Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quinoa Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Happy Wednesday everyone! Wednesday already. Man, this week is flying by. We're almost already through the first week of November! I can't believe it. I blame the daylight savings this past weekend. It's been getting dark around 6 o'clock here which seems like such a drastic change. Once the sun goes down so does my productivity. I just want to cuddle under some blankets and watch a movie or read a book. Last night, to my great embarrassment I fell asleep at 8 o'clock. 8 o'clock! I feel like such an old lady! 

To help make up for my lack of motivation in the evenings I've been focusing on getting more done during the day while the sun is still shining. So I've been setting my alarm a half hour earlier which allows me to fit in a quick workout and still have time to make myself breakfast before heading out the door to work at 6:40am. Then on my way home from work I take a longer and round-about route on my bike that way by the time I'm home my workout is done for the day. It's been a great plan so far! However, waking up earlier and exerting more energy leaves me hungrier which is where this delicious Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quinoa Salad comes in. It's great because you can make up a big batch on Sunday and then have lunch all set for the rest of the week. Plus it tastes great hot or cold which makes it a great on-the-go meal.

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quinoa Salad
  • 2/3 Cup Quinoa
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Large Sweet Potatoes, Diced
  • 2 Large Collard Greens Leaves*, Stems removed and Sliced
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package instructions adding the bay leaf to the water. While the quinoa is cooking and once the oven is preheated, place the diced sweet potatoes on a silpat, aluminum foil or greased pan and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft. While the potatoes and quinoa are cooking, start caramelizing the onions. To do so, pour the olive oil into a skillet and cook the onion over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the onions begin to brown add the garlic and continue cooking until all the onions are a nice, golden brown.
At this point the quinoa should be about done, once it is, remove the bay leaf and add in the onions and garlic. Once the potatoes are done, mix those in, too. Then add in the collards to allow them to wilt slightly. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and you are done! Portion it out into to-go containers to store in the fridge and lunch is one less thing you have to think about.
*Feel free to substitute your favorite green; kale or mustard greens would be great.

Are you affected by the change in daylight?
What do you do to stay motivated?


  1. Absolutely. I hate the extended darkness! Not sure what I can do about it, though. I'm active during all of my waking hours while the sun is out. ):

    1. I think you're active enough during the day that you can afford to just relax at night :-)

  2. Yum pumpkin roasted in anything is delicious! This salad looks so healthy and yum I must make it!

  3. This looks so good sister!!! I will try it :)