I am pretty jet-lagged as I type this post, so please forgive any grammatical errors and nonsensical ramblings. But I will have you know that I had the most unusual and delicious dish at a cafe this afternoon – it was called “City Stew.” It consisted of brown rice topped with diced vegetable soup-esque ingredients, bound together with a sauce resembling Japanese curry, sans curry powder. The veggies (potatoes, celery, and carrots) were stewed with some apples, which added a little fruitiness. It was unlike anything I’ve ever had before, but it was wonderful, so I might try to re-create it on the blog some day. Have any of you encountered a dish like this before?
On another note, this Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad is a fantastic light entree or side. It’s sweet from the mango, has a little kick from the jalapeno, and is filling and protein-packed from the quinoa and black beans. It also packs really easily and you don’t have to re-heat it, so it’s a great lunch to take to work.
- • 1½ cups quinoa
- • 2¼ cups water
- • 5 tablespoons lime juice
- • ½ jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
- • ¾ teaspoon cumin
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • ½ cup olive oil
- • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- • 1 orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- • 1 mango, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- • 1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed
- Toast the quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the quinoa makes a frequent popping sound, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until the quinoa is done, about 15 minutes. Spread quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, process the lime juice, jalapeno, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt in food processor until jalapeno is finely chopped, about 15 seconds. Add olive oil and cilantro in a few small batches, process each batch until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
- Add bell pepper, mango, black beans, and lime-jalapeno dressing to the cooled quinoa and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen