Healthy can be tasty! Dig into this quinoa bowl packed with pan seared sweet potatoes, hearty black beans perfectly paired with a cool avocado cream sauce.
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Have you tried quinoa yet? It has recently become popular in the food world, and for good reason! Before you scroll down to get this easy Quinoa Bowl recipe, let’s talk about the star of the show for a minute!
Quinoa is often used as a grain, but is actually a seed or pseudo grain. It is a source of complete protein (unlike rice and other grains) and packs a good amount of iron, fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
Quinoa is also ridiculously versatile, especially in your gluten free kitchen! Sub it out for couscous or rice or use it instead of flour to make a decadent chocolate cake (yep, you read that right!)
The possibilities are virtually endless! If you are looking for more ways to dish up quinoa, check out our Ultimate Quinoa Recipes roundup!
If you’re looking to make some healthy changes to your gluten free diet, quinoa is a great option. Did you know that many people on a gluten free diet (especially celiacs) are iron deficient?
There are two ways you can increase your iron levels: Consuming more iron-rich foods, and increasing your absorption of the iron that you eat. Pairing non-animal sources of iron (such as quinoa and black beans) with a food that contains vitamin C is a great way to increase absorption!
One serving of quinoa packs 10% iron, and one serving of sweet potatoes contains over half your daily need for vitamin C. This quinoa bowl is a winning combo!
Not only is this meal packed with healthy fats, iron, protein, and many other vitamins, but it doesn’t skimp on flavor. The varieties of textures and flavors is a satisfying combination. Everyone, including the kiddos, loved the avocado cream sauce!
A few notes about this recipe:
- Ditch the instructions on the quinoa box and prepare it as suggested in this recipe, it’s the secret to making fluffy, perfectly cooked quinoa.
- Don’t skimp on the avocado cream sauce! It really brings all the flavors together. You can also add a squeeze of lime to the entire bowl before you eat it.
- Use ripe, but not overly ripe avocados. If they’re not soft enough, it will be hard to make the sauce creamy, overly ripe and the taste might be a little off. This part can be tricky because as you know, avocados are under ripe and then the next day they’re brown and mushy. I have found that it matters where I purchase them and I always buy from the same couple of stores. Don’t stress too much about it, just try to use one that’s ripe 🙂
***Please be sure all ingredients you’re using are gluten free
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
FOR SWEET POTATOES
- 1 Tablespoon oil (I used avocado)
- 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (you can sub brown sugar)
FOR AVOCADO CREAM
- 1 large, ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup mayo (I used a sriracha mayo)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice (bottled or fresh)
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans
- Sliced green onions and/or fresh cilantro for garnish
- FOR QUINOA: Combine quinoa and broth or water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down so it's at a gentle simmer, do not remove lid. Set timer for 15 minutes. When timer goes off, most of the liquid should be absorbed. Turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 more minutes, then fluff with a fork or spoon. All the liquid should be gone and you can add salt and pepper to taste if you want.
- FOR SWEET POTATOES: Meanwhile, heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and saute until sweet potatoes are browned and just tender. Don't cook until they're mushy 🙂 Sprinkle with turmeric, salt, pepper, and coconut sugar and stir to combine. Set aside.
- FOR AVOCADO CREAM: While quinoa and sweet potatoes are cooking, combine avocado, mayo, lime juice, water, salt, pepper, and cilantro in a food processor (I use a mini KitchenAid one). Process until smooth, add an additional teaspoon of water if needed to get the right consistency. I put the avocado cream in a condiment bottle to squirt out.
- PUT IT TOGETHER: In a bowl, arrange in thirds the sweet potatoes, black beans, and quinoa. Drizzle generously with the avocado cream, or just add a heaping spoonful to the top. Garnish with green onions, cilantro, and freshly ground pepper and serve.
- Store leftovers separately in the fridge and saute quickly to reheat. The avocado cream will brown a little but will still taste great later, IF you have any leftovers 🙂
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- KitchenAid KFC3516IC 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, Ice
- OXO Good Grips Large Wooden Spoon
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Assist Handle Holder, 12", Red Silicone
- Reynolds Kitchens Non-Stick Parchment Paper - 60 Square Feet
- The Pioneer Woman Country Garden Nesting Mixing Bowl Set, 10-Piece, Multiple Patterns
- Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Straining and Lid, 2 Quart, Dark Gray
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 290mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g