Quinoa and Mango Salad with Lemony-ginger Dressing

 

This salad has its roots in a salsa. Trader Joe's used to carry a mango-black bean salsa that I thought was the best on the planet; I used to eat it right from the jar. They stopped making it for a while, and that's when I began improvising and making it myself. At one point it hit me: Can't I make this a meal? So here we are. I've added other things I can't do without, like onions and avocado. You can certainly omit roasting the onions, but try it at least once with them roasted – the flavor really adds to this dish. The sweetness of the onions and mango plays well with the dressing. In the summer I switch it up a little and grill the components (onion, mango and avocado), and sometimes add grilled corn. I'm not a huge fan of heat in my dishes, so I don't call for any here, but spicy-fans may want to throw in a little minced jalapeno or chile pepper.

What you will need

1 cup regular, red or black quinoa, rinsed well in a strainer

2 cups water

3 mangoes

1 large red onion, halved stem to root and slivered

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups micro greens (I used a rainbow blend package from Whole Foods herb section: mizuna, curly cress, red and yellow beet, arugula, cabbage) – if not available, mesclun, spring or baby greens are fine, rinsed and dried

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1-2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

3-4 teaspoons lemon juice

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)

salt and pepper, to taste

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