Cuban Quinoa Sweet Potato Bowl with Lemon Cashew Dressing

This bowl>>> SO GOOD. Delicious vegetarian bowl for a fun Meatless Monday meal (or any day!)

My oldest brother and sister-in-law cooked this dinner for my family and I over spring break one night, and when I got back to my apartment at school, I just had to recreate it again because it was that good. I wanted a little more protein, so I added some baked mesquite chicken breast, which went really well with all the flavors going on in this dish. But you don't need to add chicken if you want it to be meat-free of course. It's a free country peeps. Also, this dish makes AWESOME leftovers, and it almost tastes even better the next day!

Here's the recipe... and it's adapted from Heathercristo.com.

I realize there's a lot of ingredients here, but it actually was very quick to make because you're making one part while waiting for another part to cook. Don't be scared :)

Serves about 5 ish

Ingredients:

Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced flatleaf parsley
  • 3 green onions, minced

 Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cinnamon 
  • Sea salt

Black beans:

  • 2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • Sea salt
  • Sprinkle of cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder (or sauté some onion and garlic cloves!)
  • Chopped cilantro, however much you'd like
  • Juice of 1 lime 

Smashed Avocado:

  • 1-2 large ripe avocadoes
  • 2 TB chopped cilantro 
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Sea salt

Spicy Lemon Cashew Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • Hot water to cover the cashews for soaking
  • 2 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey or agave
  • Enough water to thin so it can be easily poured
  • Sea salt / black pepper

For serving:

  • Greens (I used arugula and spinach)
  • Cherry tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cashews in a glass and cover them with hot water and let soak for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Quinoa: In a medium pot over medium heat bring the vegetable broth, cumin and salt to a simmer. Pour in the quinoa and stir. Bring the quinoa to a simmer and then put a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring a couple times occasionally. Turn the heat off and let the quinoa sit in the pot with the lid on for another 15 minutes (may need to add a dash of water if its really thick). Fluff with a fork and mix in the minced parsley and green onions. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. While the Quinoa is cooking, make the sweet potatoes: Toss the chopped sweet potatoes with about 2 tablespoons of oil, cinnamon and salt and place on a sheet pan. Roast for about 25 minutes or more until either just soft or crispy depending on how you like them.
  4. In a medium sauce pan or skillet over medium heat, mix the beans, spices, water. Let the water come to a little boil and cook until most of the water has reduced. Take out 1/2-1 cup beans and lightly mash before mixing them back into the pan. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. 
  5. Smashed avocado: In a small bowl, using a fork, smash avocados leaving some chunks. Mix in salt, lime juice, and cilantro. 
  6. Spicy Cashew Lemon Dressing: Drain the cashews and add them to a either a food processor, Nutribullet, or a blender if you've got a good one. Put in the garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, lemon juice and honey/agave. Puree on high until smooth (may need more water if it's too thick), and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Assemble! Greens on the bottom, and top with quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, smashed avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of the cashew lemon dressing.