Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
I have always been a fan of sharing vegan food with others, including omnivores. At family gatherings, I typically offer to make a larger portion of my personal vegan dinner so that others can add some produce to their plates and gain some exposure to vegan food. I find that this is a great way to sneakily encourage others to skip the meat and recreate a vegan recipe instead. Instead of making something really extravagant for a get-together, I decided to whip up this salad and received a very positive response, so I am sharing it with all of you! This salad is protein-packed and simple to make!
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 yams/sweet potatoes
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 red &/or green bell peppers, halved & thinly sliced
1 small head kale, torn
2-3 tomatoes, cut into small chunks, drained & rinsed
2 15-oz. cans of black, kidney &/or pinto beans, drained & rinsed
2.25-oz can of black olives, sliced, drained & rinsed
Fresh cilantro, de-stemmed & chopped
2 avocados, cut into small chunks
Squirt of lemon or lime
Sugar-free tortilla chips, optional
1. Add quinoa and at least 2 cups of water to a pan. Bring water to a boil, then cover and lower heat to medium-low. Cook quinoa for at least 20 min, frequently checking on the water level. After at least 20 min, pop the quinoa in the freezer to cool to room temp.
2. Meanwhile, punch holes in sweet potatoes or yams with a fork and stick them in the microwave for 3 min or until you can easily pierce through the center. Wait for potatoes to cool, then dice them.
*If you'd like your potatoes peeled, cut an eighth-inch circle along the circumference of the potato before microwaving, & dunk the potatoes in ice water after microwaving to easily peel off the skin with your hands.
3. Heat olive oil in a medium-large non-stick skillet over low heat. Add red onion. Sauté until onion starts to become translucent but before it turns golden. Add the potatoes and bell peppers and sprinkle spices to taste over the skillet (go lighter with cayenne, heavier with chili powder). Cook until peppers soften (5-10 min).
4. Place sauté in the freezer to cool it to room temp.
5. Begin tossing the salad by adding all the ingredients together and adding the chilled sauté in last. You can add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon/lime juice or ground flaxseed if you like.