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Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Arugula

Roasted veggies combine with quinoa and a sesame soy dressing in this Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Arugula recipe.

Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes

A year ago this week, I was preparing to head north to Maine from Connecticut. While here, I had to both find a place to live and choose schools for my kids — two things I had been researching for weeks. The trip, which couldn’t really be planned until the last minute because of the nature of real estate, was weighing on me. So much had to happen while I was here, and there were so many big decisions to make. It could’ve been overwhelming.

Thank goodness for good friends on the other side of text messages. While I stressed, anxiously heading from appointment to appointment, my friends listened, offered advice and generally kept me sane. When most of the places I saw felt all wrong, they encouraged me to keep looking, and ultimately go with my gut. When the school visits left me in tears, they reminded me of what mattered most: finding the right learning atmosphere and curriculum for my kids. And once all the paperwork was signed and checks delivered, I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief.

A year later, I am happy with my decisions.

My intention was to live in our little apartment for a year. But as the year mark has approached, I have found myself reluctant to move. Yes, we need more space. But moving this summer would be our third move in as many years, and would likely mean another change of schools for the kids. I really don’t want that.

And it doesn’t help that while our apartment doesn’t have as much space as I’d like, I do like it a lot. It’s cozy. And when the kids go to visit their dad on weekends, it doesn’t feel too massive for just one person.

Asian Quinoa Salad Recipe

That said, I know that we can’t live here forever. As the kids near their teenage years, we really need more room for desks and homework and privacy. But maybe we can make one more year work — I am willing to try.

In the meantime, we’ll enjoy our little first home in Maine, and everything our new hometown has to offer — including a restaurant scene that I’ve found more inspiring than I imagined it could be.

That includes the vegan salad and juice bar that opened in town a few months ago where I rediscovered just how much I love quinoa. After a tasting, and a few trips for lunch, I find myself thinking fondly of the salads there — particularly one that features quinoa, barbecued chickpeas, tomatoes, avocado, roasted carrots and sprouts. It’s both light and hearty, and the quinoa in it takes on the flavors of the salad well.

Making Asian Quinoa Salad

To be clear, this isn’t that salad. And while this one is inspired by it, they are pretty different.

This Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Arugula recipe combines tender, sweet roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips and shallots with quinoa and peppery baby arugula. It’s then tossed with a bold sesame soy dressing. You can dig into this hot or cold — it’s delicious both ways — and leftovers are perfect for lunches at school or work.

Asian Quinoa Salad

Ready in about 45 minutes, this is perfect for evenings, weekends or whenever. And it’s especially good for sharing with friends.

Asian Quinoa Salad Recipe - Pin
Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Arugula

Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Arugula

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Roasted veggies combine with quinoa and a sesame soy dressing in this Asian Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Arugula recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 lbs cubed parsnips, (about 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 3 shallots, , roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, , prepared according to package directions
  • 2 cups baby arugula

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • sesame seeds, , for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or spray with cooking oil spray.
  2. Spread the sweet potato cubes, parsnip cubes and shallots on the tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir. Then roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer the veggies to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the prepared quinoa to the mixing bowl along with the baby arugula. Toss well to combine.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, sesame oil and ground ginger until well-combined. Pour over the quinoa mixture and toss well. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately
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Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

Thursday 11th of June 2015

I can't believe you've been in Maine for a year already! And at the same time, I feel like you've been there for so much longer... it rally seems to suit you. :) We've been toying with the idea of moving too, but its not *totally* necessary and it's such a pain in the butt, so we're staying put to. I get you. Nothing wrong with cozy.

Sarah Walker Caron

Thursday 11th of June 2015

I know, right? And I can't believe that means it's been over a year since I last saw my blogging friends. Time to end my travel moratorium and see you all again!!

Angie | Big Bear's Wife

Thursday 11th of June 2015

Moving time after time is always rough :( Hubby and I have been married for almost 9 years and we've lived in 7 different houses. All moves cause by something out of our control. Hope you get to enjoyed a few years (ok maybe a year or two) of one place before having to move again, although I totally get what you mean about needing more space as everyone gets a little older. So let me just say that I am a tad jealous of your quinoa salad and that juice bar! haha Beautiful salad!

Sarah Walker Caron

Thursday 11th of June 2015

OMG, Angie, I might need your best moving tips -- 7 houses in 9 years! Wow.

Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

Roasted potatoes in a salad - I love that!

Karissa | Perfectly Sprinkled

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

Moving is the worst! This salad looks like the perfect pick-me-up!

Nutmeg Nanny

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

Moving is the worst! I always think my house is too small but the dislike of moving keeps me here. Hopefully you can find the room you need in your apartment :) This salad looks so good and perfect for using up lots of leftover veggies...yum!

Sarah Walker Caron

Thursday 11th of June 2015

Oh, I so feel you, Nutmeg Nanny! That same feeling kept me in the same house for over 8 years.