Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tropical Mexican Salad

Since moving back to DC three years ago, I’ve had trouble satiating my (nearly constant) cravings for Mexican food.  Growing up in Colorado, there was no shortage of enchiladas, huevos rancheros, or green chili in my life.  Living in DC, however, is a different can of worms.
To put it gently, the Mexican food offerings here are sparse and not particularly good.  The one place Hubs and I have found that we both deem to be decent (since he's from Texas, he shares my high standards for Mexican food) has glutened me on multiple occasions.
My life is so hard.  (I know, I know: famine, genocide, horrible illnesses, rampant abuse...those problems are sooooo trivial compared to my plight!)
In recent months, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and cook my own Mexican food.  I’ve stayed largely with Homesick Coloradoan Soup and Lazy Girl Tostadas, but I decided to branch out with this recipe. 
I’d been randomly craving black beans with orange, so I decided to go for broke and turn it into a full-on salad with quinoa and mango.  The mango gave it a tropical spin, and the quinoa added some Peruvian flair.  It's like a pan-Meso and South Americas salad, if you will.  It tastes so much like legit Mexican food, though, that it makes my taste buds do a happy dance in my mouth -- oh, and it’s loaded with protein, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Muy bien! 
Tropical Mexican Salad
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup finely diced red onion
1 mango, peeled and chopped
Segments and juice of one orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic
1 pinch sea salt
Pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish
Step 1:  Mix everything together.
Step 2:  Serve
Step 3:  Call Mariachi band.

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