Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ease of transportation: the deciding factor in my culinary choices lately. I can truthfully testify that this salad is good on a sandy Lake Huron beach with pane glass water and a sunset, on the couch watching The West Wing with your best friend, at the break table on your lunch on a Wednesday at work, and under a tree at Kits Beach reading a Sherlock Holmes anthology. The original recipe was posted on the Vancouver based blog Sweet on Veg, I have since made a few alterations but this is always the case with anything I’m cooking. I have added grape tomatoes, a jalapeño pepper, lime juice, and some fresh parsley; this is a very forgiving recipe and I’ve seen recipes where people add cumin, fresh ginger, and orange juice so I would encourage further experimentation after you make it for the first time.  I like it cold but it’s also excellent at room temperature; either way, the quinoa needs to be cooled down completely and fluffed with a fork before adding the rest of the ingredients or the dressing won’t absorb properly. In addition, the mango used shouldn’t be so extremely ripe that it’s hard to cut into a somewhat fine dice. Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad is especially delicious when served with Spicy Tomato Soup, I make the recipe as instructed but I don’t strain it and I serve it chilled with pieces of cucumber as a garnish.

mango and black bean quinoa salad:

1 cup of quinoa

1 not-too-ripe mango, diced into small pieces

1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans (or other small bean)

1 red pepper, diced

About a half a cup of grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch of scallions, both the white and green part

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced finely

About a cup of cilantro, cut or snipped into small pieces

About a half a cup of flat-leaf parsley, cut or snipped into small pieces

2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil

3-4 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar

The juice of 1 lime

Salt, to taste

1. In a lidded pot bring 2 cups of water to boil, add the quinoa and bring the heat down to low, cover and let steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for another 15 minutes, then take off the lid and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool completely. (I sometimes make the quinoa the night before or in the morning and then use it for the salad at dinner time.)

2. Combine all of the fruits and vegetables in a large salad bowl and add the cooled quinoa, vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and salt to taste. Stir gently and serve for any portable lunches you plan on consuming in the next week.

This is one magical song performed by one magical band. I know the word magical is funny as a descriptor but I honestly believe that Sigur Rós deserves the title. This song makes me want to go to the Yukon and see the Northern Lights, it makes me think of cobalt 5:30 AM snow, and of driving to the airport watching the neon sun rise over a grey horizon. I’ve been feeling so inspired and happy this past month and thus my music choices have taken on corresponding sentiments.

Sigur Rós – Myrkur

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