janet @ the taste space

Mango, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on February 18, 2012 at 6:16 AM

I don’t know any blogger that doesn’t relish receiving comments.

The food blog community is very supportive, leaving mostly positive comments about recipes and photographs.

I also love comments when I have questions or ones that are constructive. One of my very first posts, about our family’s rouladen, stemmed such interesting comments. Everyone thought we were rolling them backwards! As you can see, we roll the beef slices along their short axis, making long and thin rolls. However, in the comments, in seemed like everyone else was rolling them on the long axis, producing shorter, stumpy rolls.

I told my mom we were rolling them wrong. She told me that was how our grandmother always did it. There was nothing wrong.

We are just a backwards family…

To be honest, we wouldn’t want the short and stumpy rolls… the longer the roll, the more you get to savour the mustard, pickle and caramelized onions on the inside! (Not that I am eating rouladen any more, although a veganized dish is on my bucket list combining those 3 ingredients)

And then the other day, I received the most odd comment. I honestly thought it was spam, but there was no link to a website. So, I hit accept and posted a reply.

I didn’t really think twice about its validity, but it was really odd. The short comment slammed my style of recipes and specifically directed me to a “good” recipe. One that I have made before and really didn’t like.

I was really excited about the dish, too. Black beans, quinoa and broccoli in a raspberry chipotle sauce. From Isa, whose recipes I adore. I was so happy when I finally found chipotle in adobo at Sunny’s, that Rob went out to buy fresh raspberries specifically for this dish.

However, it was so bad that I was nauseous within thirty minutes. It was my first time using chipotles in adobo, so I started making the sauce with a limited amount of chile. I increased it as I tolerated it. But it didn’t taste that great, even after I added agave to sweeten the sauce. And then my stomach started to give me problems…. I called it quits.

But I hate wasting food. Especially the primo fresh raspberries.Β  If I didn’t get nauseous, I probably would still have eaten it. But I just couldn’t swallow it!

Rob has an iron tummy and tongue already scorched by years of eating spicy food, so he offered to finish it. Even though it was definitely subpar and (not even that spicy).

But, before I burdened Rob with heaps of the dish, I snatched half of the base of the salad. The good parts: the black beans, the quinoa and the steamed broccoli.

I veered towards an alternative route, towards a mango, black bean and quinoa salad with a sesame orange dressing, that I ended up adapting from Eating Well. Bonus broccoli, of course.

After trying the first dish, this was a much better alternative. Light and fresh. Bright with the mango with subtle flavours from the fresh orange juice, toasted sesame oil and cilantro. I added toasted sesame seeds to highlight more of the sesame flavour.

Let me assure you, I won’t be trying chipotles in adobo again anytime soon.

What do you do when you make something that doesn’t taste good? Do you still eat it or try something new?

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this week’s Weekend Wellness.

Mango, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
1 mango, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups broccoli, chopped and lightly steamed
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

1. Toast quinoa in a small dry saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly. Return the quinoa to the pot and add water. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, steam your broccoli for 3-4 minutes until a brilliant green and al dente.

3. Whisk orange juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil, ginger, salt and chili flakes in a medium bowl. Add mango, bell pepper, beans and scallions; toss to coat.

4. When the quinoa and broccoli are finished cooking, add to the mango mixture and toss to combine.

Serves 2-3.

  1. Of course, you post this on same the day that I plan to use the chilis in adobo, myself πŸ˜›

  2. wow- i’m HORRIFIED by that comment. i think you post lovely recipes.

    i miss eating mangoes..i havent had one since late fall. this dish looks fantastic and i look forward to making it soon.

    keep up the fantastic work! delicious food and gorgeous pictures πŸ˜‰

  3. I actually really love chipotles in adobo, but can see where it is an acquired taste. I do think they would be better added in a citrus-based recipe like this than with raspberries. πŸ™‚ Either way, people should think about what they say before they post a comment – I can’t believe how rude!!!

    Thanks for another great recipe! πŸ™‚

  4. This sounds fantastic.

    It took me a long time to get used to the flavor of chipotles in adobo (and I’m Mexican!). I started with minute amounts and can now tolerate it in slightly larger quantities. A little goes a very long way.

  5. ack! i’m with caitlin – i’m stunned that someone would post such a comment!! we all have our favourite tastes & flavours, but there’s no need for that. obviously this person is just fishing to stir the pot.

    i’ve got to say that i LOVE the flavours from that braised tempeh dish! mmmm, reminds me of a recipe for spinach gomae salad i used to make all the time. πŸ™‚ and this dish too – makes me look forward to spring & picnics and bikerides!

  6. The blogging community is great! And for any haters, nothing you can do but let them be. This sounds great. Mango and quinoa for the win!

