Cooking for me is an ever evolving and growing process. Like with most everything one learns to do, practice makes better (as a musician I never prescribed to practice makes perfect). This thai sweet potato is a great example of what I mean. It started as a simple sweet potato salad from a few years ago that needed updating. The original recipe was fine, but it lacked balanced flavors. The end result of the revamp is this hearty and cohesive Thai sweet potato salad. Excellent packed for lunch or as a side to dinner!
Thai Sweet Potato Quinoa
Author: Erin Alderson
Serves: 2 to 3 servings
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1/2 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons roughly minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cup water
- Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons chopped thai basil
- 1/2 cup toasted crushed peanuts
- 1/2 tablespoon lime zest
- Cilantro, for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss sweet potatoes with garlic, ginger, coconut oil, and cumin until well coated. Roast for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and beginning to brown.
- While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, rinse quinoa and place in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Once cooked, let rest 10 minutes off heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, peanut oil, grated ginger and soy sauce. Thinly slice basil and set aside.
- Combine sweet potatoes and cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Pour dressing over ingredients and add basil, peanuts, and lime zest. Toss together to combine. Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
Roasting the sweet potatoes really highlights the sweetness and adds a great caramelized texture to the vegetable.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: quinoa, coconut oil
Thai Sweet Potato
I love this salad because it’s full of flavor but also vegan and gluten-free. If you don’t care about keeping it vegan, I like to add a touch of honey to the dressing. Beyond that, a few other options:
Root Vegetables: Swap out the sweet potato for another root vegetable like parsnips or carrots.
Grains: You could make this dish with any leftover grain. Try it with brown rice or freekeh.
Herbs: Can’t find thai basil? Italian basil or lemon basil would be a good swap. Or add extra cilantro and ginger!