Food You Can Use: Mango, Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

This is so tasty! Great as an entree or a side salad with lean beef, fish or grilled chicken.

1 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained

2 large mangoes, cubed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1/2 small red onion, chopped (or 1 small shallot, chopped)

Dressing:

1/2 c. cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno, finely chopped (I omitted this & it tasted fine)

2 T. lime juice

1 T + 1 t. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. olive oil

1 t. cumin

salt & pepper to taste

Combine 2 3/4 cups water with 1/2 t. salt & rinsed quinoa. Bring to a boil over lower heat and cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside or cool in fridge. Combine with other ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve warm-ish or chilled 30-45 minutes later.

Optional: garnish with 1/3 c. pan-toasted, chopped almonds. Yum!

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food you can use

Today’s offering is a fabulous recipe. I made it for dinner tonight – come on over! It’s great for a night when you want to cozy up.

Chickpea Soup with Kale & Chorizo

1 15-oz. can chickpeas

4 1/2 oz. lean chorizo or bulk sausage

1/2 onion, chopped

1-2 carrots, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 14-oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice

5 c. water

1 bay leaf

1/4 t. thyme (dried)

1/4 t. oregano (dried)

8 oz. pumpkin, diced (or from a can)

3 potatoes, chopped

several leaves of kale, chopped (remove stems first)

salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook chorizo in a soup pot over medium-low heat 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove & drain on paper towels.

2. Pour off fat & add onion, carrot, garlic & herbs. Cook 3-4 minutes.

3. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, water, potatoes & chorizo. Bring almost to boil, reduce heat, cover & cook gently for 30 minutes.

4. Stir in pumpkin & kale. Salt & pepper to taste. Cover & continue to cook gently for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are soft and flavors have blended. Serves 4-6. A crusty loaf of bread makes a great companion.

Here’s the funny story behind my discovery of the soup. I was visiting Santa Barbara and ate at great little soup & salad place called Fresco Cafe. They were offering this intriguing soup that seemed to combine such unusual ingredients. My friend and I really liked the soup. Later that day I was flipping through cookbooks at my brother’s house and found this recipe which the restaurant must have used. Have you ever seen this combination before? I think it’s a keeper. Enjoy! from CookShelf: Soup by Carol Clemens