Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa

Is it Summer?  Is it Fall?  My brain is so confused.

Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa04

We’ve had some cool nights lately where we didn’t even need to put the air conditioner on.  That’s not typical for CT in August.  Should I put my sandals away and starting wearing my new booties?  Maybe that’s the anxious fashionista talking because it’s going to be over 90 degrees F for most of this week.  I think those booties will have to wait.

You can see now why I’m confused.  I sort of feel like I need to wear shorts and booties at the same time.  I’m not sure that look would fly though.  (Though my husband does regularly sport a hoodie with shorts once autumn rolls around, so maybe it’s okay if you are a guy?)  How about I get the best of both Summer and Fall in one fabulous dish like this one?

Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa01

Guys, the dressing here is everything.  It’s a cinnamon vinaigrette and it’s one of the best things on earth!  It’s all about the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for Fall.  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte comes back on September 8th… in case you wanted to mark your calendar.  😉

Cinnamon vinaigrette, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cherries, and pecans… that would totally make for a great Thanksgiving side dish.  Seriously.  But let’s take that Thanksgiving goodness and have it with lettuce, feta cheese and quinoa.  It’s like a Thanksgiving summertime salad.

Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa05

Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa Recipe
(Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the Meal:

  • 1 sweet potato (equivalent to about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups of greens (I used a Spring mix.)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (I used Ocean Spray Craisins infused with cherry juice.)
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions for the Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, honey, salt, and pepper.

Directions for the Meal:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set it aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Toss the sweet potato pieces in the oil and then lay them on the prepared baking sheet, in a single layer.
  4. Bake the sweet potato pieces in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the pieces are tender when you stick a fork in them.  (After they are done cooking I cooked them on broil for about 3 extra minutes to get them a little crispy on the edges.  The broil step is purely optional depending on what you prefer.)
  5. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package and then set it aside.
  6. To assemble each plate, lay down about 1 cup of greens and then top with half of each of the following ingredients: baked sweet potato pieces, cooked quinoa, cherry craisins, crumbled feta cheese, chopped pecans, chopped green onions.
  7. Drizzle half of the Dressing on top each meal.

Adapted from:  Love & Lemons



5 Hats


Here some other recipes that I’m craving for Fall.

Apple Cake

06Apple Cake

Pumpkin Pie

03Pumpkin Pie

Ratatouille Over Polenta

06Ratatouille Over Polenta


  1. Ashley says:

    That cinnamon vinaigrette sounds amazingggg! As does this salad – the perfect dish as we slowly transition to fall!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much, Ashley!

  2. Victoria Cooke says:

    Wow Tina, I never would have thought of this. Such a beautiful salad.

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you!

  3. I love the sweet potato in here- can’t wait for fall in CT, either 🙂 Cooler temps are actually better for me, because my dorm doesn’t have AC!

    1. Tina says:

      That’s rough! Stay cool!

  4. Cinnamon vinaigrette!? That sounds like the most beret autumn-y dressing ever. This salad looks amazing 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Oh yes. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *