Funny story about quinoa--the first time I tried it, we were inspired by David Lynch. Yes, THAT David Lynch, the genius behind Twin Peaks (I only watched this in the last year but I looooove it). Anyway, one of the extras on the Inland Empire DVD is this hilarious "cooking lesson" about making quinoa! Seriously, you have to watch it--it's available on YouTube here. The man is definitely passionate about his quinoa (and his organic frozen broccoli), but our results based on his cooking lesson were not er, too brilliant. I was definitely not sold on quinoa, nutritional benefits or not.
Fast forward a few months to a visit to some friends in DC, where we were served quinoa salad (along with a brilliant chickpea curry). "Oh no, quinoa," I thought to myself. "I hope they didn't follow David Lynch's recipe." HAHA. No I kid. I actually thought eh, I'll just try a little to be polite. Next thing I knew, I was back in the kitchen, making a giant pile of quinoa salad on my plate, and asking for the recipe. (I'm not sure what the original source is, but I'm reproducing the recipe as my friend sent it.) This is a great recipe for hot weather, it's light, refreshing, and can be adjusted easily to accommodate whatever vegetables you have kicking around that need to be used up.
1 mango, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used lemon juice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
Combine mango, pepper, scallions, and cilantro in large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, oil, and salt. Add the quinoa and still until combined. Fold in the black beans.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. I think adding some cucumber would also be great, and when they are in season, diced nectarines instead of mangoes would probably be good too.