Wednesday, April 28, 2010

recipe: quinoa salad with black beans and mango

A word about quinoa: it is not a grain, but a seed. I know - I was just as shocked as you, but I have since made my peace and even - yes, it's true - embraced this fact. From Wikipedia:
In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians, vegans and athletes. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.
Luckily, you do not have to go to space to enjoy the many benefits of quinoa. You can make this delicious salad and enjoy them right now! This dish comes from my number one favorite cookbook, Veganomicon, but since it's already posted on the Internet I can, in good conscious, share it with you!

Note: this dish is great for when the heat makes you want to poke your own eyes out rather than turn on the stove. Prepare the quinoa in a rice cooker while you prep the rest of the ingredients, mix everything together and bam! Dinner is served.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango (from Veganomicon

1 mango, peeled and diced small
1 red pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it
1 cup chopped scallion
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (a 15-ounce can)

Combine the mango, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, and salt and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the black beans. Serve immediately or let it sit for a bit to let the flavors meld.