Hi, Friends. Do you know those moments when you have just returned from a vacation, feeling refreshed and happy to be home, yet you forgot how to do life? What I mean is that even though you are ready to return home, you kind of forget how to get yourself moving the next morning, to be productive, to stick to a schedule and get work done. You’re so used to being on vacation doing fun things or relaxing that when you return to reality you just temporarily forget how you used to do things before your vacation. Let’s not even talk about the unpacking that needs to happen and then the laundry. Laundry after a camping/rafting trip is insane! Can I please hire a laundress? (Is laundress still a thing?) Plus there is the tiredness from traveling. I only flew from Iowa to Colorado and back but seriously, the day after I return from a vacation I am walking around like a zombie. Nothing seems to work right. Does anyone else feel this way after you return from a vacation? It’s like you need one extra vacation day just to recover from your vacation.
P.S. Those Colorado photos are coming very soon…just read the above paragraph, okay?!
This Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad saved my butt before we left for Colorado during the busy packing phase/working ahead on that food blog phase. And it’s saving my butt now. This salad is so simple to make that I found myself relying on it for a quick meal before we left and a quick meal when we returned. It only takes 25 minutes and one bowl and a small sauce pot to make! With 10 grams of protein from the quinoa and the black beans, it is filling enough for a light meatless meal, or great as a side salad!
The lightness of this Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad is perfect for returning from a vacation, when you just need to eat salads for a week because you have been eating so much yummy, heavy food that you are almost sick of eating. Sick of eating, me? Imagine that!
Plus this Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad is absolutely perfect when you are used to 20 percent humidity in Colorado and return to Iowa’s 60% humidity with 90 degree temperatures and a house with no central air. There is no way you can muster the gumption to turn on your oven or stand over a hot stove stirring something, let alone eat something that is hot. Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad only requires 15 minutes for the quinoa to cook, and quinoa doesn’t need to be babied. We can handle that, right?!
Whether you are returning from a vacation or simply want a light summer salad, I know you will love this recipe. It has the poppy, nutty quinoa that is drenched in a lime/ginger/garlic/honey/olive oil dressing. The sweet mangoes add a summery, tropical flavor. There are creamy avocados, fresh cilantro, spicy jalapeno, crunchy red pepper, and hearty black beans. This salad can be made a day ahead of time and is served cold, so it is perfect to bring to summer parties, picnics, pool parties or BBQ’s!
I hope you give this Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad a try. If you do be sure to rate the recipe and leave a comment. Cheers!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- Juice of 2 to 3 large limes (1/4 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey (sub agave nectar or maple syrup for vegans)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- FOR THE SALAD:
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, minced (discard the seeds to reduce the heat)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado (just ripe, but still firm), cubed
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (any color will work, but the red looks prettiest in the salad)
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 mango, cubed
- In a small sauce pot combine the quinoa and 2 cups cold, filtered water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- While the quinoa is cooking make the dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Taste and adjust salt as needed or honey for more sweetness as needed. Set the dressing aside.
- FOR THE SALAD:
- While the quinoa is cooking chop and prepare all of the veggies as stated in the ingredients list above.
- To the mixing bowl with the dressing add the red onion and jalapeno. Leave the remainder of the veggies out of the bowl, but chopped and ready to go.
- Once the quinoa is cooked add it to the mixing bowl that already has the dressing and the onion and jalapeno in it. Stir to coat with the dressing and distribute the veggies. This helps the jalapeno and onion to cook slightly so they are not so strong. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is mostly cooled add the remainder of the ingredients: black beans, avocado, bell pepper, cilantro leaves, and mango. Stir to combine everything.
- Serve immediately at room temperature or allow the salad to chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. Can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. Serve as a side salad or as a main dish.
Nutrition Facts are based on 6 servings, eating the salad as a main dish. The nutrition facts would vary if you ate the salad as a side dish.