April 14th, 2010

Quinoa Salad With Black Beans & Mango

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Serves 6
Total time: 15 minutes* || Active time: 15 minutes

This salad is incredibly versatile. The basic is idea is something sweet, something hearty and a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to pull it all together, in this case cilantro. The dressing is super simple; a little vinegar and oil. All of these components can be filled in by you like one big culinary mad lib.

Just off the top of my head, a great autumn salad might be wheatberries, apples, pecans (toasted, if you want to get crazy), red onions and a little fresh rosemary. Or how about peaches and basil in the summer? Spring is coming and if you find yourself stumped at the farmer’s market, picture my floating head above your shoulder going “graaaaaain salaaaaaad.” It’s creepy, but effective.

This recipe was originally published in Veganomicon.

*If you don’t have cooked quinoa on hand this will take more like an hour. Cool quinoa in a mesh strainer in the freezer, stirring often to hasten cooling.

1 mango, peeled and diced small
1 red pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (a 15-ounce can)
A few leaves of lettuce for plating

Combine the mango, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, and salt and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the black beans.

You can serve immediately or let it sit for a bit for the flavors to meld. To serve, place a few leaves of lettuce on a plate and scoop some salad onto it. It tastes good chilled and even better at room temperature.

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