All the nutrition you need in a meal can be found in this salad. The turkey bacon adds a nice smokiness and brings a touch of protein along with the nutty quinoa. A healthy dabble of fat comes from the crunchy pecans and the creamy goat cheese, while the yams provide a hearty carbohydrate with a surprising warm and toasty flavor from roasting them in cumin. Tossed with roasted fennel and spring mix, this salad makes for a fresh and satisfying meal.
(Makes 4 Servings)
8 cups spring mix
2 small yams, peeled
1 1/3 cup cooked quinoa (multi-colored was used in this recipe)
4 large or 6 small slices of turkey bacon
1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced (about 1 cup)
4 ounces goat cheese
¼ cup toasted pecan pieces
4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Favorite light vinaigrette, or see the recipe at the bottom of the post.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover two rimmed sheet pans with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. On one sheet pan toss the fennel slices with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.
3. Cut the yams into ¼ inch coins. On the other sheet pan toss the coins with the other 3 tsp of olive oil, the cumin, salt and pepper.
4. Roast both pans for 15 minutes. Toss the fennel and the yams, switch oven racks and roast another 10 minutes. Let cool.
5. Cook the turkey bacon in the microwave until crispy, approximately 4-6 minutes. Break the strips into small pieces.
6. The salad can be prepared on one large platter or in 4 large bowls (by dividing all of the toppings into 4 parts). Toss the spring mix with vinaigrette. Scatter the fennel, turkey bacon and quinoa over the top of the greens. Place the yam coins on top of those ingredients and then scatter small pieces of goat cheese, along with the pecans.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp agave
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
In a blender, thoroughly blend the ingredients. Store in the fridge.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.