This recipe was inspired by an incredible dish I tried at a mango celebration. Tropical quinoa served as a bed for flank steak that was marinated in mangos, grilled, and served with even more grilled mangos on top.
This quinoa was only the backdrop in that recipe, but it can definitely hold its own. It’s a confetti of colors, flavors, and textures.
Even the quinoa is tri-colored, which was highly recommended by the cooks. You can find it at Trader Joe’s. It has white, red, and black quinoa. The white is fluffy, the black has a light crunch, and the red is somewhere in between. I remembered a tip to cook the quinoa in broth to add flavor, and I’ve been doing that a lot lately. For this I used half broth, half coconut milk to make it all the more tropical. (You can substitute water for all or part of the cooking liquid).
This mango coconut white balsamic vinegar from Olive Tap was a birthday gift from my brother. I love it. It’s so good on this salad, but if you don’t have it, regular white balsamic vinegar works fine, too.
I got creative with the mix of fruits and vegetables and I hope you’ll do the same with what you have on hand. Just don’t leave out the mango. Bell pepper, watermelon, red onion, avocado… you can’t go wrong.
Tropical Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa (tricolor if available)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 mango, diced
- 1/2 cup strawberries, diced
- 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
- 1/2 cup jicama, diced
- 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (reserve a pinch for garnish)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (mango coconut from Olive Tap recommended)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer. Bring the broth and coconut milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Add the quinoa. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and transfer it to a bowl. Cover it and chill the quinoa in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Whisk the balsamic vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, honey, salt, jalapeño and garlic. Drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
In a serving bowl, gently fold the chilled quinoa with the fruit, vegetables, and dressing. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
*Thanks, Leeann and Bob, for sharing this!*