Sweet potato and chickpea quinoa

This quinoa with roasted sweet potato, chickpeas and spinach (or kale) is a delicious meal that is full of whole grain, vegetables and legumes. It will give you all the plant protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and carbohydrates that your body needs.

Although I still prefer regular potatoes to sweet potatoes, I wanted to make something with the latter. Both types of potatoes are very good for you; however, sweet potatoes have an interesting nutritional profile. Some specialists claim that the sweet potato is healthier than the regular potato.

With sweet potatoes, your blood sugar levels will not spike as high as with regular potatoes. Maintaining low blood sugar levels is important in metabolic and weight management.

Further, sweet potatoes have more antioxidants and key vitamins, such as vitamins A and C. They contain special pigments called beta-carotene which give the flesh its orange colour. Your body converts the beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is crucial for eye and skin health as well as brain function. Beta-carotene can also aid in preventing lung, colon, breast and prostate cancer.

The step-by-step recipe is below.

Sweet potato and chickpea quinoa

Serves 4 to 5

Equipment: 1 non-stick wok or large frying pan. Small blender (e.g. NutriBullet) if making own salad dressing.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used the white/yellowish kind)
  • 1 jar/can (300-400 gr) chickpeas, drained, rinsed & sprinkled with cumin and paprika
  • 2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil, extra virgin ( for roasting & sautéing)
  • Spices: 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) cumin, 1 tsp paprika, a pinch of cayenne
  • 1-2 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach or kale leaves sliced in ribbons
  • 2 tablespoon (tbsp) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • A small dash of soy or tamari sauce (for flavour)
  • Fresh herbs: a handful of fresh mint and coriander (or parsley), chopped
  • Salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • Options: top portions with roasted sesame seeds, dry red pepper flakes and tahini dressing (recipe below)


1. Cook the quinoa first (can be made the day before). If you have never made quinoa, go to instructions here. Measure 2 cups of cooked quinoa and set aside. Leftover cooked quinoa can be stored in refrigerator or freezer for future use.

2. Prepare all remaining ingredients having them ready to go in bowls. Lightly sprinkle the rinsed and drained chickpeas with cumin & paprika .

3. Pre-heat oven to 210°C / 410°F. Transfer the sweet potato cubes into a bowl and drizzle them with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Then, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, a pinch of cayenne and salt. Toss with clean hands to coat the potatoes all over.

4. Spread the cubes (and the odd looking cubes) onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast on middle rack in heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway (they will brown more on the face-down side).

5. When done, set the roasted cubes aside for a moment.

6. On medium-high heat on stove top, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan or wok. When the olive oil shimmers, reduce the heat to medium and add the green onion and chickpeas. Toss for 2 minutes.

7. Lower or adjust heat and add the cooked quinoa and toss.

8. Add the roasted sweet potato cubes and toss to combine.

9. Add the baby spinach or kale and keep tossing. In a few minutes the leaves will begin to wilt.

10. Add the soy or tamari sauce and lemon juice and keep tossing.

11. Add the chopped mint and coriander (or parsley). Keep tossing. Add salt and ground pepper, to taste.

12. When the leaves have wilted or partially wilted, remove from heat and serve in bowls immediately.

Can top individual servings with roasted sesame seeds, dry red pepper flakes and a drizzle of tahini dressing (recipe below). Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Tastes great the next day and the day after. Can be reheated in microwave or enjoyed cold.

Tahini dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini *
  • Lemon juice squeezed from half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or liquid honey
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • A pinch of salt and ground pepper, to taste  

Add all ingredients to your small blender or NutriBullet bowl. Some tahini may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl, so give it all a quick stir with a spoon. Then cover and blend the ingredients for a few seconds, until creamy. Transfer to a sealed container or jar and keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

* Tahini is a paste or purée made from ground sesame seeds and can be found in grocery stores with other nut butters like peanut or almond butter.


Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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