Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

September 18, 2014

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad | One Hungry Mama

I have it, hungry mamas and papas: your new favorite cookbook. I’m holding it in my hands. Okay, not really (since I’m typing), but it’s in my kitchen, already creased and stained. It’s a beauty, isn’t it? How can it not be with the promise of a 150 recipes that can be made and prepped ahead.

America's Test Kitchen Make-Ahead Cookbook | One Hungry Mama

America’s Test Kitchen has done it again, this time with The Make-Ahead Cook: More than 150 kitchen-tested recipes youc an prepare on your schedule. Prepping meals ahead saves me. I know that the planning required trips some of you up, but that’s where this book comes in. Instead of pulling a stack of recipes and having to organize what should be made when, the always-helpful folks at America’s Test Kitchen take care of it for you.

This book isn’t just about big batch cooking. “Make-ahead” can mean a lot of things and this cookbook covers every single definition. The recipes are broken into seven categories: ready-to-cook meals, make-ahead stews and braises, oven-ready casseroles, ready-to-serve entrees, big batch suppers, easy slow cooker favorites, and big roasts that can be turned into a second dinner, too. There’s even a chapter called “Shop Smart: One grocery bag makes three dinners” with 8 menus, each with 3 days worth of meals.

There’s also a “Make-Ahead 101” that shares the Test Kitchen’s discoveries about make-ahead cooking, goes over proper storage (yes!), covers the best way to use your fridge and freezer (did you know that you can freeze buttermilk and egg whites?!) and, my favorite, the Test Kitchen’s guide to Storage Containers.

I’ve already cooked two things from the cookbook: Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad with Lime Vinaigrette (served with fish tacos) and the Slow-Cooker Japanese Pork and Ramen Soup (a one-bowl meal).

America's Test Kitchen Make-Ahead Cookbook | One Hungry Mama

Both were a hit across the board. The boys gobbled the quinoa, which can be iffy for them, and the hungry papa asked me to make the ramen every week this winter. It was so easy, why not! With the big kid at a sleepover and papa on a business trip, I’m thinking that I might make the Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage tomorrow evening to have on hand for the weekend. Perfect, right?

This vibrant quinoa recipe is in the “From Fridge to Table: Ready-to-serve entrees” chapter and comes with directions on how to store this for up to 2 days and how to finish and serve when you’re ready. The prep—cooking the quinoa, chopping some veggies, and whizzing a dressing in the blender—takes about an hour. I broke the time up by making quinoa, which is pretty hands off, the night before. Then, when everything else was ready the night I served this, I dressed 3/4’s of the salad. I left 1/4 of the salad undressed and saved a bit of dressing for lunch the next day.

The recipes in this book are, as you’d expect from America’s Test Kitchen, delicious and easy-to-follow. But even better than the food, this cookbook will help instill a new way of thinking and cooking that is perfectly suited for the busy family kitchen. You can’t beat that.

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
From The Make-Ahead Cook by America’s Test Kitchen
Can be shared with kids 6+ mos
Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 cups prewashed quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
Salt and pepper
5 tablespoons lime juice (3 limes)
1/2 jalapeño chile, stemmed and seeded
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed

TO FINISH AND SERVE
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 avocado, sliced thin

TO PREP
1. Toast quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until quinoa is very fragrant and makes continuous popping sounds, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer until quiona has absorbed most of the water and is nearly tender, about 15 minutes. Spread quinoa in a rimmed baking sheet and set aside until quinoa is tender, all water has been absorbed, and quinoa has cooled, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, process 1/4 cup lime juice, jalapeño, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt in blender until jalapeño is finely chopped, about 15 seconds. Add oil and cilantro and continue to process until smooth and emulsified, about 20 seconds. Transfer 1/4 cup vinaigrette to small bowl and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice; cover.

3. When quinoa is cool, transfer to a large bowl. Stir in bell pepper, mango, black beans, and remaining vinaigrette; cover.

TO STORE
4. Refrigerate quinoa mixture and vinaigrette separately for up to 2 days.

TO FINISH AND SERVE
5. Remove quinoa mixture and vinaigrette from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Whisk vinaigrette to recombine, then drizzle over salad. Stir in scallions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange sliced avocado over top and serve.

*Note from One Hungry Mama: This is a super healthy and tasty meal for beginner eaters. Just be sure to puree or pulse in a food processor until desired, age-appropriate consistency.

19 Responses

  1. Wow, what a delight it must be very good to eat in the summer.

  2. Awesome, in next summer i will try

  3. Guia says:

    Very very good this post.
    I loved it!

  4. Very good great article

  5. Wow, what a delight it must be very good to eat in the summer. AMAZING

  6. I realy love your recipe!

  7. Your blog is very good, congratulations to you

  8. Really is interesting this subject, if I knew before that site spoke about it, I liked it a lot

  9. Congratulations to the author of this blog, it helped me a lot

  10. Beautiful content, grateful for the information

  11. curso says:

    Simply fantastic is vinaigrette salad, I’ll prepare it tonight with my fiancee. She’ll love it.

  12. I really enjoyed this quinoa recipe, I’ll try to do it and then I’ll come back to tell you the result, thank you

  13. Mr. Bigs says:

    Wow, what a hunger! I love black beans! Great website, I will come back to see new tips!

  14. Very good! I love quinoa reading your post made me hungry, I’m running in the market to buy and test the recipe! thank you

  15. I would like to thank for sharing this delicious recipe, me and my lovely bride we made together and it was a real delight.

  16. Lara says:

    I’ll prepare this recipe. I love healthy recipes.

  17. Pat says:

    I love beans! I’ll try to make this recipe as soon as I buy the beans.

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