  7. Ahh, I’m so sorry you had someone say that!! I have to agree with you, I have made that raspberry and quinoa dish and had problems myself … however, I LOVE mango! Here’s to a brighter day! πŸ™‚

  8. So weird about that comment. Plus, I can’t imagine they’ve tried every (or anything) you’ve ever posted because everything I’VE made of yours has been delicious. Mediocre recipes definitely do happen over here and I usually eat them…unless they start making me gag. Which actually HAS happened on occasion :/

    This sounds so appealing to me right now! All that fresh delicious flavor! And mangoes. Swoon.

  9. What a crqppy comment. Unsure why people need to spread negativity. I loooove your recipes! This looks amazing as usual!

    • Hey Dawn, I buy my Aleppo chili flakes at Middle Eastern stores but you can also find them at well-stocked spice stores. I know Penzey’s and Kalustyan’s also carries them and they could do mail order. I also see a few on amazon.com. πŸ™‚

  10. I got a rude one the other day too. Must be something in the water. πŸ˜‰ Ignore them and keep making your own fabulous dishes like this one. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  11. Your salad looks great, delicious and colorful! Great flavors. If I don’t like something there’s no way I can keep eating it. That’s when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches come in handy!

  12. Well, I do have to say that you’re a more forgiving person than I am. (Personally, I’d have deleted that comment without much thought.)

    As for when recipes go bad — those don’t get posted. Okay, not quite true. I only post something when I have something to say, if there was anything with that specific experience that was salvageable.

    Long-time lurker here, not-as-frequent commenter. But I must say that your recipes, the few that I have tried, have worked out well. So please take heart and ignore the negativity.

  13. YUM. This looks good.
    Janet! Your post prompted C. to add his horchata recipe, so check it out – I’ve adjusted the post πŸ™‚
    Happy Horchat-ing!


    • Your posts are so timely, Mel! We just booked a trip to Colombia and I know horchata is Mexican but we were talking about what vegan eats I could try down South. πŸ˜‰ AND I just scored soem Meyer lemons, too! πŸ˜‰

  14. Great way to use up parts of a dish you didn’t enjoy. If I realllllllllly don’t like a dish, E will usually finish it. Or I put ketchup on it. Or cheese. Haha not great solutions. That comment was so ridiculous. I hope you don’t receive any more!

    • Yeah, Rob is actually really good about eating the dishes I don’t like… or if I go a bit too adventurist and make it too spicy for me… πŸ˜‰ But usually it is because he likes it more than me. πŸ˜‰

  15. Hey Janet,
    I notice that you use allepo chiili pepper alot, where do you get it? Love your posts. Thanks for sharing!

    • Are you in Toronto? I love Aleppo chili flakes because they are more flavourful, more smoky than spicy… but yeah, check out Middle Eastern grocers (Turkish grocers are even better). You can also find them at Penzey’s in the US, Kalustyan’s in NYC and even on amazon.com if you want to do the mail order thing. πŸ™‚ If you are in town, I can direct you to specific stores in Toronto, too. Just let me know. πŸ™‚

  16. I love chipotles in adobo. I usually use them in my hummus and guacamole!

  17. […] Lunch: pita pizza Dinner:Β  Mango Black Bean and Quinoa Salad to go with something, not sure what yet, maybe this…empanadas with collard green and tofu.Β  […]

  18. What a rude and strange comment! Glad that you don’t let it bother you too much.
    I *love* the colors in this salad – it looks wonderful!

  19. […] Mango, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad from The Taste Space. Gorgeous trio of ingredients paired with a lovely citrusΒ  flavor (and no raspberries). […]

  20. […] for all the encouragement guys after my last post.Β  The comment didn’t phase me too much as I know when my recipes turn out well… I love […]

  21. […] Indian Eggplant and Lentil Curry (Dal Bhat Meets Baingan Bharta) Sea Weeds and Greens Salad (aka Kelp Noodles with Wakame and Radish Sprouts) Braised Cabbage with Chorizo Seitan Sausage Mango, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad […]

  22. […] lemon juice, sweet smoked paprika, garlic and onion for maximum flavour. (Chipotles in adobo sauce still scare me). It does not disappoint. Use it as a fabulous dip, or spread into a “raw burrito” such […]

  23. […] Problem: I had no slow cooker. So I stalled on the dish. I had tofu frozen for the longest time until I figured out how to make it sans slow cooker. I also needed to get over my fear of the chipotle chiles in adobo. […]

  24. I have now made this salad twice And the recipe is a keeper. Although both times I felt inclined to leave the broccoli out eve though I do like broccoli! Thanks for the recipe

  25. […] especially if it means lots of citrus juice (lime!). And well, beans, oh yes. I have used black beans in many Mexican dishes, but I was intrigued by Bittman’s suggestion to mash them, spice them […]

  26. […] Mango, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad from The Taste Space. Gorgeous trio of ingredients paired with a lovely citrusΒ  flavor (and no raspberries). […]

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