Mexican Quinoa Salad

Sometimes my roommate and I have a little too much fun planning things.  Like the Mexican-themed Shabbat dinner we hosted a little while ago.  It all started when we decided to make enchiladas (my roommate’s recipe, and they were delicious and filled with sweet potato, black beans, corn, and sauteed onions and red pepper, covered in tomato sauce and cheese….yum!).

From there we spiraled a bit out of control and discussed purchasing sombreros and a piñata.  I know, we’re classy like that.

In the end, we kept the Mexican theme to the food only.

Originally, I had thought to do a quinoa side dish with black beans and mango, which is kind of a classic.  However, there were black beans in the enchiladas, and I didn’t want to repeat flavors.

Also, have you noticed how everything that’s “Mexican” involved either beans or corn?  I decided to think a little bit more outside the box.

So I did a Google search for “Mexican Quinoa,” and I found a recipe for a quinoa, corn, and spinach salad at The Nourishing Gourmet.  I wasn’t interested in the content of the salad (it had cilantro in it…I HATE cilantro), but I did like the sound of the vinaigrette.

I adjusted it a little, kept the mangoes from my original idea, and tossed in some red peppers for a crisp crunch.

This recipe is quick, easy, and delicious.  The whole recipe can come together while you wait for your quinoa to cook.

Cumin is what makes the vinaigrette great.  Cumin is a fantastic spice with a warm, earthy flavor that pairs really well with the brightness of mango.

Oh, and dinner in general was great too.  Good people, lots of wine, and plenty of leftovers – my favorite kind of meal.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Serves 8

1.5 cups uncooked quinoa (I used red, but regular works as well)
2 ripe mangoes
2 red peppers
4 scallions, white and light green parts
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1.5 teaspoons cumin
2 garlic cloves (or one big one, like I had), peeled and finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the box (or find the directions here).

2. Mix together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and cumin in a small bowl or jar.  The earlier you do this step, the longer the flavors have to marry.  I made the vinaigrette in the morning, put together the rest of the dish in the evening and served it with dinner.

3. Dice the mangoes and red peppers.  Slice the scallions thinly.  Put everything in a medium size bowl.

4.  Add the quinoa to the peppers and mango.  Toss with the vinaigrette just before serving.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and serve room temperature.


12 Responses to Mexican Quinoa Salad

  1. Maggie says:

    Yup, trying this one too. I am going to have way too much fun cooking from your blog. What great, inventive and delicious vegetarian recipes!

  2. @Eliotseats – I promise to make the burritos soon and post it!

  3. What a creative and delicious recipe. Looks so tasty!!!

  4. Eliotseats says:

    Great salad! (But, can I get that sweet potato burrito recipe?)

  5. Sarah says:

    Mmm, this looks fantastic! I love quinoa in anything 🙂

  6. I love the idea of a Mexican friday night dinner! And, I think sombreros are a must in that case. This quinoa salad looks delicious!

  7. I love quinoa! This is a great way to spice it up!

  8. Ann says:

    It looks delicious! I like Cilantro…and I thought it was pretty cool to want to do a Mexican, Vegetarian Shabbat dinner…you’re all over the map with that one! (Cumin is my FAVORITE spice!)

  9. Great idea! I’m equally disapointed about the pinata…

  10. Sarah says:

    Sounds fantastic! Too bad the sombreros didn’t make the cut 🙂

  11. Sandi says:

    Loving me some mango!

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