Sunday evening my family gathered at the beach with our friends Anne and Carl and their children for sunset and a light supper..... the perfect occasion to try out a new recipe idea for another Wellness luncheon that I'm catering this week. Dr. Weiss is speaking, the chief executive of our local hospital, so healthy yet very flavorful fare is in order. Per usual, this was a last minute gathering, so trust me when I tell you this recipe can be made quickly. Our adventurous friends were my guinea pigs. Sometimes this can be good, sometimes not.... as they had to wait and gape at their dinner during Quinoa Salad's "fashion shoot." Sorry, dear friends, for being so vexing at times. Alas, they gave the quinoa, black bean and mango salad two thumbs up! (Quinoa, now give me a little pout for your close up......)
Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah) is a recently rediscovered ancient grain. The now stylish grain was no where to be found on menus only a few years back. It is enjoying the red carpet these days due to its healthful benefits and its publicity for being a gluten free complete protein source. (Quinoa, you look lovely....who are you wearing tonight? Is it from the Black Bean couture collection or is it vintage Mango?)
So let's toast the ancient quinoa, the native grain to South America once called "gold of the Incas." Believed to be cultivated over 4000 years ago, quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as "food for Indians" during the European conquest of South America. Quinoa's cultivation was even actively suppressed due to its status within non-Christian ceremonies. Quinoa is now experiencing what most would call a marvelous come back.
This salad is refreshingly tropical and oh so colorful! The sweetness of the mangos (not yet from our tree... they are still just buds) and lime dressing is a lovely complement to the black beans and quinoa.
I spied this little picnic dinner just down the beach from us.... a few ladies enjoying the most lovely dining room in town....our beach.
Reveling in the last dip of the week ......
Quinoa, Black Bean and Mango Salad
1 cup Quinoa, cooked as directed on package
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
the zest of one lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 mango, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the lime juice, lemon juice, lime zest, sugar, and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa while it is still warm so as to soak up the dressing and combine. Let cool completely and then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir again. Serve chilled or room temperature on a bed of spinach.
Have you made quinoa before or plan on trying it? I'd love to hear from you! If you'd like to leave a comment on my blog, please click here.