At least once a week, we’ll make whole grain salad bowls for dinner. They are quick and easy to make, and you can combine pretty much anything to create a filling and yummy meal. We like the flavor and textures of ancient grains like farro or quinoa which I typically use as our salad base topped with a variety of whole foods like roasted veggies, beans, toasted nuts or poached eggs.
When I came across a couscous recipe from the California-based restaurant, Lemonade, in a recent issue of Style Watch, I tore it out and used it as a starting point to make a new grain bowl we’ve been enjoying on repeat ever since.
I think the star of this dish is a toasted pistachio dressing. My take on this recipe includes quinoa topped with crumbled feta and roasted sweet potato along with many other fresh and colorful fixings.
Quinoa Salad with Feta and Toasted Pistachio Dressing
1 cup dry quinoa
1-2 medium sweet potatoes, skinned and diced into about 1-inch cubes
1 pear, diced
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped (if you don’t have mint on hand or don’t like it, substitute with flat-leaf parsley and/or fresh basil)
About 1/2 cup of feta, crumbled
About 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (dried cherries or cranberries would be just as tasty and colorful)
Handful of roasted pistachios, chopped
Toasted Pistachio Dressing
1/4 cup raw, shelled pistachios
3/4 extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp of red raspberry vinegar
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 small shallot, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare the toasted pistachio dressing. Toast about 1/4 cup of shelled pistachios in the oven at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Combine the toasted nuts with 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the fresh lemon juice, red raspberry vinegar, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Prepare quinoa according to the packaging directions. Once cooked, pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss sweet potato cubes with about 1 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Lay flat on a baking dish with parchment paper. Roast in the oven about 15 minutes or until tender.
- Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the quinoa bowl along with the pear, feta and pomegranate seeds. Gradually add the dressing and mix (Note: You may have extra dressing based on your preference). Season with salt and pepper, as you like, and garnish with fresh mint and top with the crushed pistachios.
I hope you enjoy this flavorful and easy weeknight dinner recipe as much as we do! It’s satisfying as a main dish meal or would pair nicely as a side with grilled salmon or chicken.
What are your favorite quick and easy one-bowl meals to make?