With so much going on last week, I felt like I was walking around in a haze half the time. Both global and personal events had me preoccupied. So, in that haze, I made a pot of quinoa last night to accompany dinner, only to realize I’d made so many different things, no one even wanted it. I stuck it in the fridge and figured I’d make a salad with it. Well, here it is! I just started pulling things together and this became the best lunch I’d had in a long time! I could hardly stop eating long enough to take some photos and get this written up.
This salad is a combination of textures. The crunch of the pepitas and the quinoa, and creaminess of the black beans and mangoes are wonderful. And the bit of sweetness from those mangoes and the currants against the savory citrus dressing is so good! I could eat this all day. This salad will be great to pack up for my daughter’s lunches this week or as a side dish for a light and healthy dinner!
Red Quinoa and Mango Salad
3 cups cooked red quinoa, cooled
2 ripe mangoes, cubed
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup currants
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted pepitas
juice of one lemon
juice of one lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the salad ingredients, up to the parsley, in a large bowl. Combine the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine and get it all covered. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. Toss in the pepitas just before serving to keep their crunch.
- I like to rinse my quinoa before cooking. If you don’t have a really fine sieve, line whatever sieve you do have with some paper towel. You’ll have to really shake those little buggers off afterward, but it is worth it. Rinsing removes the saponins (a substance that makes quinoa bitter) and really makes a huge difference.
- Pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Find them in the nut section of your store.
- I used Champagne mangoes in this salad. You can use any mango. They just happened to be on sale this past week. This was my first time trying them. Their texture is a bit creamier than most mangoes, they have a really pretty golden color, inside and out and they get really sweet when left out on the counter.
- This year, 2013, has been declared, “The International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations! Read about the global importance of this super nutritious grain.
- If you’d like more nutritional information about quinoa, check out this great source: World’s Healthiest Foods!