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I have been an avid ball jar lunch maker – breakfast too – because eating on the go is a constant in my life. The more creative the recipes, the tastier, and healthier. Vegan too! This one has sweet potatoes which have antioxidant, anti inflammatory and disease-fighting components. They pack more Vitamin A than most foods and are high in potassium and fiber.
WHAT TO HAVE ON HAND
1 small sweet potato washed but unpeeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces 1 T olive oil - I often use 1/2 1/4 cup quinoa 1/2 cup black beans- if canned, rinse well 1/4 red pepper, diced 2 cups greens - love mixing Kale and spinach but any favorite green is fine
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins if you like sweetness
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds for crunch
salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE DRESSING
1/4 cup mango or kiwi fresh or frozen 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, add oil, and stir to coat. Spread evenly on a pan, and roast for 25 minutes stirring periodically so they roast evenly and the potatoes are soft.
Cook the quinoa in half a cup of water in a covered pot on high. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
Peel and purée the mango or kiwi with the balsamic vinegar and water, and set aside. Kiwi adds tartness and mango is sweet.
Allow the potatoes and quinoa to cool to room temperature. If you need to add salt & pepper, mix into your quinoa or sprinkle on the potatoes before adding to the jar. I like to grind fresh black pepper on the potatoes as I layer them.
Start layering the salad in the jar beginning with the black beans. Add the cooked quinoa, and pour the mango balsamic vinaigrette on top.
Top with roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries or raisins, sunflower seeds, red peppers then greens in order. The greens will be soggy if not on top.
Screw top on securely, and store in the fridge. I often make three days worth and the greens are still crisp when placed on top. When you're ready to eat, give the jar a good shake to mix everything.