Back when I was first pregnant with Sophie, in combination with morning sickness, I had really blurry vision for a few weeks that gave me really bad headaches. For the most part, it was really manageable, but for one rough week, I was more or less couch-ridden. It was then that I discovered The Biggest Loser. Yes, I know, there are something like ten or eleven seasons now, and oh my gosh, Emily, how have you missed it for the past however many years?
Well, I’m not much for reality television. Or television in general. But something about my pregnancy hormones and the first episode of the season (where each contestant shares his or her backstory) combined to hook me. I’m a Biggest Loser watcher now. Well, on one of their embarrassing product placement bits or trainer health tips (I don’t remember which), someone made a quinoa salad loaded with lots of colorful veggies and I want to say their was a lime dressing involved.
Well, now that I’m a quinoa person, that salad has been in the back of my brain. Here’s my version.
What I like about this recipe, is that it’s easy to put together, can be made ahead of time, and–biggest bonus of all–does not require the oven. I DO live in the desert, after all. I added a variety of colored vegetables for a good balance of flavor and color, and I’m really happy with the result. You could certainly customize the recipe to your tastes.
This is a great recipe for trying quinoa for the first time, or introducing it to your family, since there is a lot of flavor, and there’s no risk of it being bland. Michael had never tried quinoa before this salad, and he said it was really good. Certainly, though, if you think people in your house might have issue with quinoa, you could use cooked brown rice or orzo instead.
We ate this as a meatless main dish, but it would be a great side with fish, chicken, shrimp, or even a grilled steak. Be sure to double it if you want to feed a crowd. This amount was perfect for the two of us to have for two nights.
- 2c cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1 (14.5oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 1 mango, diced
- ½-1 avocado, diced (optional)
- 1 green onion, sliced
- ¼c cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼tsp pepper, or to taste
- ¼tsp salt, or to taste
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, beans, bell pepper, mango, avocado, green onion, and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over quinoa salad and toss to coat.
- Chill until ready to serve.