Mango, Avocado, & Quinoa Salad

There is a small culinary crisis in my kitchen…I am out of quinoa. This has been such a go-to side dish for me in the last two weeks. It’s fast. It’s slower than couscous which I actually like. It’s healthy. It’s fun to eat. And I’m out. Rawr. However, it did go out with a bang. I pretty much made this recipe up – and if my memory is correct, it was the first dish I made with quinoa. It’s a tough call, but I might even prefer it to the broccoli-cheese variation of earlier. I’ve learned in the last few years what a delicious combination mango and avocado are so I’m always looking for new additions to that lovely little combo. This one has some sweetness, earthiness, texture, and while I didn’t add any – I believe heat would come alongside quite nicely. Technically it’s probably a side dish and as such could serve 2 – 4. However…as a single gal, I don’t have to share my delicious food unless I want to and I scarfed it all up on my own. Both times. I won’t rat you out if you choose to do the same.

Mango, Avocado, & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

1/4 cup quinoa
1 med-lg clove of garlic or 2 small ones
1 small avocado (the ones that are 2/$1)
1 small mango (I used green – but I don’t really know the difference in types of mango)
2 medium radishes (could sub red onion or red bell pepper)
Handful of cilantro – to taste (for some of you, this may be none 🙂 )
1 capful of lime juice

Steps

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. This gives you 15-20 minutes to assemble the rest of the salad. Mince/garlic press the clove(s) of garlic into the boiling water so it infuses into the quinoa.
2. Cube the avocado and dump into bowl. My suggestion for cubing: Slice the avocado flesh into cubes, but do not cut through the skin. Scoop the cubes out with a spoon in a circular motion. Out they’ll come.
3. Cube the mango and cut into the bowl. My suggestion for cubing: Cut a portion of the mango away from that crazy large pit. Carefully score the flesh into cubes, but again – don’t cut through the skin. Pop it out (see picture) and carefully cut the cubes away from the skin.
4. Cut each radish in half and slice thinly. Toss into the bowl
5. Pick as many cilantro leaves as you wish, scrunch up into a tight bunch and slice thinly. Toss into the bowl.
6. Add 1 capful of lime juice and gently stir around.
7. When the quinoa has boiled, cooked, and cooled a bit, add it to the bowl and gently fold in.
8. Eat and be happy.

Don’t let the mango intimidate you. They can be slimy, slippery suckers. The score, pop, cut method seems to keep the slippage to a minimum. I have also peeled it with a potato peeler and just cut the flesh away from the pit, dicing into irregular pieces as I went. While there are many things I think one could add to this salad that would be delicious – be careful of adding so many flavors that they become indistinguishable. Texture is a big thing for me in eating so I would most strongly recommend something with some crunch and a bit of tang. I hope you find this to be as delicious as I did. Happy eating!

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