Tired of green salad? This flavor filled quinoa salad with mango and avocado topped with an orange cumin vinaigrette is my new favorite! I promise you won’t be bored. It’s a little bit spicy from the jalapenos, a little bit sweet from the mango, the black beans add a rich salty flavor and fresh avocado, purple onion, bell pepper and cilantro make it salad worthy. Yum!
Quinoa is the perfect backdrop for these beautiful flavors. It also happens to be a nutritional powerhouse, high in protein, low in fat, gluten free and loaded with lovely vitamins and minerals (but you don’t have to tell your family that). What I didn’t know is that Mango is also a superfood, providing over 20 vitamins and minerals in every delicious bite. ( This puts a whole new light on my recipe for Mango Margaritas!) Black beans add another protein and nutrient boost and their high fiber content helps keep your tummy full. Then there is the Avocado, which we now know is a good fat that is highly nutritious. The best part of this salad though, is how great it tastes! I can’t wait to have it again for lunch…
This is the perfect dish to throw together for an easy dinner or bring to a potluck, especially if you have leftover quinoa on hand (or you make it ahead), then it’s only about ten minutes of chopping, mixing and you’re done! This salad can be made a day ahead, without the avocado. Bring to room temperature then gently toss in the avocado, if using, before serving.
TIP: You can buy mango pre-cut but it’s very easy to do it yourself (and less expensive) if you know the right technique. How to cut a Mango
VARIATIONS: If you don’t have, or like, mango, you can substitute orange or nectarine segments (or even canned or frozen corn). Use a combination of yellow, orange, red and green bell peppers for lots of color. This recipe is only mildly spicy using one red jalapeno pepper so double the amount of jalapeno peppers and add a bit more cumin if you like it hot.
Black Bean Quinoa with Cumin Orange Vinaigrette