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Quinoa: Not Just For Passover

Quinoa: Not Just For Passover

A nutty, nutritious salad features sweet potatoes, lentils and spice.

Even though Passover is over, I’m sharing a quinoa recipe with all of you. Why?

Because I love eating the tasty sorta grain year round – in particular, red quinoa. The red variety is a little nuttier and earthier than its paler cousin, and pairs really nicely with the sweet potato and lentils. You can play around with the ratios of potato to quinoa to lentils if you’d rather have one more prominent than the other.

Check the box of quinoa you buy – many will say that you should rinse before use, that’s because with a natural coat of saponin, which has a bitter taste. Some brands come pre-rinsed, though.

The flavors in the dressing are an unexpected but tasty combination – the honey and cinnamon provide sweetness and the garlic, soy sauce and vinegar a bit of savory and tang. This is one you’ll come back to over and over!

Recipe: Serves 4

1 cup green or black lentils
1 1/2 cups red quinoa
1 large or two small sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Rinse the lentils and put in a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer, cooking until just tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Peel and dice the sweet potato into 1/4″ chunks. Toss with the oil and salt and pepper and spread out in one layer in a roasting pan. Roast on 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through and browned on the edges.

As the potatoes roast, cook the quinoa in 3 cups of water on the stovetop or in the microwave until all the water is absorbed (microwave should take 10-12 minutes on medium-high, stirring once or twice).

Combine the lentils, sweet potato and quinoa in a large bowl. Whisk or shake together the dressing ingredients until smooth.

Pour about 1/2 of it over the salad, then add more to taste.

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute’s baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

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