Monday, July 9, 2012

Quinoa Avocado Mango Salad

Quinoa Avocado Mango Salad
Yummy!   Absolutely yummy!  Recently, Tom had a quinoa salad with black beans and corn and dressing of lime juice, cumin and olive oil. I wondered what I could make with the leftover quinoa that I could eat. This is what I made based on what I had available and I couldn't have been more pleased with the result.  

If you have never had quinoa, it is actually a seed, but cooked and known as a grain to most people. This ancient grain from South America is high in protein and useful for people who avoid gluten products.  Prior to cooking, it needs to be rinsed thoroughly with cold water to remove the saponin that has a slightly bitter taste. Tom has mastered the art of cooking quinoa to ensure it comes out fluffy.  He does this by rinsing it first. Then he puts it in a pot with about double the amount of fresh water and brings it to a boil.  After it boils for a couple of minutes, he pours off that water, and puts in a fresh batch of water,  covering it by about 1", brings it to a boil, then reduces the heat and allows it to simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes. Then he turns off the heat, leaves it covered for a few more minutes and then stirs it with a fork to fluff it.  His cooking method consistently produces quinoa that is fully cooked without being mushy.  He seasons it with a small amount of sea salt after it is cooked.  It works well to cook a large quantity of it each week to be used for a variety of possibilities, including salads, a breakfast meal mixed with scrambled eggs, in a pilaf, or mixed with other vegetables.  Our son, Dan, who does the illustrations for this blog and works at the Wedge Whole Foods Co-Op in Mpls, likes to make a breakfast porridge of quinoa, almond milk, nuts and dried fruit.  The possibilities are as vast as your imagination.  Maybe my salad invention will inspire you to create your own side dish.  

3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons chopped very soft avocado
1 - 2 Tablespoons finely minced cilantro  (I didn't shred mine enough the first time and needed to pick some of it out of the salad.)
3 Tablespoons pureed ataulfo mango ( that was about 1/2 cup chopped before I pureed it)
  (note:  Ataulfo mangos have a very small seed, so there is a high flesh to seed ratio.  And it has a creamy, smooth texture without the fibrous texture of the typical mango.)

Gently toss together the cooked quinoa, lime juice, chopped avocado and finely minced cilantro.  Just before serving, stir in the pureed mango which becomes the "dressing" for this delicious salad.  

Servings per recipe: 1
Serving Size: About 1 cup
Calories: 259
Total Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Total Carbs: 46 g
Dietary Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 7 g