Quinoa, pronounced [KEEN-wah] has exploded with popularity over the last few years. Though not technically a grain, quinoa can be substituted for nearly any grain, such as rice and wheat bulgar, in recipes. Packed with protein, this seed delivers a big nutritional punch, as it contains every amino acid. It’s particularly rich in lysine, which promotes healthy tissue growth throughout the body. Quinoa is a great source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.
I tasted a quinoa salad for the first time at a party and was instantly intrigued. I visited the local Trader Joe’s store and purchased my first package. The experimentation began and I learned that you can add pretty much anything to it with great results. Since I love southwestern ingredients this recipe with mango, black beans and cilantro became my favorite combination.
Start by cooking the quinoa. It cooks much like rice with 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Some quinoa needs to be rinsed prior to cooking so make sure you follow the directions on the package. Mine did not need rinsing and took 15 minutes to cook while simmering in covered pot.
In the meantime, you can start prepping the other ingredients. One of the magical ingredients in this salad is the succulent mango! Dice and place into a large bowl.
Now chop your green onion and add to the mango.
No southwestern recipe would be complete without some cilantro! Chop up a good handful and add to the mango mixture.
Dice up a red bell pepper and add with a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) to the salad. Then, pile in the fluffy quinoa.
In a separate bowl combine: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 T rice wine vinegar, juice from 1 large lemon, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 tsp salt, 1 T honey. Mix it well, pour it over your beautiful salad and toss!
Take a bite and experience the tangy deliciousness…not to mention all those beneficial nutrients!
- For the salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 mango diced
- 1 bunch green onion chopped(6-8)
- 1 handful cilantro chopped
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- For the dressing
- ¼ c olive oil
- 2 T rice wine vinegar
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 t lemon zest
- 1 t salt
- 1 T honey
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Chop all salad ingredients and mix in a large bowl.
- Add quinoa to salad.
- Mix dressing in separate container and then pour over salad.
- Toss and serve!
- Salad can also be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days.