Quinoa Salad with Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, and Sweet Potatoes

I love quinoa. It’s like pasta, except healthier. It also absorbs sauces, a bit like rice, so I can add an Asian flair to some quinoa recipes as well. I cooked dinner for my family again, and I decided to make another quinoa dish. This dish is adapted from one I made last summer, Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Dried Cranberries, and Red Onion from Two Peas and Their Pod. My family doesn’t like kale, so I used swiss chard from one of our friend’s gardens instead. I also had a squash from their garden, and several huge zucchinis from our own garden, so I threw those in as well. We didn’t have a red onion, and white onion has a milder flavor anyway, so I used that instead. The dried cranberries in this salad give it a nice touch of sweetness and a bit of chewy texture with every bite. I also crumbled some goat cheese on top for an extra kick of flavor. To round out the meal, I still have buttermilk to use up, so I made whole-wheat buttermilk biscuits (trying to be a little healthier) to accompany this dish. Everything was delicious, and earned the approval of my sister, something that I strive for. Here’s the recipe with my adaptations!

Quinoa Salad with Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, and Sweet Potatoes

adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod


1 cup quinoa

1 ¾ cup water

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

½ medium white onion, sliced

1 medium yellow squash, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups swiss chard leaves, chopped

5 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided

½ cup dried cranberries

goat cheese, for serving


Rinse the quinoa and put in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400˚. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in a baking pan, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with half the olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the squash and zucchini, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 12 more minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Spread the swiss chard on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until the swiss chard is wilted.

Let all vegetables come to room temperature, then combine with the quinoa. Add in the dried cranberries and the rest of the balsamic vinegar, toss to combine. Crumble goat cheese on top and serve. Enjoy!


Shared on Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy’s Recipe Box.


One Pot Tomato Basil Quinoa with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

Apartment life is coming soon! With it quickly approaching, I’m trying to learn how to make easy, quick meals. This dish came together in less than half an hour, and it only used one pot! Easy make, easy clean. Excellent. I saw a recipe for one-pan farro with tomatoes on Smitten Kitchen, and I decided to adapt it to my own tastes. The one-pan farro only has tomatoes as the veggie, and I wanted a more complete meal with some more colors in it, so I decided to add some spinach. The walnuts and goat cheese are optional, but make for a nice topping, and you don’t need much goat cheese to get the flavor. You could also use feta and olives for a more mediterranean style dish, but I prefer goat cheese and I don’t like olives so I opted not to use them. The beauty of inventing my own recipes is that I get to pick and choose what goes in! I made this dish and some buttermilk biscuits and dinner was served! The great thing about these biscuits is that they’re drop biscuits, so they don’t require any rolling and cutting or any of those time-consuming, mess-making steps. My sister really enjoyed this meal, and I was quite pleased with it myself. Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts


1 1/2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1 tsp salt

1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp minced garlic, or 2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ cups tomatoes, diced (about 4 medium tomatoes)

A handful of basil leaves, sliced into ribbons (I used about 10 leaves, I could have used more)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups baby spinach

½ cup walnuts, toasted

Goat cheese, for serving


Rinse the quinoa. Place in a pot with the water, salt, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

Bring the whole mixture to a boil at medium high heat, then cover the pot and lower the heat. Simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the basil ribbons, salt, and pepper, and simmer for a couple more minutes.

Add the spinach and olive oil, stir into mixture. Cover the pot and let simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the spinach has wilted.

Place in a serving bowl and top with toasted walnuts and goat cheese. Enjoy!