Since my daughter, Danielle, graduated from Keene State in May, she has been trying to get me to eat healthier. Most of you know me for having a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. She was a health and wellness major studying food and nutrition so more healthy cooking will probably be in our future.
Since she gets home earlier than us, she has been cooking some of our meals. She had been craving quinoa but didn't have a recipe. She went on-line and found this dish at Eating Well called Quinoa, Mango and Black Bean Salad. We had most of the ingredients and just needed the quinoa and mango. We doubled the recipe and it fed 5 people as a side dish with enough left for lunch the following day. The salad was easy to put together and tasted delicious with grilled chicken. The quinoa has a nutty taste and when it was mixed with the sweet red pepper and mango, not only was it colorful, but bursting with flavor. The fresh ginger, rice vinegar and sesame oil with the orange juice and scallions, dressed the salad nicely giving it an Asian flavor.
This is one of those side dishes that can be added to a quick dinner or great as a salad for a cook-out. It tastes great warm as well as cold.
- Toast quinoa in a small dry saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly. Return the quinoa to the pot and add water. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk orange juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil, ginger, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add mango, bell pepper, beans and scallions; toss to coat.
- When the quinoa is finished cooking, add to the mango mixture and toss to combine.
Note:Quinoa, a delicately flavored grain, was a staple in the ancient Incas' diet. Toasting it before cooking enhances its flavor, and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering.