Friday, January 21, 2011

Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco

I had some random leftovers in my fridge that I needed to use up.  So, I used my noodle to come up with the following recipe.  Here's how I got from "stuff in the fridge" to "dinner".

These are the ingredients I started with:

  • Quinoa
  • Red onion
  • Queso fresco 
  • Sweet potatoes
Because of the queso fresco I wanted to use Mexican flavors.  So, I thought of cumin, chili powder, and cilantro.  In another quinoa recipe I've made, you soften the onion, add spices, then cook the quinoa in broth to add flavor.  I thought I'd use this technique, stirring in the sweet potato and queso fresco at the end.

Must admit, it was pretty delish.

Quinoa with Sweet Potato and Queso Fresco
Serves: 4-6

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/3 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spread the sweet potato on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.  Roast for 15-20 minutes until sweet potato is golden and tender, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in chili powder and cumin, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add quinoa and allow it to toast for a minute or two.  Stir in chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is tender.

Stir in sweet potato, queso fresco, and cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

*If you're looking to make this dish even heartier, try adding a can of black beans when you stir in the sweet potatoes.


  1. Looks good! This is totally how I cook on most nights :D

  2. When you clean the fridge out, it can make for some the best dishes! Yum!

  3. Yay for "Clean out the Fridge Day"! This sounds really yummy - it's rare you see a dish with two "Q" ingredients!

  4. Looks like an interesting dish. My dad also had a knack for pulling leftovers out and creating interesting dishes with them. He really enjoyed it.

  5. Its amazing what we can come up with when we have to! This looks like everything turned out tasty! There have been times where I have failed so badly we went out for dinner.....great job!

  6. I love the challenge of cooking with whatever is on hand. Looks like you came up with a yummy and healthy dinner!

  7. I love 'cleaning out my fridge' recipes! You came up with a gorgeous, yummylicious meal to use up all that stuff. Looks great!

  8. i love quinoa and most of the time i come up with a quinoa meal just like you, with whatever i find in my pantry/fridge. Next time I'm going to pair it with some cheese, thanks for the idea.

    have a wonderful day

  9. Wow this looks delicious! I love cleaning out my fridge and trying to use up as much as I can. Great idea!

  10. Quinoa is the best for "everything but the kitchen sink" dinners!

  11. This sounds delicious! I love quinoa, sweet potatoes and queso fresco (which is unfortunately not available here in France, I substitute feta). Great recipe!