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.