By now we all know about quinoa. It’s low fat, high protein, great for those of us who are gluten free, and highly adaptable to just about any flavors you want to throw at it.
This recipe comes from my awesome friend Jen. She’s a master of the funky quinoa salad and is always coming up with new variations.
Of course, I was sold when I saw the cashews.
Here’s what you need:
Quinoa, Mangoes, Limes, Green Onions, Cilantro, Mango Chutney, Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Cashews, Curry Powder, Cumin, Garam Masala, Salt & Pepper.
Quinoa is very easy to cook. There are a couple of methods, but this one always works for me.
One very important step is to rinse the quinoa under cold water. Place 1½ cups of quinoa (I like the tricolored variety from Trader Joe’s) in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly. Don’t skip this step! Quinoa has a coating on the outside that can taste bitter and weird. It can also be sort of dusty. Take a second and give it a good rinse.
Place your rinsed quinoa in a medium sauce pan with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 12-15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.
You’ll notice that the cooked quinoa grains puff up and pop open. Look for the little line around the edge of the grain.
Set your quinoa aside to cool while you make the dressing.
In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup mango chutney (you might have some leftover from making this Chutney Glazed Ham) and ¼ cup olive oil.
Add 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar and the juice of 1-2 limes. My limes are extremely juicy but with store bought limes, you will likely need to use 2.
Season the dressing with ½ teaspoon curry powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon garam masala.
Garam masala is a great spice blend used in Indian cooking. It’s a good thing to have on hand to throw into sauces and dressings when you need just a little kick. It usually has some combination of peppercorns, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc. All very fragrant spices.
(PS. If you buy some, I promise a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is not to far away….)
Add salt & pepper to taste and whisk to combine the dressing.
Finely chop 2-3 green onions – I use both the green and white parts – and a nice handful (about ½ cup) of cilantro.
If you are a cilantro hater, substitute parsley.
Mangos are a little weird to deal with the first time. They have a strange oblong pit in the center so you have to cut 2 discs of fruit away from either side of the pit.
Slice vertically down either side of the pit and then cut a crosshatch pattern in the flesh of the mango.
Turn it sort of inside out to expose all your little mango cubes, then use your knife to cut them away from the skin.
Trust me when I tell you that this method is MUCH easier than trying to peel a ripe mango.
Assemble your salad in the bowl of dressing. Add the cooled quinoa, green onions, cilantro, and mango cubes.
I like lots of mango so I usually put 2 mangoes in this salad.
Add about ½ cup of cashew nuts and gently stir to combine.
Give the salad a taste and adjust the seasonings. I usually end up adding more lime juice, salt & pepper.
One of the great things about quinoa is that it can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
Curried Mango Quinoa Salads is one of our all time favorites in the symphony carpool. It’s great when you’re busy and on the go to have a big bowl of this in the fridge that you can dish up and take for a healthy lunch. Add some grilled chicken and you have dinner in a flash.
Who says healthy food has to be boring? Not us!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Jennifer Gerth