Just as the weather is finally turning warmer, thoughts of salads, barbeques and lighter fare spring to mind. I promised myself that we would barbeque more often this summer. I do enjoy firing up the grill outdoors, and sipping on cool cocktails, but I don’t do it as much as I’d like to. The very thought of heating up the kitchen when temperatures are soaring in the 90’s should be incentive enough to take the cooking outdoors.
We are finally warming up on the East Coast of the USA, the birds are merrily chirping, daffodils, crocuses and other spring bulbs are vying for attention. This has got to be one of my favorite times of the year. After the long, cold and snowy winter, the garden in it’s dormant stage is now slowly waking up, there’s nothing more exciting than digging in the dirt and being surrounded by a sea of color all around. Based on today’s weather, I thought I’d present a gorgeous, colorful salad, chock full of deliciousness all around. It is packed with vitamins, fiber, and iron. The sweetness of the mango and the zesty lime and spicy cumin just enhances it all. It keeps well in the refrigerator and tastes even better the following day. I’ve paired it with some grilled salmon and fresh avocado for tonight’s dinner. I’ve adapted this salad from the website of skinnytaste.com. A wonderful blog full of flavorful dishes, with half the fat.
Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley
- 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (according to package directions)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh mango
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced (I used 2 thin hot Indian/Thai chillies)
- juice from 1 medium lemon or lime
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used less)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 tsp ground tumeric
- Mix together the beans, quinoa, corn, bell pepper, mango, onion, cilantro and jalapeno in a mixing bowl
- Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chipotle powder and tumeric in a small bowl.
- Drizzle over the mixture and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I paired the hearty quinoa salad with a Salmon Bake and Pecan-Crunch Coating. At first, I sprinkled lemon pepper seasoning to flavor the salmon steak. I then made a mix of dijon mustard, butter, ginger, honey and brushed it over the salmon. I then combined breadcrumbs, chopped pecans and dill and spooned it over evenly across the top of the salmon. I baked it for a few minutes till the fish flaked easily when tested with a fork. Oh and the purple you see are leftover purple onions that I grilled with the fish. This was indeed a taste of things to come, it screams summer and lighter fare don’t you think?