Black Bean Mango Quinoa — By now I’m sure you’ve already heard the buzz about quinoa. But just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick primer. Quinoa is an ancient grain but unlike most grains, quinoa is gluten free. It also has the benefit of being largely ignored for many years, so it hasn’t suffered the genetic modifications that other grains have undergone. If you haven’t tried quinoa there’s nothing to fear. I like to think of it as a cross between rice and couscous, with a little more crunch. It cooks quickly, and is high in protein, so it makes a great main dish, especially when you add a few other ingredients to the mix.
This quinoa recipe is full of fun summer flavors. This week I found a beautiful mango in my delivery from the Neighborhood Garden. I love the kicky sweet flavor of mangoes, and wanted to do something a little different with this one. Black beans are a great match for mangoes and balance the flavor so perfectly. The quinoa gives the whole dish just the right texture with just a little bit of crunch.
I love this dish so much that it’s one of the few things I cook around here that’s just for me. If you have time to boil some water then you have time to pull this together. This dish is delicious served warm or cold, making it perfect for packing for lunch or picnics.
Black Bean Mango Quinoa
serves 2 as a main dish
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized mango, peeled and diced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse well with warm water. This is to remove the bitter flavor that naturally occurs on quinoa grains. Just a quick rinse and you’re good to go.
Place 2 cups water in a medium sauce pan and add quinoa and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa has become transparent and the outer shell of the grain has begun to separate.
Meanwhile, place olive oil, mango, black beans, lime zest, and juice into a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Add cilantro and stir again. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.
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