Quinoa Black Bean Mango Salad (Gluten Free)

Even though spring isn’t officially here yet, the weather is giving us warm hints of what is to come. Remember, the groundhog did not see his shadow – spring is right around the corner. You know another hint that spring is on it’s way? Potted petunias and colorful, tantalizing seed packets of a variety of vegetables are showing up in the garden stores. I can’t wait to pick fresh, healthy tomatoes, peppers, radishes, and other yummy vegetables. Because I’m longing for “fresh garden produce food,” I decided to visit my local organic coop store and buy the ingredients since my fresh veggies aren’t ready (or even planted yet, except for the spinach). What better way to revel in a healthy, veggie rich, protein packed salad than by making Quinoa Black Bean Mango Salad. (Say that five times really fast!)1

Just looking at all those healthy foods starts my mouth drooling. This is a super easy salad to put together with the quinoa the only thing that needs to be cooked. It makes lots so you’ll have plenty left over – enough for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner as well! 

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The first thing to do is rinse the quinoa seeds. Bring the two cups of water to a boil in the sauce pan and then add the quinoa. Let it boil for about 30 seconds and then lower the dial to simmer. Continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  While that is cooking, cut your mangos into medium sized chunks. Pardon me while I stop to wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth. Are you as much of a fan of mangoes as me? YUMMY! When choosing a mango from the store, you want to choose one that is a teensy bit soft. That way you know it is ready to eat. Always wash any produce before cutting or peeling. Mangos have a flattish pit. I find it easiest to cut the tip off of each end, peel, stand the mango up and then cut slices down the sides around the pit. Then I cut those up into chunks. Wait! Don’t throw that pit out yet! You can give yourself a treat before continuing and nibble the last remaining smidgets of mango off the pit before tossing. 

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Slice the radishes into thin medallions and set aside.  Grate the carrots. Chop the mint leaves. Slice the basil leaves into strips.

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 Quarter the red pepper cutting off the ribs and removing the seeds. Dice this 1/4 slice of pepper saving the rest of the pepper for a different recipe.

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Cut the root hairs off, then slice up the green onions until you have about a cup. Remember the quinoa that is simmering? Remove it from the stove and take off the lid. Fluff the quinoa to cool. Thoroughly rinse off the black beans until the water is clear. Drain and place the beans in a large serving bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and mix together. Gently stir in the mangos, carrots, mint, basil, onions, currents, peppers and radishes.

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Now it’s time to made the scrumptious dressing that you will pour over the top. 

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Peel the ginger root to expose the lighter, smoother inside. Shave off small slices and then mince those up into small pieces so that you have about 2 tablespoons. 
whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, tahini, ginger, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Want a bit more zing? Than add more cayenne pepper. 

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Gently fold the dressing into the salad so that all pieces have a thin coating of dressing. Refrigerate until ready to eat. 

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Garnish with a snip of basil and serve. Wham-pow! Taste that delicious healthiness!

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I love this salad. It is one of my favorites to pack for lunch when I’m substitute teaching. I always get lots “Ooo, that looks good,” remarks if I eat in the teacher’s lounge. Sometimes though, I have student’s work to check so I stay in the classroom and savor my lunch all by myself. 

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Quinoa Black Bean Mango Salad
Serves 6
Super healthy, gluten-free, protein packed delicious salad
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Salad
  1. 1 cup rainbow quinoa
  2. 2 cup water
  3. 1 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added
  4. 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  5. 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  6. 1 cup carrots, shredded
  7. ¼ of a red pepper, diced
  8. ½ cup dried cranberries
  9. 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  10. ¼ cup fresh basil, cut in long thin strips
  11. 1 cup green onion, sliced
Dressing
  1. 3 tablespoon lime juice
  2. 1 cup orange juice
  3. 1 tablespoon curry powder
  4. 2 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and minced
  5. 3 tablespoon tahini
  6. Pinch of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the washed quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Fluff the quinoa and set aside to cool.
  2. Rinse the beans under cold water and drain in a colander. Add the beans to the cooled quinoa.
  3. Prepare the mango, vegetables and herbs and add to the quinoa mixture.
  4. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, tahini, ginger, curry powder and cayenne pepper. For extra hot spice, add more cayenne pepper.
  5. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss well to combine.
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