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Colorful Cumin Quinoa Salad

Is there anything better to savor in the summer heat than a colorful, light, and delicious salad? Besides ice cream or frozen yogurt, of course.

Although I can’t seem to get enough of the aforementioned frozen treats these days, I have also been craving easy-to-prepare salads that are filling enough to enjoy as a main course. Enter this beauty of a salad featuring delicate quinoa, sweet mangoes, crisp red bell pepper, hearty black beans, and aromatic cumin. Every bite is punctuated by a multitude of flavors and a variety of pleasing textures.

As I typed up this post, it occurred to me what a lovely addition diced avocado would be to this salad. I’ve noted this idea in the recipe below, and will be sure to add in some of the creamy fruit the next time I make this… which I have a feeling will be very soon!

Colorful Cumin Quinoa Salad

adapted from Veganomicon‘s Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 ripe but firm mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, preferably organic, scrubbed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 ripe but firm avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • scant 1 Tbsp canola or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. You should end up with roughly 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the warm cooked quinoa, mango, red bell pepper, black beans, avocado if using, scallions, and cilantro.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Pour dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Refrigerate salad for at least 4 hours before serving for best flavor. Serve cold or at room temperature.


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