Quinoa, it’s everywhere. You can barely have a discussion about food and cooking without the topic ending up with quinoa. It’s such a huge food fad right now that it has transcended the kitchen and is appearing in non-food items as well. There is a line of hair care products touting amino-acid rich quinoa as its secret to success.
There is a good reason its so popular. Quinoa is high and fiber, protein, full of amino acids, gluten-free and Kosher for Passover. Best of all it is very easy to work with. That’s why it makes the perfect compliment to your Holiday table. Regardless if you are celebrating Easter or Passover, this recipe will make everyone happy.
The real inspiration for this recipe came from my little boy. He is addicted to the roasted sweet potatoes on the hot food buffet at Whole Foods. He passes over mac and cheese and chicken fingers to stuff handfuls of cinnamon coated sweet potatoes in his sweet chubby cheeks.
Then a few weeks ago I was at a catered event with a sweet potato and quinoa salad that was everything I don’t like about quinoa and salads. It was bitter, over dressed and crowded with too many flavors. I realized I wanted a clean, simple version of it served hot not cold. I went home and came up with this recipe. It has the sweet potatoes my little boy loves with the ease of a simple straight-forward pilaf.
While the sweet potatoes are roasted separately, the whole recipe comes together in under a half hour. It is easy to make, but it is also very good. It is a great introduction to those not familiar with quinoa, kid-friendly and tasty enough to become a hit of your Holiday table. Enjoy!
Want some ideas for your Holiday table? Below are Easter and Passover menu ideas from this site as well as Cooking Light Magazine…
A Easter Feast:
- Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamb
- Quinoa and Sweet Potato Pilaf
- Whole Wheat Coco Bread
- Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
- Lemon Pound Cake with Berry Curd
A Passover Table:
- Sweet and Tangy Slow Cooker Brisket
- Quinoa and Sweet Potato Pilaf
- Layered Vegetable Spanish Tortilla
- New England Haroset
- Carrot and Radish Salad
- Strawberry Pecan Pavlovas
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained if necessary (see note)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups stock, broth or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with the cinnamon, one tablespoon of the olive oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until soft when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
- Cook the quinoa while the potatoes are baking. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes. When the onion is soft and translucent, add the quinoa. Cook, stirring frequently for another five minutes until the quinoa starts to lightly toast. Add the stock (or broth or water), remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow to sit covered for another five minutes.
- Fluff the quinoa, discard the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with the roasted sweet potatoes and parsley. Serve hot.
- Rinsing quinoa removes a bitter coating on the grain. Most quinoa is now sold pre-rinsed. If you are unsure be sure to rinse thoroughly and drain in a fine sieve before cooking with it.