Currently craving this southwest mango, kale, and quinoa chopped salad.
I feel like every trip is always filled with so many different awesome foods. But by far, my favorite meal of this trip was a KILLER four course Italian meal from the most quaint little restaurant called Mama Mia’s in Pacific Beach in San Diego. <–if you’re in the San Diego area, head to Mama Mia’s for some delicious antipasto, breads, pastas, and desserts. We went on Sunday night for Mother’s Day and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Cute little twinkling lights, an amazingly enthusiastic staff (who put together a huge table so that all 19 of us could be together) and amazing food. I love when you go to a restaurant and the owner and staff are so excited to share their food with you…what a great night!
Today I am finally back home! Even though my trip was great, it was so jam-packed. And to be completely honest, I really missed some home cooked meals. I’m longing for green, crunchy veggies, and sweet fruits…the good for me food, and this salad is on my menu today for lunch and dinner.
I made this before I left a couple of weeks ago, but I swear I was dreaming about it on the plane late last night. What is it about late night flights that always has me starving. I got home around two am and basically ate all the food I could find that was still edible. Anyone been there?
I wished I had this salad on hand because it is SO good, and full of everything I love…veggies, quinoa, fruit, and lots of avocado…plus just a little salty cheese.
Best part? It’s incredibly quick and easy to whip up. Especially if you already have cooked quinoa on hand.
The kale gets massaged in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then just toss in some quinoa, bell peppers, fresh corn (so very excited for this to be making an appearance in the grocery stores again), lots of sweet mango, a little jalapeño…for some heat, black beans, avocado, and then just a touch of cotija cheese (you can also use crumbled feta as well).
For the vinaigrette I really wanted to do something fun and different. I decided on a sunflower seed based vinaigrette with lots of lime and a touch of honey. The sunflower seeds have amazing flavor and really add a nice nutty taste to the salad, but not in an overpowering way. I also love the combo with the mango. Everything just works really well together.
Plus, seeing as this is a southwest salad, it’s a must that we top it with some crunchy tortilla chips. I made homemade chips by simply slicing thin some corn tortillas and tossing them with a little olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper. When they came out of the oven I zested some fresh lime over top. <–talk about addicting.
This is perfect for making on a Sunday or Monday night and then eating the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. The salad stores really well in the fridge and the flavor develops more over time, so you could even just pack it for lunch throughout the week.
Basically it’s the all around perfect salad and my new go-to for the warmer months of the year.
OKok, and if you’re a mango freak like me, you will LOVE this salad.
Keeping today’s post on the shorter side as I’m hitting the ground running today in an attempt to get caught up with work. So sorry if you guys have left comments and they have not been responded to. Working on it all today!!
Happy (detox…literally) Salad Wednesday!
Southwest Mango, Kale, and Quinoa Chopped Salad
- 2 bunches kale, roughly torn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 ears corn, husked and kernels chopped off
- 2 mangos, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded + chopped
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1 avocado, sliced
- cotija cheese, crumbled
1. Add the kale to a large bowl salad bowl with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale with your hands for 2-3 minutes or until the kale begins to break down and soften a bit.
2. To the bowl add the quinoa, bell peppers, corn, mango, jalapeño, and black beans. Drizzle on a little of the vinaigrette and toss. Add the avocado and cheese. Top with toasted tortillas or chips. EAT!
Sunflower Honey Lime Vinaigrette
1. Add the sunflower seeds, olive oil, honey, and lime juice to a high powered blender or food processor. Process until completely smooth. If needed, add water to thin the vinaigrette. Stir in the chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. The vinaigrette can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge.
Honest. New favorite salad.