Orange-fleshed baked sweet potato with a cucumber quinoa salad
White-fleshed baked sweet potato with a peas & sweetcorn quinoa salad
I always find dinner the most difficult meal of the day even though I probably enjoy dinner more than any other meal. Trying to think of dinner ideas is one thing but trying to think of healthy dinner ideas makes it that little bit harder. However, one of my favourite meals to have for dinner is sweet potato with quinoa salad and it's my go-to meal on days where I have no idea what to eat. It's simple, delicious, and so good for you. Also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. So, following on from my healthy breakfast idea post, I'm bringing you a healthy dinner post today.
You'll need one sweet potato, I tend to go for the orange-fleshed variety where possible as they contain more nutrients and they're also sweeter. You'll also need some quinoa, and a choice of vegetables to mix in with it.
I purchase my quinoa from Morrison's Wholefoods section but you can get it from a number of supermarkets and health stores. Quinoa has fast become one of my favourite things to eat because it tastes good, it's filling, it's a complete protein, and it's good for you.
Step one. Set your oven to 200 degrees. Wash and scrub your sweet potato under a running tap and, using a knife, pierce holes all over the sweet potato. Place it on a baking tray that has been covered with a sheet of foil.
Step two. Place your sweet potato into the oven to bake. This needs to bake for approximately 40-45 minutes but you'll need to head back into the kitchen before that time is up to cook your quinoa. Time it right and you'll get the sweet satisfaction of all parts of your dinner being ready at the same time.... ahhh.... bliss...
Step three. Once your sweet potato has been in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, it's time to make your quinoa. Boil a kettle of water and measure out your quinoa. I usually use an amount equating to about half a cup (about one handful) but you may want to experiment with this a bit to see what suits you. More is better than less as you can keep it in the fridge for the next day. Half a cup may not seem like much but quinoa expands when cooked.
Step four. Boil your quinoa in a pot over the stove. The amount of water you use should be approximately double the amount of quinoa you've used but you may need a bit more water if your pot is wide. Put the lid on and let it simmer. Leave it to simmer for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it from sticking. Feel free to add pepper or any other flavours at this point. Cooked quinoa should be light and fluffy, you should also see that the "tails" have come off too.
TIP: If it looks like it's burning and drying out before it's cooked, add more water. If it looks like it's almost cooked but there's still too much water left, turn up the heat and take off the lid so that the water can escape via steam. It'll be gone in no time.
Step five. Pour out your quinoa onto a bowl or plate and fluff it up using a fork. At this point, you may want to cut up some vegetables to mix in with it. My favourite choice has got to be peas and sweetcorn, but I often add cucumber instead as I always have some in the fridge!
Step six. At this point, your sweet potato should be done! Take it out of the oven and cut it up into slices. I do this so that it's not boiling hot when I cut into it to eat.
TIP: You can also cut this up into chunks and mix it in with the quinoa salad.
So, there you have it! A delicious and healthy dinner idea. Make sure you let me know if you try this out. You can tweet me @IAmLinderella.