that time, I’ve been orbiting, lost in the home design section of the Internet – obsessing beyond control over very important things like differences in white paint. Now that I’ve successfully memorized Benjamin Moore’s entire collection and learned all there is to know about kitchen appliances, I think I’ve had enough…. it’s time to come back.
Side note – I must say, I have a renewed appreciation for the way we communicate online today – being able to share and find information with some keystrokes and a click. I feel as though I’ve learned another language – mostly from people like me just across the blog-o-pond. As I return to my own neck of blog-land, I’m excited to contribute what I know and love – oh-so-good-and-good-for-you food – so others may enjoy and benefit.
We got our knives, bowls and other kitchen tools out of storage a few weeks ago and I found myself itching to get back into the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed having the excuse not to cook and letting others (my mom) do it for me while I pinned planned. I really didn’t think I missed it. But I did. I really did. This salad here is one of the first meals I’ve cooked in months. And oh, it tasted so good.
It’s good to be back.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cup water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, thickly sliced
4 kale leaves, removed from stems and torn
sunflower seeds, toasted
extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/4 a lemon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse quinoa well. In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil (add a pinch of salt), then add drained quinoa. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once all the water is absorbed and you can fluff quinoa with a fork, remove from heat and transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Set pot aside – you’ll use it later to toast the sunflower seeds (one less pot to clean later… right, Ross).
Place sweet potatoes and red onion on baking sheet. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss to coat with oil. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. When slightly golden, remove from oven and set aside.
While the vegetables cook, prepare the kale and sunflower seeds. In a medium bowl, marinate kale with a pinch of salt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well, massaging the kale until it begins to wilt.
Next, get your pot you used for the quinoa. Place over medium heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil into the pot. Add sunflower seeds and toast, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown slightly. When toasted, remove from heat.
To your bowl with the quinoa, add the roasted vegetables and marinated kale and sunflower seeds. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and serve.