Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

We came across this recipe while searching spicy sweet potato dishes and it sounded right up our alley. We changed up a few things and we liked it so much that I think we will be making it often! The whole thing took 40 mins start to finish! If I had one word for this meal...Fresh! 
 I talk on the phone with my mom almost every night...after 9...since that is when "free nights" begin!  We normally talk about weather, what Aaron and I are working on, and how their building is going... (they are building their dream home...a log cabin way upstate New York. Latest news on that is that they just got their "rubber roof"...yeah nuts right?! I'll be sure to blog more about their adventures soon!) Well, the other topic we talk FOOD! Mainly cooking. And when I was telling my mom about this night's meal, in response she used the word...Fresh! And that is so so right! The flavors are bright, and the dressing is the star of the show! Homemade in a flash, and oh so delicious! And whatever dressing you don't use with this meal will keep for about a week in the fridge. Great for salads, and wraps!

The sweet potatoes have a deelish spicy coating and then they're wrapped with the texture of the Quinoa, and served warm on a crisp bed of fresh spinach. Then once it's topped off with diced red onion, fresh cilantro, and cubed avocado, you've got yourself a killer meal. Aaron and I loved it! And we served some up to my brother Walt when he walked in from a long hard day at work. It was his first time having Quinoa, and he cleaned his plate before Aaron and I were even halfway through ours. He kept saying..."I can't believe there isn't any meat in this."...Which we took as the ultimate thumbs up from a "working guy" that normally goes for burgers. By name this is a 'salad'...but believe's a meal.

So, if this sounds up your alley, here is the recipe! If you aren't into spicy, just cut back on the chili powder, and cumin! :)

2 large sweet potatoes, washed, dried and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 1/2 cups water or broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup avocado dressing

*Avocado Dressing
1 medium avocado
1 small jalapeno (seeds removed)
1/4 cup cilantro
1 lime, juice
1 green onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste


First, In a large bowl toss the sweet potato with the oil, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a pan with a lid, (we used our trusty dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Now, add the garlic, chipotle chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the quinoa and water (or broth), bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Ours was ready within 15, just keep an eye on it.

While that simmers, let's make our dressing! It doesn't get any easier than this! In a blender combine all of your ingredients! Avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, green onion, garlic, honey, buttermilk, yogurt, cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper. Blend until combined and creamy! That's it! Stick it in the fridge till ready to serve. (keeps up to a week in fridge)

Next, mix the beans and sweet potato into the quinoa and season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
And mix in the cilantro. 
Now, serve over fresh spinach leaves, garnish with avocado, red onion, and cilantro, and top with the avocado dressing.  And dig in!

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did! It's definitely going into our favorites line up.
xo, Jenny...and Aaron


  1. Jenny, first off I love that you talk with your mom every night. That is so awesome. I talk with my daughter almost everyday..but thank goodness she and her darlings live in the same town as we do.What a blessing! And second,,I am trying this delicious looking/sounding recipe. My friend introduced me to quinoa! Think we might make it on our art retreat to the Texas coast next week. Thanks for sharing. dix---

  2. I'm hungry now and it's only 9 a.m. - definitely going to try this!

  3. oh my word that looks so good and CLEAN! i'm passing this one to the chef/husband. mmmm.

    jenny, i'm chasing you down re: a class invitation you should have received on mar 31 via email. i'm going to email you again- look for hotwatercornbread at gmail dot com. can't wait to hear from you!

  4. I cannot wait to make this, looks so unbelievably yumsters!!!!! You always have such great recipes!!! You rock!

    xo Dinah @ sunshine super glam


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xo Jenny & Aaron