Tag: colorful vegetables

Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley

Happy Monday, hope everyone had a nice weekend. Today is the first day of April and Spring is in the air! I started my morning with a two mile run which felt great, and I thought it would be the perfect day to enjoy this delicious quinoa salad which I am reviving from the archives.

Black beans, sweet mango, and lots of colorful vegetables make a delicious zesty salad that has wonderful texture, color and flavor. Serve this as a side dish at a potluck or enjoy this as a meatless main course with some corn tortillas (perfect for Meatless Mondays!!) Leftovers are perfect for lunch on the go as the flavors only get better the next day.

Packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, folate, iron and lutein so it’s not just tasty, it’s good for you.

This recipe is from The Plant-Powered Diet[1] by Sharon Palmer, RD who I met in California on my trip to the Dole Blogger Summit[2]. If you are interested in adding more vegetables and plant-based foods to your diet, this is the book for you.

Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley
Servings:Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 164 • Fat: 4 g • Protein: 6 g • Carb: 27 g • Fiber: 7 g • Sugar: 11.6 g
Sodium: 93 mg


  • 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (according to package directions)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • juice from 1 medium lemon or lime
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric


Mix together the beans, quinoa, corn, bell pepper, mango, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric in a small bowl.

Drizzle over the mixture and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. ^ The Plant-Powered Diet (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Dole Blogger Summit (www.skinny-bits.com)

Italian Antipasto Salad

Chopped romaine hearts, shredded mozzarella, olives, prosciutto, turkey pepperoni, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, pepperoncini and Giardiniera (colorful vegetables in vinegar) – this quick Italian salad requires no cooking, which makes it perfect to whip up or pack for lunch.

Cold antipasto is usually the first course of an Italian meal, which consists of a variety of cold meats, cheeses, olives, roasted peppers, and a variety of colorful vegetables that have been pickled in vinegar known as Giardiniera and pepperoncini. This adds so much flavor to the salad, without tons of calories and because it is so flavorful, you really don’t need to add a lot of oil. I make the quick dressing by using some of the vinegar from the jar of the pepperoncini, and just add a touch of olive oil and fresh cracked pepper and finito!

This salad is so adaptable to anyone’s taste, I love proscuitto but you can swap it for ham or turkey, or leave it out altogether and add more cheese and olives. Sometimes I also add shredded carrots and sliced mushrooms, whatever you like. The real trick to get the bold flavors is from the pepperoncini and Giardiniera, which are both sold jarred in Italian section of the supermarket and add a lot of flavor to the salad. If you can’t find Giardiniera, it’s fairly simple to make it yourself, here’s a recipe from Smitten Kitchen[1].

I made this salad for one, but it can easily be multiplied for 2 or 4. One note, this is not low in sodium, because of the meats, olives and cheese, so if you’re watching your sodium, opt for low sodium ham, cheese and make your own pickled vegetables.

Italian Antipasto Salad
1 • Size: 1 salad • Old Points: 7 • Weight Watcher Points+: 7 pt
254 • Fat: 16 g • Carb: 19.5 g • Fiber: 7.5 g • Protein: 16 g • Sugar: 3 g
37.5 mg


  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 thin slice red onion
  • 4 green pitted olives (or black)
  • 1 pepperoncini, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, sliced (homemade, or buy packed in water)
  • 1/4 cup Giardiniera (I used Victoria brand)
  • 1/3 cup cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Polly-o part skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 oz (4) turkey pepperoni, sliced thin
  • 2 slices Prosciutto, Di Parma, sliced

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tsp olive oil  
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar or vinegar brine from pepperoncini
  • fresh black pepper


Place the lettuce on a large dish and top with meats, vegetables and cheese. In a small bowl add vinegar or brine from pepperoncini, add black pepper and whisk in oil. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!


  1. ^ Smitten Kitchen (smittenkitchen.com)

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