Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) is one of the newest superfood sensations across the blogosphere. It is actually a seed and has high protein, a low glycemic value, and a wonderful fluffy texture. I just discovered it about a year ago, and use it as a rice/couscous alternative quite often. It cooks very similarly to white rice, with a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water at a simmer for about 15-20 minutes. So far I’ve enjoyed eating quinoa in a multitude of salads, soups, and even plain. It’s super versatile and a great base for a main dish salad, etc.
I’ve been dying to try this Mango & Black Bean Quinoa Salad for months now, but somehow it kept getting pushed to the back of my new-dinner-recipes list in favor of winter-appropriate stews, chilis, and casseroles. In the spring I tried this Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad and adored it, and sadly the mango version was forgotten. Until now, that is! I was looking around the kitchen, trying to find something to make for dinner, when I came across a perfectly ripe mango just begging to be eaten up. I happened to have some leftover cilantro in the fridge that needed to be used up and half a lime that I hadn’t known what to do with. I took it as a sign from the gods that I needed to make the long-forgotten Mango & Black Bean Quinoa Salad right now! And I’m so glad I did.
This quinoa salad is perfect for a light summer meal. The combination of mango, green onion, bell pepper, and black beans add a boost of color, crunch, flavor, and substance to the quinoa, and it’s all tossed in a tangy red wine vinaigrette. My family enjoyed this salad over baked chicken, but the great thing about quinoa is that it’s a complete protein, so you can get away with having it as a main dish if you are so inclined. So don’t be like me and let this recipe get away from you….make it ASAP!
Mango & Black Bean Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (use 2/3 cup dry quinoa and 1 1/3 cup water)
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, green and white parts thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbs fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Put cooked, cooled quinoa into a large bowl. Add in mango, black beans, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and gently stir to combine. Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving.