Who needs gluten or meat when there is quinoa? I was introduced to quinoa less than a year ago, but it's already become a staple in my kitchen. Although I have all the varieties in my pantry, I prefer the soft and fluffy white quinoa. Lucky for me, it's something like $2.37/lb at the Coop. For that price, I will endure all the general ridiculousness that comes with being a working member.
Because of the sweltering weather and lack of air conditioning in my apartment, I have been trying to minimize my use of the oven and stove. So, this means that I have been experimenting with salads, cold soups, and frozen desserts. As much as I love eating this quinoa tabbouleh, I needed to branch out and try something new. One of my favorite cooking blogs, Closet Cooking had a great recipe for a Tex-Mex quinoa salad with mango and black beans, and it's a perfect choice for Meatless Monday.
Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Closet Cooking
1 cup dry white quinoa
1 large mango (pitted, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces)
1 red bell pepper (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 cup black beans (rinsed)
1 jalapeño pepper (finely chopped)
1 green onion (thinly sliced)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime (juice and zest)
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the quinoa under cool water. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with the quinoa in a medium sauce pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the quinoa is fluffy and chewy, about 20 minutes. When the water has almost evaporated and the germ has separated from the seeds, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
2. Cool the quinoa to room temperature. This will allow the dressing to coat everything, and little will be absorbed by the quinoa.
3. Mix the olive oil, lime juice and zest, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Mix the quinoa, mango, red bell pepper, black beans, jalapeño, green onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Salt to taste.