Happy Sunday, friends! Finally, we got a break from the heat yesterday. Is it hot where you are?! It’s felt like summer here since May, which means it’s been near 90 degrees (or more!) for weeks and weeks. Feels like an eternity already and we still have 3 more months to go. Whew! Someone save me. I mention the crazy heat because it makes me want to eat light…hence this Southwest Salad with Spicy Orange Dressing. Light, flavorful, and perfect for summer.
To make this salad you really only need a few ingredients—sweet potatoes, quinoa, kale, and green onions, plus corn, black beans, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and peanuts. Diced avocado is a fantastic addition as well…love the creaminess! Quite a lineup of ingredients, eh? :)
For the Spicy Orange Dressing, just toss the ingredients in a mason jar and give it a good shake. Super easy! Well, there is a little work required because you do have to squeeze a few oranges for the quinoa and the dressing, but no worries. Wait, orange-infused quinoa? Why yes indeed! Once the quinoa is done cooking, you add in the zest and juice of an orange. And let me tell you, the aroma is lovely! Plus, it keeps the whole salad light and bright.
Salads are awesome simply because they’re so good for you. Well, this one is anyway! Not only does this salad pack a mean dose of greens, it’s also full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and potassium (thanks to the yummy sweet potatoes). If you know me at all, you already know that I think sweet potatoes in salads is pretty much the best thing EVER (see here and here).
One more quick note about the dressing, feel free to use red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper in place of the chipotle + adobo. It’ll alter the taste a touch, but the dressing will no doubt still be spicy. Mm!
So this has zero to do with this lovely salad, but I wanted to take a moment to mention that you can connect with me on Twitter and Facebook now, in addition to Instagram and Pinterest. That’s right, I’ve joined the crazy world of social media in full force. Truth be told…I’m still learning how to keep up with everything. It’s all so instant and fast-paced, which is the point—I know, I know! :) I’d love to connect with you, though! After all, that’s what this whole blogging world is all about.
Okay, so make this scrumptious salad and then come connect with me while you stuff your face. Deal?!
- 2 large sweet potatoes—washed and cubed
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1½ cups uncooked quinoa
- Zest + juice of 1 orange
- 8 oz. kale—destemmed (I used half of a 16 oz. bag)
- 10 green onions—cut into rounds (I use kitchen shears)
- 1 (15 oz.) can corn—drained and rinsed or 1½ cups frozen corn—thawed
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans—drained and rinsed or 1½ cups cooked black beans
- 2-3 tomatoes—diced (about 1½ cups)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- Honey roasted peanuts, for topping
- Optional topping: diced avocado
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 cloves garlic—minced
- 1-2 chipotle in adobo peppers—minced (see note)
- 1-2 tsp. adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
- ½ tsp. salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the oil. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl—use a bowl big enough for the entire salad. Add the orange zest + juice and gently toss to combine.
- Add the kale and green onions to the bowl with the quinoa and mix to combine. Add the corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and chia seeds. Sprinkle with salt to taste and gently mix to combine.
- Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until well combined.
- Divide the salad into bowls, top with peanuts and avocado (if using). Drizzle on some salad dressing and toss to combine.
• Source: Love.Bake.Read