This salad is a good example of how I love my salads in the winter – warm, hearty, and bursting with nutrition. Like a big hug. I have no desire to eat a cold salad right now (unless it’s this one, I suppose). It’s light, but still has that “stick to your ribs” quality I crave soooo much right now. Give me all the healthy comfort food!
I started by roasting Yukon Gold potatoes (one of my all-time favourite winter comfort foods!) and crunchy green beans with a bit of olive oil and a generous seasoning of sea salt and pepper. While it’s roasting, whip up a batch of quinoa (speltberries or millet might be nice too) and chop some green onion and kale. Whisk together a simple red wine vinaigrette and we’ll add some freshly roasted garlic (if you are already roasting veggies, you might as well roast a few cloves of garlic too!). When the potatoes and green beans are golden and lightly charred on the bottoms, throw it into a big bowl and fold in the quinoa, dressing, green onions, and kale. Toss on a big handful of pepita seeds for crunch and my favourite salad topper – sliced avocado. It’s the perfect soul-soothing, warm bowl of comfort food in the middle of January.
This is the ultimate bowl of winter comfort food! Yukon Gold potatoes and green beans are roasted until crisp and golden and then tossed with warm quinoa, shredded kale, green onion, and a speedy roasted garlic and red wine vinaigrette. I topped this cozy bowl with crunchy toasted pepita seeds and creamy sliced avocado. Feel free to swap the potatoes with whatever variety you have on hand (yellow or red potatoes work great in a pinch). Spelt berries or millet might be a nice sub for the quinoa if you feel like changing up the grain.
For the salad:
- 2 large (400 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (2 1/2 cups)
- 12 ounces (350 g) green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
- 3 large garlic cloves, peel left on
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup (200 g) uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup (40 g) stemmed and finely chopped kale (optional)
- 3 medium (50 g) green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/4 cup (40 g) toasted pepita seeds
- 1 large ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line one extra-large baking sheet (or two large baking sheets) with parchment paper.
- Place the chopped potatoes, green beans, and garlic cloves (leaving the peel on) onto the baking sheet. Toss with the oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Spread into an even layer.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip before continuing to roast for about 10 to 20 more minutes until the potatoes and beans are tender and golden brown in some spots.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa by adding it to a medium pot along with 1 3/4 cups (430 mL) water. Bring to a low boil before reducing heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and leave the lid on to keep warm.
- Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- When the vegetables are finished roasting, trim the end off each garlic clove and push the roasted garlic out. Mash the garlic with a fork, then whisk it into the dressing until combined.
- Spoon the potatoes and beans into a large serving bowl. Now add the quinoa along with the kale and green onions (if using). Pour all of the dressing onto the vegetables and toss to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and top with pepitas and sliced avocado. Serve immediately. The salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Leftovers can be reheated in an oiled skillet over medium heat until warmed through. It's great cold, too!
To boost the protein even more, try adding chickpeas (roasted, if desired), adzuki beans, Great Northern beans, or lentils.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
A huge thank you to those of you who volunteered to be a recipe tester for my second cookbook! I’m blown away by the response – I wish I could take you all up on your offer to help. If you aren’t emailed by the end of next week, don’t despair. There’s a good chance that I will need more help in the future so I might end up emailing more volunteers down the road. I will keep your submissions on file if that’s ok with you (no pressure if you can no longer volunteer, of course). PS – I haven’t emailed anyone yet, but I should be sending out an email within a couple weeks once I get my testing site ready to roll. Thank you a million!