Sweet Berry Blue Quinoa

16 Jan

Wow it took me a long time to come up with a name for this dish.

It’s roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and blue cheese folded into fluffy quinoa.  I could have called it “Sweet Potato, Cranberry, Blue Cheese, and Pecan Quinoa Salad,” but that’s way too long and uncreative.  I could have called it “Sweet n’ Cheesy Quinoa,” but would you have kept reading?  Probably not.

Sweet Berry Blue is intriguing and mysterious – is it dessert?  is it actually blue?  Come take a journey with me and find out!

Sweet Berry Blue Quinoa is sweet and salty and crunchy and creamy all at the same time.  Its flavors are both familiar and unusual.  You may take your first bite and not know for sure if you like it or not, but then before you know it, you look down and your bowl is empty and you are walking to the kitchen for seconds.  It’s all very mysterious.

Here’s how you make it.

First chop up your sweet potatoes.  If your New Years resolution has you feeling deprived, go ahead and chop them up into pie shapes.  But know that they still won’t taste like pie…and that’s OK.

Olive oil, salt, pepper, roast!

Cook up your quinoa however you like.  I like to cook it in stock!  It makes it super flavorful and makes me stand over the stove and eat it out of the pot.

Don’t feel bad if you have a quinoa accident in your kitchen.

While the quinoa is simmering away on the stove and the sweet potatoes are roasting, get the rest of your ingredients ready – dried cranberries, blue cheese (this would also be nice with goat cheese!  yummm) and pecans.

If you accidentally got pecans in their shells, you’re going to have to bring out the tools.  My tools of choice were a pair of scissors (largely ineffective), a pair of pliers (poor man’s nutcracker) and my husband (got the job done).

After what feels like hours, you’ll have precisely one handful of pecans out of their shells and ready to toast up in a dry skillet.

When everything is done – the quinoa is fluffed, the taters are crispy around the edges – mix and fold it all together until the cheese melts, then serve immediately.  I have a hunch it would be just fine at room temperature, but we never found out.

This recipe makes enough for two people for lunch.  It could also serve four as a side dish to a nice juicy pork chop and fresh salad.  I wish I had done that now…..next time!

Enjoy, friends!

Sweet Berry Blue Quinoa

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup stock
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (or more!  cheese it up as much as you want)
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Chop the sweet potato, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and starting to get crispy on the edges.
  3. Combine the quinoa and the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the stock is absorbed.
  4. Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over a medium-high burner.  Shake the pan frequently to avoid burning!  Should take around 10 minutes.
  5. Combine everything while hot.  Add more salt/pepper if it needs it.

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One Response to “Sweet Berry Blue Quinoa”

  1. Kim January 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    OMG yumm!!! This is definitely on this list for an at home lunch soon!

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