I've been a bit over quinoa for some time now. Don't get me wrong, it tastes good and is healthy as heck for you but I'm a little burned out on grain salads. But sometimes you just don't know what to bring to a party (and you're feeling lazy) so you fall back on something that's tried and true which is what I did on Sunday...sorta. I made a quinoa salad....but not my standard Mediterranean quinoa salad. Since Ross and Beth's BBQ's theme was "Tiki Shindig" I decided to go with a mango-quinoa salad recipe I had read about in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's vegan cookbook, "Veganomicon." I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen already so it was a snap; I did jazz it up a little by throwing in a chopped avocado (I like to live on the edge like that). The only item I had to journey to the store for was the mango...I'm not big fan of mangoes, so I was pretty glad when the produce guy at Raley's came forth and suggested the honey mangoes (there were 3 different kinds at the grocery store) and even picked me out a ripe one. The only thing I didn't count on with the recipe was how slippery mangoes are once you peel them, mine kept trying to run away when I trying to chop it up. In fact, the mango's escape attempts made me think of a cute picture I saw awhile back on my friend Kerry's Facebook page (see below). Now it makes sense.... Anyhow, the party was fun and Mr.S. let me drink all the tiki punch I wanted but he fought me over the bacon trail mix that some amazing person brought (oh yes, I said BACON trail was magical--kind of like a hippie and a pig had a love child. I most definitely plan on trying my hand at it, but that's a blog post for another day.)

Mango-Avocado Tiki Salad


1 mango, peeled and diced small

1 red pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it

1 avocado, peeled and diced

1 cup chopped scallions

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)


1. Combine the mango, red pepper, scallions, avocado and cilantro in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, and salt and stir to combine.

3. Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated.

4. Fold in the black beans.

5. Serve immediately or let it sit for a bit for the flavors to meld.
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