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!
Enjoy…and in light of so much heartbreaking news recently…peace.
Red Quinoa and Mango Salad
3 C. cooked red quinoa, cooled
2 ripe mangoes, cubed
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C. frozen sweet corn kernels
1/4 C. currants
2 green onions, sliced
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 C. roasted pepitas
juice of one lemon
juice of one lime
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. cumin
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. 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. This is the quinoa I use.
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.
Let’s start off with the name of this salad. Shaved? Ugh…I’ll admit, I hesitated over using that word. *Insert funny joke I had here…but, apparently my family thought was inappropriate* Seriously though, it was the word that just kept repeating in my head as I wondered how this would all work if I “shaved” the broccoli. I imagined, instead of hunks of stalky, unyielding crowns, this salad would have crisp, crunchy slivers of broccoli, surrounded by a light and creamy dressing and flecked with sweet cranberries, tart apple slices and nutty almonds. I used my best chef’s knife to slice through each crown, as you would julienne any other vegetable. You could used your mandoline or slicer blade on your food processor, but I enjoy the process of chopping. It’s therapeutic. I will warn you…it is a bit messy. The broccoli heads break up and get all over your hands, but you’ll want to tough it out. This salad is so worth it!
Shaved Broccoli Salad
3 – 4 small broccoli heads, stems cut to about 2″ and julienned
1 small red apple, cut into slices about the same size as the broccoli
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1/4 C. mayonnaise or vegenaise
1/4 C. non-fat plain Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
2 T. apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
1 packet stevia
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the salad ingredients, up to the onion, in a large bowl. Combine the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss to combine and get it all covered. Add the almond slices and toss a bit more. If you can stand it, refrigerate for an hour before serving…but I bet you eat half of it before it makes it to the fridge!
When cutting the broccoli crowns, put the tip of your knife on the board and rocking back and forth, run it across, keeping the knife tip on the board to cut easily and evenly through the crown.
I used only the crown and about two inches or so of the stalk. You could most certainly cut the stalk up into two inch lengths and julienne or coarsely grate them.
When purchasing broccoli, look for the florets that are the most compact. The ones that are more open are not as fresh.
When I bring the broccoli home, I like to trim the end of the stalk and store them with the stalk in a bit of water in a bowl or dish until I’m ready to use them.
This salad packs up easily for school or work lunches or even for a picnic!
Broccoli can help with weight loss! Read this recent article from Shape Magazine.