I’m just getting home from a gorgeous weekend in Minnesota. Even though we were only there momentarily, every time I’m there, it reminds me of how much of my childhood can be found in the places I’ve been before.
Tony and I walked around Lake Calhoun (a popular Minnesota lake) and it took me back to when I was around 9 or 10; my mom used to bring me along 20 mile bikes along the different paths that connected the Minnesotan lakes. We had the best times together cruising around the city in search for an always different outdoor adventure. In fact, we did everything together. Just us two girls. We’d make breakfast, bake pies, do crafts, shop at the hispanic market, go on long summer bike rides, take workout classes, go to movies, etc.
Safe to say, I’m really missing her.
Why I’m talking about all this is because I love cooking for my mom and she no longer lives close to me. Life is busy and each month comes and goes with the blink of an eye, but it made me realize how there’s always going to be an excuse NOT to do something. And since my mom is one of the most important things in my life, I need to make seeing her a priority.
In case you haven’t noticed, my mom has inspired many recipes on this site; her love of cooking and flavor creativity is as strong as mine. When I first started my blog, I was living at home after college and packing all of my mom’s lunches and planning our dinners. She was my taste tester and allowing me to meal prep and cook always meant that we had healthy meals available. We’d make huge batches of chili with corn muffins, strawberry banana quesadillas for breakfast, skinny banana muffins and her personal favorite: butternut squash black bean enchiladas skillet.
Another favorite of hers? My always different, yet delicious and healthy quinoa salads.
This mango black bean quinoa salad is a recipe I know my mom would just adore. It’s simple, beautiful, seasonal and stays good for days. It tastes like a little fiesta in your mouth and yes Mom, I made it just for you. It’s vegetarian, healthy and perfect for packing for lunches.
Let’s talk about ingredients:
Mango. It’s sweet and juicy this time of year!
Black beans. Adds protein and fiber.
Avocado. Healthy fats for the win.
Red bell pepper. Adds the perfect amount of crunch.
Jalapeno: For flavor!
Cilantro. Because cilantro is LIFE & SO FRESH.
Honey Lime Chipotle Dressing: this dressing is everything and SO easy to make! It’s just a mixture of a little lime juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, dijon, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper. You’re going to love it.
I hope you give this salad a try; it’s great to bring to summer parties and if you’re worried about the avocado getting brown, I suggest adding it right before serving. I didn’t have an issue with it browning though (I think the lime in the dressing helped prevent it).
Both Abra and I loved this gorgeous salad very, very much and both exclaimed how much we loved the flavor combination and various textures. We think you’ll love it too. ENJOY!
More quinoa salad recipes you’ll love:
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. You can also leave a comment and rate the recipe below so other readers know how you liked it. xo!
Fiesta Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- For the quinoa:
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 ½ cups water
- For the salad:
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1 large mango, diced (about 1 heaping cup diced mango)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ cup diced cilantro
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- For the honey lime chipotle dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, plus more if you like things a little spicy
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To garnish:
- Extra cilantro
Add water and quinoa to a medium pot and place over high heat; bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove pot from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, chop all your fruits & veggies. Once done, add them to a large bowl along with your cooked quinoa.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, fresh lime juice, honey, dijon, chipotle chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.
Pour dressing all over the quinoa salad and toss to combine. Garnish with extra cilantro and pepitas if you’d like. Serve at room temp or cold. Salad with stay good for 4-5 days in the fridge. Serves 4.
TO MAKE VEGAN: Use maple syrup or coconut palm syrup instead of honey in the dressing.