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QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO BOWL WITH Grain bowls—they have taken over the universe! Healthy, filling, and loaded with veggies, they’re more substantial than a salad and offer all the nuance, texture, and flavor balance of a great sandwich (minus the bread). Grain bowls beg for creativity—when I make one, I always strive to hit savory-sweet-salty-spicy-crunchy-creamy-cold-warm-herby-citrusy-chewy in every bite. (Okay fine, maybe every other bite.) Here, sweet potatoes give fluffy quinoa some substance, while a very creamy tahini and miso dressing enriches this otherwise lean bowl. Chopped fresh spinach, crunchy sunflower seeds, chopped jalapeño, and scallions add texture, heat, and sharpness, offering loads of flavor and contrast each time you dive in for another forkful.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 3 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled,
  • quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into ¾-inch
  • pieces
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra as needed
  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 limes
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup almond, soy, or cow’s milk
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chile, stemmed (seeded for
  • reduced heat, if you like) and finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, ends trimmed, white and light green parts
  • thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
How to Make It
  1. 1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 2. Toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium-size bowl. Turn the potatoes out onto a rimmed sheet pan and roast until they begin to soften, about 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Wearing oven mitts, remove the sheet pan from the oven and add the quinoa. Pull the oven rack out partway, place the pan back on it, and carefully add the boiling water. Give everything a quick stir to disperse the potatoes, quinoa, and water evenly, and cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal. Bake for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir the quinoa, re-cover the pan, and bake until all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside, covered.
  4. 4. While the quinoa bakes, make the toppings: Place the spinach in a medium-size bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Juice the limes into a small bowl. Add half the juice to the spinach, tossing to combine. To the remaining lime juice, add the tahini and miso and whisk until smooth. Add the soy sauce and almond milk and whisk again until smooth.Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed. Stir in the cilantro and chopped jalapeño.
  5. 5. Divide the quinoa mixture among 4 bowls and top each with the dressed spinach and some scallions. Divide the tahini-miso dressing evenly over the top, sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, and serve. A Safety.

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