Quinoa has been characterized as a super grain for quite some time now, and yet I see very few recipes that are unique. I think its potential is under-rated. Quinoa does not have any over-powering taste, so you can mix it with pretty much anything else that you like, and it will take on its character and flavor. Just like this delicious-looking Quinoa Salad, made with cucumbers, mangoes and corn.
Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. If you let it overcook, it can become sticky and starchy. However, it is very difficult to mess it up; just boil some water, drop in the quinoa till it gets puffed up, then remove it from water, allow to cool down a bit, and fluff it with a spoon. There, your basic quinoa is ready to mingle with anything you fancy to make one healthy and flavorful dish. I saw this interesting salad featured on Whole Foods website, and since I had every ingredient on hand, I decided to give it a try. The result was a sweet and tangy salad that is perfect as a side dish, or even as a meal by itself. That’s because Quinoa is the only grain which is a complete protein, meaning it has all the nine essential amino-acids residing in it. Rich in fiber, potassium, manganese and anti-oxidants, it will keep you full for a long time, help relieve headaches and maintain a good balanced health!
Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits, so I was very happy to see them in this recipe. I adapted the recipe a bit to add some chopped walnuts, just because I love their flavor, and they add to the nutritious factor. The orange mango cubes paired with the green cucumber, red tomatoes and yellow corn made the salad such a beautiful visual treat, that even if you are not a great fan of Quinoa, you will want to dive into this salad as soon as you see it!
Quinoa Salad with Mangoes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
1 cup quinoa
1 large tomato, seeded and diced finely
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced finely
1 mango, peeled and diced finely
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to a medium pot, add 2 cups water and bring to a boil.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the quinoa with a lid, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool off for 5 minutes; uncover the lid and fluff the cooked Quinoa with a fork.
Now add all remaining ingredients and toss until combined. Serve it at room temperature, for a healthy and filling side dish, or even a main course, if you are targeting to lose some fat!
Quinoa is a great addition to your diet. It has tonnes of health benefits that one should not ignore. So if you haven’t tried Quinoa yet, or are looking for a fresh and flavorful new recipe featuring Quinoa, give this salad a try; I’m sure you’ll love it.
Do you like Quinoa? What are your favorite Quinoa recipes? I’m looking for new ideas as well, so please share your recipes and ideas via comments!