I have been yearning from some fresh summer salads and I stumbled upon this delightful creation as I was staring blankly at my fridge contents yesterday afternoon. The crisp cucumber and sweet mango balance each other in the most marvelous way. With just 7 ingredients, this salad is as simple as it is tasty! Quinoa is a complete plant protein with some healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Topped with vegetables and some fruit, this is a power packed lunch. The variations are endless. Be creative with what you have on hand.
Curious why it might be wise to choose a whole grain like quinoa over a refined product like pasta for your next summer salad? Check out this 2 minute video from NutritionFacts.org about the nutritional comparison.
5 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (pressure cooker makes this a breeze – see instructions below)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup cucumber, sliced or chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup mango, chopped
1 lime, squeezed
1/3 cup lemon white balsamic vinegar (or use your favorite lightly flavored white balsamic. I ordered a few varieties from The Olive Tap to keep on hand for precisely this purpose)
Stir together quinoa, corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and mango and set aside. Combine lime juice and balsamic vinegar. Pour over quinoa mixture and stir gently. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate to enjoy later. This is a super easy salad to prep ahead for summer BBQs or picnics. It’s even better after being refrigerated overnight. If it seems dry, add a drizzle of balsamic and toss just before serving.
Tips for cooking perfect quinoa:
1) Using an electric pressure cooker like this one makes cooking quinoa (and everything!) a breeze.
2) Be sure to always rinse quinoa thoroughly. I like to let it sit under the faucet in a metal mesh strainer for a few minutes while I am chopping the veggies.
3) Rather than the typical 2:1 ratio of water to grain, use only 1 3/4: 1. Set pressure cooker to manual for only 1 minute. Quick release or slow release should work fine either way.