Today we are heading to the lake where we’ll bask in the sun on the dock and enjoy a lazy summer day. I’m in the shoot to bring snacks for my girlfriend and I so, of course, quinoa is on the menu!
When it’s hot like this, our bodies crave refreshment. Food that is light and fresh is best – and, when you have a hint of citrus or a little sweetness, all the better. At the same time, we do need substance to keep us charged up and energized for long-haul, right?
Well, that’s where this salad comes in:
Isn’t it beautiful??
Here’s the scoop…
In a large bowl, I layered:
1 1/2 cups pre-cooked quinoa out of my fridge
3 handfuls of the superfood salad I buy at Costco (NOTE: If you don’t have the greens blend, you can use dark kale, red cabbage, green cabbage, and brussels sprouts, and just chop each of them coleslaw-thin)
1 can of organic kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 fresh jalapeno, finely diced
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, rough chopped
I sprinkled some ground cumin, sea salt, and ground black pepper over the top; and, I freshly grated about 1 TBSP of lime zest and 1 TBSP of lemon zest…
Next I drizzled about 1/4 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), 2- 3 TBSPs of sesame oil, and the juice of 1 medium lemon over the bowl; I sprinkled some of my favorite Furikake, and tossed until everything was mixed well.
Now, I’m one that likes to mix sweet and savory – and, while the flavor was delicious at this point, it definitely needed some sweet. I considered fresh mango (because, if you know me at all, mango goes into pretty much everything I eat), but since this salad will be sitting in a cooler for a few hours, I didn’t want to take the chance it would brown and get not-so-enjoyable-to-eat gooey. So… I did this:
I rough-chopped 1/4 cup of dried mangos and threw them into the mix… and it was PERFECT.
There’s crunch, sweetness, bursts of heat from the jalapeno, depth of flavor from the sesame oil and the Furikake – and, man, I can’t wait to dig this afternoon.
And, ta-da! Quinoa saves my day…
UPDATE: I added FRESH mango and grilled chicken to my leftover salad and OHMYGOSH!!! Fresh mango made it soooo much better!!!