This bright, colorful salad holds both flavor and nutrition in every bite. Thanks to fresh veggies, citrus and quinoa, it’s loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, folate and iron. Quinoa, with its high protein content, nutty flavor and delicate texture, has made it a great alternative to pasta and rice. This makes a perfect salad for lunch or a nice barbecue side dish. And leftovers are great, as the flavors get even better the next day.
Quinoa, Black Bean & Mango Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups prewashed quinoa (if you have unwashed, just rinse in a fine mesh strainer and spread out over clean dish cloth or paper towel to dry before proceeding)
2 1/4 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into small pieces
1 15-ounce can black beans
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced thin
Heat olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering and add quinoa. Stirring frequently, toast until quinoa is fragrant and makes popping sound (6 to 7 minutes).
Stir in water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce to low, and simmer until most of water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl
To make the dressing, process lime juice, orange juice, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of salt in a blender for about 15 to 20 seconds. Add cilantro and blend to combine. With blender running, slowly add olive oil and continue to process until smooth and emulsified, about 20 seconds.
Add bell pepper, mango, black beans, scallions and dressing to cooled quinoa and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with avocado slices on each plate. Serves 6.
Per serving: 453 calories; 25 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 50 percent calories from fat); 49 g carbohydrates; 7 g sugar; 0 mg cholesterol; 341 mg sodium; 11 g protein; 9 g fiber.