#Vegan Recipe: Quinoa, Avocado, and Mandarin Orange “Chicken” Salad

“Here she is with yet another quinoa recipe,” you may be saying. And you’d be right. I’ve certainly expressed my love of quinoa both here and on numerous other recipe blogs. This high protein, power packed grain is the perfect addition to salads, can be served as a side dish on its own, tastes delicious either hot or cold, and is quick and easy to prepare. What’s not to like?

I eat a lot of salads. A lot of salads. Salads are cool (literally), salads are fast, making a salad doesn’t heat up your house. All this stuff in important during the summer in La Quinta, where we generally say goodbye to two digit temperatures from June through September.

Just because they’re called salads, don’t be thinking that they are some kind of wimpy lettuce and tomato concoction designed to create fast weight loss. My salads have substance. They have oomph. They are hearty. I’d say this is because I have to please a man, my husband, but I’d be lying. I’m the one with the appetite, and my salads satisfy.

Quinoa, Avocado, and Mandarin Orange “Chicken” Salad

1 package Mandarin Orange “Chicken” (Both Gardein and Trader Joes have excellent choices)
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions, cooled or chilled
3 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
8 oz can mandarin oranges, drained and split (half for the salad, half for the dressing)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, roasted
1/2 cup edamame, cooked and chilled
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
Mango/Mandarin Vinaigrette (see below)


Prepare the Mandarin Orange “Chicken” according to package directions. (In spite of the heat, I chose the baked method because they come out crispier that way). I let them cool a little.

Prepare the quinoa and set aside to cool, or refrigerate for an hour to chill.

Combine all the ingredients and toss together. Serve.

Mandarin Mango Vinaigrette

1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 can (8 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/8 cup agave syrup
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

There you have it. Another quinoa/summer salad. Around here we’ve got another two months of hot weather. Stay tuned, I’ll probably be serving up some more.

Are you a salad eater? Do you have a favorite? Isn’t quinoa the most awesomest food ever?

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  1. says

    This looks absolutely amazing. I had a quinoa salad for lunch today and now I want one again – yours!!
    Charissa recently posted…My First Trail RunMy Profile

    • says

      I find salads are such a great way to get a variety of vegetables, especially into my husband who won’t eat many cooked veggies. The dressing started as a mango lime vinaigrette that I’d made before, but when I didn’t have enough frozen mango, I decided to try it with the mandarin oranges. Good thing it turned out delicious!
      Debbie recently posted…#Vegan Recipe: Quinoa, Avocado, and Mandarin Orange “Chicken” SaladMy Profile

  2. says

    That looks freakin delish! I love quinoa and have been making a salad with it almost every day, but with avocado, mango, corn, and pecans. I LOVE mandarins so will have to try this!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted…Head GamesMy Profile

  3. says

    Grr! That posted too fast!!! I meant that looks awesome and it has nearly all my favorites combined into one!! What a great mix! I can’t wait to try it! Just need the avocado!! Spalove

  4. says

    I am so looking forward to summer – that’s when I need and love the salads! This looks gorgeous. I might come back to visit in a month or so 😉
    Kate recently posted…Training at the End of the WorldMy Profile

  5. says

    Hi Debbie,

    I must say that I noticed your passion for Quinoa, especially quinoa salads. I am hearing so many people discussing quinoa lately, and all of them seem to say that it tastes really good if you mix it with the right ingredients. I surely must try your deliciously looking salad.
    Mariella Lombardi recently posted…Nutrition and Fitness Tips to Slim Your WaistlineMy Profile

  6. says

    This salad sounds delicious! Especially the dressing….yum!

  7. says

    YUM that looks good!! I’m loving all the quinoa recipes – I just (gasp!) bought my first box of quinoa to try making and I had NO idea what to do with it! I’m pretty pumped to try it!!
    Jenn @ Run It My Way recently posted…Bobble Review and Giveaway!!My Profile

  8. says

    obvy…i need to bite the bullet and make the 45 min trek to trader joes to get the delicious foods you showcase here!!!
    fizzgig recently posted…Food Addiction….My Profile

    • says

      Ha! While I do love TJs most of the food I use is available at other supermarkets. Ralphs, Fresh & Easy carry Gardein (and others probably), quinoa is everywhere. Other than that, it’s veggies & fruit! :-) Of course everything is cheaper at Trader Joes, so you can make the drive, stock up and save.
      Debbie recently posted…Wednesday Workout: Answering Your QuestionsMy Profile


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