Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quinoa, Mango & Black Bean Salad

I've told you many times about my beloved Eating Well magazine. I think it's the best health-inspired food magazine out there, taking down Cooking Light in a round-one k.o. (Sorry, Cooking Light enthusiasts, I'm just not a big fan.)

I really appreciate that Eating Well doesn't try to mimic the flavors of richer, worse-for-you foods, but instead focuses on enjoying the real food you're actually eating. E.g., they don't suggest that fat-free Cool Whip and blended cottage cheese make a great mascarpone substitute for "tiramisu." If you're going to eat tiramisu, eat tiramisu. But if you're going to eat clean, why not have some grilled peaches and save the good stuff for a special occasion? That is my humble of humblest opinion, anyway.

OK, enough of my rant. Here's an Eating Well recipe I really enjoy. I'm always looking for interesting lunch / brown bag options and this keeps well for a couple days, so it's perfect for that purpose.

Make some on Sunday, have it for dinner and take the leftovers to work for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. I like it in pita bread. If you do use a pita, though, make sure to pack it separately and stuff it right before you eat. Otherwise, you'll end up with a soggy mess.


Eating Well's Quinoa, Mango & Black Bean Salad

Serves Two
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

1/2 cup quinoa (see note below)
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 small mango, diced (see tip below)
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 cup canned black beans, (see tips for two below), rinsed
2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Toast quinoa in a small dry saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly. Return the quinoa to the pot and add water. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk orange juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil, ginger, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add mango, bell pepper, beans and scallions; toss to coat.

  3. When the quinoa is finished cooking, add to the mango mixture and toss to combine.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip
This salad can be made up to two days in advance (cover and refrigerate). Serve chilled.

Quinoa, a delicately flavored grain, was a staple in the ancient Incas' diet. Toasting it before cooking enhances its flavor, and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering.

To dice a mango:

  1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.

  2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.

  3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.

  4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.

Tips for Two
Refrigerate leftover canned beans for up to 3 days. Add to green salads and soups; mash with garlic powder and chopped fresh herbs for a quick dip; make spiced pinto beans.

Per serving: 422 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 74 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 19 g fiber; 258 mg sodium; 642 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus
Vitamin C (210% daily value), Vitamin A (50% dv), Magnesium (22% dv), Vitamin E (20% dv).


Emily said...

I finally subscribed to Eating Well based on your recommendation and all the fabulous recipes you share with me! And I have a Costco bag of Quinoa (that’s 4 LBS.!) that has yet to be opened, so thanks for sharing your recipe!

Jenny said...

I absolutely agree with you! Eat in moderation- do not destroy perfectly good recipes with low-fat substitutes! I may have to check out this magazine!

jenny goodman said...

Yes I love Eating Well...have subscribed to it for a couple of years. the recipes are usually pretty simple too.And the best part is there are so many!

Garrett said...

I'm on the same page with your philosophy about not ruining food by trying to make it all low-fat. A perfect example is fat free half-and-half. For beginners, it's an oxymoron and the ingredient list is long and scary. I'll take my chances with the fat in the real product.
-BTW, this is JAMIE ;0

Megan My Day said...

I love Quinoa and it is perfect for taking to work for lunch. I also think that healthy does not equal fake and I avoid low fat and fake sugar substitutes. I am now going to subscribe to Eating Well!

Katie @ goodLife {eats} said...

I came over from This Week For Dinner. I love quinoa and recently made this Quinoa Taco Salad. I am going to have to try this Quinoa, Mango & Black Bean Salad. It looks awesome!