Chilled quinoa salad with black beans, tomatoes, peppers, fresh citrus and sweet mango. This dish would be great to bring to a potluck, outdoor cookout or just to make at home as a go-to lunch or dinner salad. I especially love this salad during summer months for the refreshing flavors, and how beyond simple it is to throw together. I’m talking 20 minutes max, start to finish. Oh, and an added bonus? No oils or dressings necessary. It’s that flavorful.
So what the heck is quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”)? It’s broadly referred to as a grain; however it is actually a seed with a very impressive nutrient profile (see below). Quinoa has a rich, nutty flavor and is extremely versatile in cooking. If I’m not using it in a salad or wrap, I enjoy using it as as a healthy substitute for rice, couscous or risotto.
Health benefits of quinoa, just to name a few:
- Plant-based complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body
- Contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat omega-9, and polyunsaturated fat omega-3
- Contains antioxidant phytonutrients called flavonoids
- Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals
- Contains both soluble and insoluble fiber
Who wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of this amazing superfood? 🙂
The general rule of thumb for cooking quinoa is using 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid. This means that you will need 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry quinoa. One cup of dry quinoa should yield around 3 cups cooked.
To cook, add the water to your quinoa in a medium pot and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium/low, and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. This will take 12-15 minutes. You will notice that the quinoa becomes sort of translucent and you can “fluff” it with a fork.
Fiesta Mango Quinoa Salad
Makes between 5-6 cups prepared; Definitely enough to serve a crowed! Serving size: 1 cup
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Juice and rind of 1/2 orange
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drain extra water (I use Ro*Tel)
- 1 whole mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Cook quinoa as instructed above. Add to large bowl and let stand at room temp
- In the meantime, chop your mango, veggies & herbs; drain & rinse black beans; drain excess water out of can of tomatoes. This will prevent the salad from getting too watery
- Combine all ingredients with cooked quinoa, squeeze in citrus juices, add chopped cilantro and give it a few good tosses
- May be served immediately, however I recommend to cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours prior to serving to really allow all those flavors to blend and the taste come to life 🙂
Nutrition facts per serving (1 cup prepared)
Calories 180; Total Fat: 2 gms; Saturated Fat: 0 gms; Cholesterol: 0 mgs; Sodium: 66 mgs; Carbohydrates: 35 gms; Sugar: 6.5 gms; Protein: 7.5 gms