For those of you who are not yet familiar with this ‘superfood’, quinoa is a seed that comes from a plant closely related to spinach and beets. So although it is not technically a grain, you can pretty much use it like one. It cooks like rice, but contains complete proteins, fiber, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, is gluten free and has a little bit of a nutty flavor. From my reading it has a shelf-life comparable to wheat. (Although I don’t think people have studying the shelf life of quinoa, for nearly as long as they have for wheat. Give me 30 years and I can give you my own piece of evidence-based research.) I have a theory that cooked quinoa would substitute well for wheat berries in any of my recipes. (Again, more study is needed. 😉 ) It is however, significantly more expensive than wheat because it is more difficult to harvest than wheat and it has to be imported from South America. I like to use it for a quick satisfying meal, because all to often, vegetarian protein is not quick and easy to cook. (Or if it is, it’s because it’s full of some kind of highly processed soy.)
I recently found this recipe in Veganomicon, and while I liked it, it didn’t have enough dressing and the dressing that it did have was seriously lacking some… something. I fixed that. You’re welcome. But seriously, this is one of my new favorite dishes. I love the combo of the mango, cilantro, lime, peppers, beans and quinoa. It seems to be exotic and practical at the same time. You can eat it cold or at room temp. I took some with me hiking last week and proved that either way works well.
Black Bean, Mango and Quinoa Salad
Food Storage Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or canola)
3 Tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider, the original recipe called for red wine)
1/16th teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
Yes, it is important. Unless you have yellow-bellied taste buds. Then go ahead and leave it out.
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1.Combine vinegar, oil, salt, lime juice and chipotle. Set aside. 2. Combine all other and coat with dressing. Serves 5-6.