The irresistible flavor of a juicy mango is no longer just for sipping in tropical drinks.
By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA
The Kansas City Star
Although mangoes are the world’s most popular fruit, U.S. consumers have been slow to indulge. In recent years, competing trade organizations have zeroed in on the attributes of each mango variety.
For instance, the Produce News announced Fresh King launched a “Drippy Elbow Mango” promotion to increase sales of the banana mango. Mangomaven.com doesn’t pull any punches when she comes across a stringy or astringent variety, but she has high praise for the banana mango, which she says has “wonderful, buttery smooth flesh.”
Mangoes are delicious, versatile and nothing less than a super fruit: a 1-cup serving of mango contains more than 20 vitamins and minerals, including 100 percent of daily requirements for vitamin C and 35 percent for vitamin A, plus a healthy dose of fiber.
Stuck for mango recipe ideas that don’t involve a straw?
Try The Star’s Grilled Chicken and Mango Quinoa Salad, which pairs the nutritious tropical fruit with quinoa, a super grain. The sesame-seed-sized grain dates back to the Incas who first discovered this important dietary staple. Quinoa (pronounced keen-WAH) is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids.
• Shopping tips: There are 1,000 mango varieties out there from a host of countries from around the globe, including India, Mexico, Africa and Brazil, as well as domestic varieties. We tested the recipe with Madame Francis mangoes, more commonly marketed as a banana mango. The Haitian mango starts out green, turns yellow and develops brown speckles when fully ripe. Peak availability is May through July.
• Cooking tips: Mangoes have a long, oval pit and the flesh is slippery, making them a bit tricky to slice and dice. The easiest way to produce cubes is to turn the fruit on its side and slice the “cheeks” off the fruit. Take each cheek and make cuts through the flesh lengthwise and crosswise in a checkerboard pattern. Turn the peel inside out and remove the cubes with a knife. To see a video by Florida-based chef Alan Susser, author of “The Great Mango Book” (Ten Speed Press), go to mango.org.
Quaking at the thought of cooking quinoa? Relax. If you can cook a pot of rice, you can steam a fluffy batch of quinoa. In its natural state, quinoa has a bitter coating that may need to be rinsed off before cooking. Check the package label to find out if it has been removed or if you need to rinse it before cooking.
Grilled Chicken and Mango
Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups quinoa
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and even
1/4 cup mango chutney
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 banana mango, peeled, pitted and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups angel hair slaw
In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, bring water and quinoa to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is done. Remove from heat.
While quinoa is cooking, preheat grill or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Grill chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done and no longer pink inside. Cut into thin strips.
In a small bowl, whisk together mango chutney, ginger root, rice vinegar and sesame oil; set aside.
Toss quinoa, diced mango, black beans and slaw together. Pour mango chutney dressing over all and toss gently. Place grilled chicken strips on top.
Per serving, based on 6: 301 calories (16 percent from fat), 5 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 44 milligrams cholesterol, 39 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 121 milligrams sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber.
Developed for for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.