Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Pears


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This quinoa salad is a meal in one bowl. It features lots of foods popular with Adventists and also in other blue zones regions. Serve it for lunch or dinner.


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup uncooked white or red quinoa
1 large sweet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups arugula, preferably baby arugula
2 medium red-skinned pears, cored and thinly sliced
½ medium red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
½ cup packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, preferably spearmint leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium sauce pan set over medium heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Pour in 11⁄2 cups water, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, spread on a large plate, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. Toss the sweet potato cubes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring once, about 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil with the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large salad bowl. Add the arugula, pears, onion, parsley, and mint, as well as the chilled quinoa and sweet potatoes. Toss gently but well to serve.