Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quinoa Mango Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

golden quinoa mango salad

Yesterday I ate IKEA cookies for dinner. It was not intentional or in any way planned, but it was a life choice I made, and while I kinda mostly regretted it when I was struck by the sensation of being full of various wafers of dubious quality, and I definitely later regretted the choice to sip my friend's lemonade in the theatre (lemonade and chocolate go together like coffee and toothpaste, don't do it, for the love of god), it's hardly the worst food choice I've ever made. (I once melted an entire bag of chocolate kisses, stirred in a bunch of crushed tortilla chips and ate it. Actually, no, that was amazing. I did go through a phase during which I tried, for months, to create an energy bar out of lentils. I ate a lot of weird shit during that time.)

Suffice to say, I make a lot of weird food choices. (As a kid, I thought I was a genius for dipping carrots in milk. It's pretty underwhelming, don't do it.) Sometimes, they work out. Sometimes...well, sometimes you find yourself in a theatre shoving half-full boxes of IKEA cookies into your friends' hands in a last-ditch effort to save yourself from them.

So yes. Sometimes I eat boxes of cookies. They are not my proudest moments.

However, it's not all cookies and tortilla chip fudge. Sometimes it's whole grains, spicy peppers, luscious mangoes, and the tangy punch of lemon cut with the earthiness of curry powder and the creaminess of yogurt. It's quite a mouth full, but I guarantee, it's a good one.

quinoa mango salad

Quinoa Mango Salad with Curry Vinaigrette
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Salad:
1 1/3 cups uncooked quinoa
2 large mangoes
2 jalapeños, seeded & diced
3 scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sunflower seeds or almonds, toasted

Curry Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
salt, to taste

cutting a mango 101 slice along the pit score with a knife
make crosshatch cuts fold mango skin inside-out slice off cubes of mango
jalapeño peppers, inside out jalapeño innards de-seed & sliced jalapeños
diced jalapeños green onions green onions, diced
making: curry vinaigrette curry vinaigrette golden curry vinaigrette
mangoes, jalapeños, green onions quinoa, the Aztec staple stirring up some salad
and stirring... and stirred. mango quinoa salad, dressed

1. Combine the quinoa with 2 2/3 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a pot, cover, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Once cooked, turn the heat off, remove the lid and let quinoa cool.

2. Cut the mangoes by standing them upright and slicing along the seed which runs lengthwise through its centre. Score the two pieces of fruit in a cross-hatch pattern, then bend the skin, pushing it inwards so the scored fruits stands out from the skin. Cut off the squares of mango. Peel off the remaining skin left on the mango and slice off the remaining flesh. Discard pits and skins.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the mango, diced jalapeños, sliced scallions, and cooled quinoa.

4. Make the dressing: Mince the garlic very fine, then combine with yogurt and curry powder in a small bowl or beaker. Stir in the lemon juice, then whisk in the oil. Let stand for 15 minutes to develop the flavour, then stir in the chopped cilantro. Pour over the salad and stir in until well combined.

5. Top salad with toasted sunflower seeds and serve immediately or refrigerate. Leftovers will store well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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