Whoa what an evening we had yesterday.  My son forgot his lunch bag on the bus after school.  I tried running behind the bus but the driver didn’t see me.  Picture a poor 5 year-old crying hysterically, thinking his world was over because his lunch bag was lost forever, and clearly there was no other way he was ever going to eat lunch other than out of his shark lunch bag.

Then my girls started crying.  What would Sully do without his lunch bag?  ‘No biggie, I forget things all the time, we’ll get it tomorrow morning,’ I told him.  No amount of consoling was helping the situation.  In their world, this was catastrophic.

Enter a wonderful neighbor who insisted on driving to the bus station to get Sully’s lunch bag.  Twice.  The first time our bus wasn’t back yet.  We got home from dance to find Sully’s beloved shark lunch bag back in our hands.  What would you do without the kindness of neighbors?  It really does take a village. . .

On to the lunch that I packed for today.  I started with quinoa we had leftover from dinner.  I had black beans, corn, cilantro and mango so I decided to make my kids a yummy salad.  I would have added avocado, but I was afraid it would brown by lunch, even if I added lime.  I am going to test it out on myself before my kids.  Has anyone had luck with this?

Mango, Corn and Black Bean Quinoa


  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown rice syrup (or honey)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (I used Eden organic black beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup corn (I used Trader Joe’s organic frozen sweet corn, thawed.  I wish I would have had fresh!)
  • 1/4 cup diced mango


  • Whisk together the first 4 ingredients.  If I was making this for myself, I would use less brown rice syrup, but I used about 2 teaspoons for my kids to lessen the bite of the lime juice.

cilantro dressing

  • Add dressing to the quinoa and mix thoroughly.  If you have more quinoa, just double the dressing recipe and make a larger portion of salad.
  • Stir in black beans, corn and mango.
  • Add diced avocado if you are serving the salad immediately.
  • Option to add more cilantro as well (it’s a great detoxifier!)

I was bummed that I ate so much quinoa at dinner and didn’t have enough to make more of this salad.  I would have liked some of this for my lunch!

I sent the remaining mango on the side and added some carrot sticks.

Mango black bean quinoa salad

Snack today. . .pineapple.  Yum.  This I did have extra of, so you can bet it will be my snack too!

Pineapple snack