Last week I had one of the best summer salads ever – okay so I know I say that about a lot of great recipes – but this one was really amazing. It was the Health Starts Here California Quinoa salad from Whole Foods deli. The HSH deli items at Whole Foods have no added salt, oil or sugar. This salad was the prefect balance of fabulous ingredients starting with protein packed quinoa, including tropical flavors like mango and shredded coconut then studded with sweet dried currants, edamame, red onion, sweet red bell peppers, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice. Are you drooling yet?The only thing I could do was to try and create it using the list of ingredients on the box. Guess what? My version was a huge success, in fact I liked it even better than the Whole Foods version! If you don’t have any mango use pineapple. This recipe makes a huge amount which is great for taking to a picnic or potluck. If you are making it for a smaller group feel free to cut the recipe in half. It’s the best combination of ingredients and so healthy! Eat it alone as a entree salad served over a bed of baby greens. Perfect as a side dish to a veggie burger or a cup of soup. Hubby Tom and I have been enjoying this salad and it’s going on the menu again soon. See the bottom of the recipe for ideas on how to make this compliant for Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss program.
California Quinoa Mango Salad
- 2 cups Tri colored Quinoa, rinsed and drained or any color of quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups Organic Shelled Edamame (I used Whole Foods Frozen non GMO)
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup dried currants – can sub raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup red onion, finely diced
- juice of two limes
- 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups mango, diced or pineapple
In a medium size sauce pan mix the water and quinoa, over a medium heat bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool. If you are in a hurry, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the hot quinoa out on it and it will cool down fairly quickly.
Once the quinoa has cooled down transfer it to a large mixing bowl and combine with rest of ingredients. Chill before serving.
Yield: 14 cups
Servings Size: 1 cup for an entree or 1/2 cup for a side dish
To make this recipe compliant to Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss Program – sub rinsed and drained black beans for the edamame, sub diced jicama for the almonds, leave out the coconut, sub grapes or pomegranate seeds for the currants.
Per 1 Cup Serving: 214 Calories, 7.1 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 4.6 mg Sodium, 67.2 mg Potassium, 32.2 g Carbohydrates, 5.9 g Fiber, 8.8 g Protein, WWPP 6
Inspired by Whole Foods Deli California Quinoa Salad