Lunchtime Mango-Red Pepper Salad

Spring has definitely sprung in Colorado. Wait, that feels like a lie… really we’ve skipped over spring and are diving head first into summer!

As the heat settles in the flowers bloom, my body switches from craving soups and hearty casseroles to wanting lighter fare like salads and sandwiches.

This mango salad goes perfectly with this new weather. It’s a little sweet and a little “citrussy” while the jalapeno adds a bit of a zing. And, after eating an entire bowl of this salad, you’ll still be up for a post-lunch run. I suggest doubling this salad because you WILL want leftovers. If you add a few more jalapeno peppers and make the dice of the ingredients smaller, this salad lends itself easily to becoming a mango salsa to pair with chips or as a topper for fish (fresh off the grill, of course).

Mango-Red Pepper Salad

Ingredients:

1 mango, chopped (click here for tips on how to dice a mango)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

3/4 English cucumber, seeded and diced

1-2 t jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (leave in a few seeds or use entire pepper for more heat).

3 T shredded coconut, toasted

1 T lemon juice

1 T lime juice

1 t agave, honey or sugar (or more to taste)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325°.   Spread shredded coconut (you can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut) in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

2.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 min or until lightly browned, tossing every few minutes.  Be careful, the coconut goes from barely tan to dark brown quickly!  I make a big batch and then store the extra in a jar in the pantry for future salads, cereal, peanut butter toast topping, etc.

3.  Set the coconut aside to cool.

4.  While the coconut is baking, dice the vegetables and mango and place into a medium to large bowl.

The red peppers, cucumber and mango should be diced approx. the same size (I like a medium dice, but feel free to adjust to your preferences).

the jalapeno, however, should be minced (a very small dice).


5.  In a small bowl, mix the agave, lemon and lime juices together until fully combined.  If the honey just clumps in the bottom, microwave the mix for a couple of seconds.


6.  Pour juice mixture and coconut over mango and veggies.

7.  Toss gently until dressing is fully incorporated.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

This salad, originally from Moosewood Collective’s Low-Fat Favorites cookbook,  is quick, travels well, can keep in the fridge for a couple of days (if it lasts).

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