Quinoa, Mango & Black Bean Salad – Gluten Free

This colorful quinoa salad features nice big chunks of mango, red pepper, and avocado. It also has black beans, green onions, some seasonings and of course, cilantro… Never forget the cilantro! Then it’s dressed with a tasty lime vinaigrette dressing. It a great salad for parties, and a delicious salad for dinner time.

If you’re looking for a healthy salad recipe that people LOVE, look no further because this is the one. I know, there’s always a few in a crowd who’ll say they won’t eat quinoa…

My two son-in-laws good-naturedly said,
“We don’t eat the food – our food – eats.” LOL! 

It’s fun to entice those who say, they don’t like quinoa to try this salad,
and then they decide they like it after all!

Sure, quinoa’s an odd looking little grain-like seed,
but like the saying goes…
Great things do come in small packages! 

Quinoa actually has more protein than any other grain or seed and offers a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies can’t make on their own. It’s also a great source of calcium and is high in lysine, the B vitamins, and iron. Better still, this little seed is easy to digest and it’s gluten-free. (1)

Quinoa, Mango & Black Bean Salad

Yield: 8 cups salad

1 1/2 cups white quinoa, fully rinsed and drained
2 1/4 cups hot water
1 fresh lime, washed, zested & juiced
1/2 tsp salt

2 fresh limes, juiced
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 mango, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 (15‑oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, cubed
Salt & cracked pepper, to taste

Instant Pot Method: (Pressure Cook 1-Minute)
Over the sink, rinse the measured quinoa through a fine sieve for a few minutes until the water runs clear. In an Instant Pot pressure cooker, add the quinoa, lime zest, and salt. Pour in the hot water. Twist the cover to the locked position and flip the vent switch. Select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual”. Lower the minutes down to just 1 minute. Select “Pressure” to highlight (High Pressure) unless it’s already lit; fine, leave it there. Give the machine a second, to say, “ON” and then walk away. The Instant Pot will come up to pressure and cook for 1 minute. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, before turning the pressure valve switch, and releasing the small amount of pressure that’s left. Open and stir your perfectly cooked quinoa.

Stove-Top (Steam Cook 20 minutes)
Rinse the quinoa, as directed above. Place in a 2-qt saucepan, along with the lime zest and salt. Add the hot water. Cover and bring to a boil over MED-HIGH heat. Reduce heat to LOW to simmer gently until most of the water has been absorbed, and quinoa is nearly tender; about 15 minutes.

Cooling: Spread the cooked quinoa out onto a quarter-sheet baking pan, cool for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette: In a blender, food processor or wide-mouth pint jar (with an immersion blender) add the lime juice, coarsely chopped jalapeño, sugar, and seasonings. With blender/processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil; process 20 seconds to emulsify the dressing. Add cilantro, process about 15 seconds to chop, with (an immersion blender) pulse for only a few seconds.

Fixings: Chop the mango, red pepper, and fresh cilantro, add to the quinoa. Slice the green onions, add to the mix. Transfer the cooled quinoa salad mix into a large salad bowl. Fold in the rinsed black beans. Fold the vinaigrette into the quinoa salad; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill 2 hours.

Make Ahead: Pre-cook the quinoa, and chill separately from the prepared chilled vinaigrette. It tastes fantastic the first 12-24 hours, mixed together, but if you make it ahead 2-3 days, the quinoa will go mushy. Next, in a container with a lid, combine the prepared mango, veggies with the seasonings, and add to the refrigerator too. Bring the quinoa and vinaigrette to room temperature. Shakes vinaigrette to recombine, fold into the quinoa with the fixings; return to the refrigerator. Dress salad up to 2 hours before serving.


Sharon Anne



(1)Foodnetwork Articles: Healthy-Eating-All-About-Quinoa
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