As we find ourselves officially one week away from thanksgiving, I find myself craving some pre-holiday noms (otherwise known as food). You know when its not quite time to throw the turkey in the oven and cover everything you eat in cranberry sauce, but you just need some of those flavors in your life?! Well thats basically me...beginning on November 1st. So out of that craving formed this little bowl of holiday delight. A Pre-thanksgiving Warm Root Bowl topped with cranberry sauce ( I know, I couldn't help it). Seeing as I already made my seasonal cranberry sauce for the year I thought it would be appropriate.
I have always been a major fan of the warm salad. Especially if it contains a grain. I feel like it's the perfect winter meal that is both healthy and appetizing. Once the cool weather starts I basically only crave warm food. So I have to find ways to get my daily salad into the mix. This year I have really been into roasting parsnips and murasaki sweet potatoes together. They are a great juxtaposition of flavors and just scream the season.
This bowl basically came out of working with what I had in the kitchen and focusing on simple flavors. I would have never of imaged it to literally taste like thanksgiving. I am always looking for that one perfect bite in a meal. When you try to fit everything onto your fork to create the ultimate bite. This bowl is the ultimate bite. So let us get onto the recipe!
3-5 Murasaki Sweet Potatoes (depending on size)
1 Bag of Fresh Spinach
1 Sweet Onion
1 cup Quinoa
Balsamic Vinegar - I suggest spending a little more and getting a nice aged balsamic that is a little sweet to taste.
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Fresh or Dried Thyme
Begin by chopping the parsnip and sweet potato into 1-inch cubes and roasting. Set the oven to 400 and cover the veg in olive oil (or coconut oil). Add a pinch of thyme, S+P to the Parsnip for flavor and simply leave the sweet potato in oil. Roast in the oven on the top shelf for about 20-25 min. Make sure to check and mix every 10 min to brown both sides. Once you put the veg in the oven, make your 1 cup of quinoa in a medium saucepan. Next chop your onion into thin wedges and satay them using olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar helps to caramelize them a bit and gives the onions an amazing flavor. You only need about a tablespoon of balsamic and feel free to S+P them to your liking. Satay for about 5 min or until slightly caramelized then turn off and cover.
Once all pieces have finished we then bring everything together in a large bowl with 1-2 cups of spinach. Mix lightly and dress the salad with oil + vinegar, S+P to your liking. I am a less is more person when it comes to dressing. So taste it as you go, and remember that we are adding cranberry to top. I always try to keep a little bit of roasted veg to add to the top next to the cranberry sauce.
This salad is also great served cold or at room temperature. I suggest eating it with a generous helping of cranberry sauce :)