Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) was worshipped by the Incas of South-America, who called it chisaya mama, the mother of all grains. In those days, it was more important than corn and second only to the potato as a mayor food crop. After it had been banned by the Spanish conquistadors, it was not until recently, that quinoa re-appeared on our modern menu as one of the ‘super foods’.
Quinoa comes in all sorts of colors: black, purple, beige, orange and yellow. It is advisable to rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the bitter-tasting saponin layer that coats the seeds. After rinsing, quinoa can be prepared much like white rice: add 1 cup of quinoa to 1 3/4 cups of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before using. Then fluff with a fork.
That’s a whole lot of information, but quite useful to know if you are about to start cooking with quinoa. And you should. Quinoa is great: the taste is mild and slightly nutty, it is very nutritious with a high protein content and it is naturally gluten-free. So please don’t be afraid of it and start with this easy and colorful quinoa salad with mango. Enjoy!
Quinoa Salad with Mango
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 4
- Cuisine: Caribbean
- For the salad
- 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (prepared according to package instructions), at room temperature
- 1 cup mango, finely diced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 3/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup jalapeño’s, thinly sliced
- 50g feta, crumbled
- 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 tabelspoons fresh mango juice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon tabasco
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the salad. In a separate bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Mix the dressing through the salad and season to taste.