Mango-Avocado Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pepitas

Juicy sweet mango, buttery avocado, fluffy quinoa, crunchy pungent red onion, herby cilantro and salty toasted pepita seeds come together for an amazing salad for lunch, picnics or cookouts.  This one is a real crowd pleaser.  It’s got lots of flavor, lots of color and lots of texture.  You could serve this quinoa salad “naked” or with a spritz of fresh lime juice and it would be excellent just like that.  To take it over the top, I like to pair it with my Creamy Dairy-Free Cilantro Jalapeno Lime Sauce.

This quinoa salad is suitable for all diets since it is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free.  I love to bring it to potlucks or serve when I’m hosting friends and dining al fresco.  It is filling and satisfying and yet it doesn’t leave you feeling stuffed and heavy.  It has that whole sweet and salty combination going on that is really quite addictive.

The toasted pepita seeds in this recipe are not to be missed.  I make them at least weekly.  They are wonderful for tossing into salads for added crunch and nutrients.  One ounce of pumpkin seeds (about a handful) provides 5 grams of plant-based protein and 5 grams of fiber. Plus, they contain heart-healthy fats (omega 3 and omega 6) and offer important minerals including iron and zinc.


Here is how I make them:

Toasted Pepita Seeds

– 1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
– 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss pepitas with olive oil and salt. Toast pepitas for about 7 minutes. They will be slightly golden and fragrant when ready. Set aside to cool. Enjoy immediately or store for later.

If you give this recipe a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it above, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your creations.

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Mango-Avocado Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pepitas


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 7 mins
  • Total Time: 17 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Description

This colorful and nutritious salad offers plant-based protein, healthy fats and fiber. It is gluten-free, vegan and nut-free so everyone can enjoy. When possible, I like to prepare my quinoa and toasted pepita seeds in advance to make this recipe quick and easy to pull together. If you plan to serve this at a gathering you can prepare most of it in advance leaving the avocado and dressing for just before serving. Everyone loves this flavorful and filling quinoa salad.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, mango, avocado, red onion, cilantro and toasted pepita seeds.
  2. Serve as is, with a simple spritz of fresh lime juice or with my Creamy Dairy-Free Cilantro Jalapeno Lime Sauce.
  3. If preparing in advance leave out the avocado and sauce until just before serving. Store undressed leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

* To toast the pepita seeds: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Toss pepitas with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake for 7 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant.

I like to serve the mango, avocado, cilantro and red onion chilled alongside the warm quinoa and toasted pepitas.

  • Category: Salad

Before I go, I want to leave you with some information about selecting the best mango and avocado for this salad.

Mangos are juicy, sweet, tart, bright, tropical and they go with so many things.  In fact, mangos are the most widely consumed and popular fruit in the world.  They are high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.  To select a good one make sure the skin has no wrinkles and isn’t sappy.  The stem should be slightly indented into the mango (like in a valley) as opposed to on a hill which indicates it was immature when it was picked.  You want the mango to have a sweet aroma and to be slightly firm.  Mangos can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days to ripen.  Once ripe you can store in your refrigerator.
Choose the right avocado. It should feel squishy yet firm (like the palm of your hand), and be a nice dark green color on the outside.  You don’t want it underripe.  To speed up ripening you can can store the avocado near a banana or in a brown paper bag.  And you don’t want it overripe or it will be too mushy and not taste right.  To slow the ripening process you can store your avocado in the refrigerator.

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