You know when you are binge eating left over Valentine’s chocolate or eating ice cream straight from the carton asking the universe why everything that tastes so good has to be so bad for you? I, for one, frequently find myself in this predicament. This salad, however, is the best of both worlds. Apparently, Whole Foods sells something very similar, but it is definitely not worth spending a fortune on one pre-made serving when you can easily make it at home.   It has so much flavor and texture from the combination of the super sweet mango, crisp peppers and fluffy quinoa. Dressed in freshly squeezed lime juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, there is no need for any oil or extra fat content. You can cook the quinoa in water if you prefer, but I find that cooking it in chicken or vegetable broth adds a whole new depth of flavor. This would be great to bring to a BBQ because it serves a lot of people and can be served at room temperature. Or, if you love it as much as I do, you can make this salad on a Sunday and healthfully indulge all week long!

California Quinoa Salad
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Serves: 8

I have never actually tried the Whole Foods version of this salad, but I am sure that this copycat recipe is even better and a lot more affordable!
  • 2 cups mixed quinoa from Trader Joe’s
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2-3 diced fresh mangos
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch organic cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-3 cups Trader Joe’s ready-to-eat edamame
  • Juice of 4-5 limes
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Bring 4 cups of broth to a boil and add quinoa. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes with the cover on until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat until they begin to brown.
  4. Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Fluff quinoa and let cool. Combine all ingredients and serve cold.

 California Quinoa Salad | Au Bon Gouter

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