With so much talk about avoiding carbohydrates these days, it would be easy to overlook quinoa. (pronounced “KEEN-wah“) But thankfully you’re not overlooking it, because you’re asking “What is quinoa” and that’s a good question to ask. If you’re looking for a highly nutritious carbohydrate, that’s not only going to help you stay lean, but will also maximize your energy levels, then you’re looking in the right place… quinoa really does have it all! It’s also a fantastic gluten free alternative to wheat pasta salads! The taste and texture of quinoa is a bit like brown rice crossed with oatmeal. It’s fluffy, creamy, crunchy and somewhat nutty, all rolled into one. The great thing is, it can be prepared in so many different ways, making it extremely versatile.

Mango Quinoa

  • 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup mango nectar

Combine the stock, nectar and quinoa in a pan – and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down low to a simmer, and cook covered for 10–15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. It literally will pop open and the edges will have a golden shimmer, and that is how you know your quinoa is perfect. The flavor combination as it absorbs the stock and nectar is amazing. At the end of cooking time – there might be cooking liquid left in the pot, simply put the quinoa in a sieve or colander to drain off the excess moisture and set it aside to cool.

Mango Quinoa Fruit Salad

  • 3/4 cup cooked warm mango quinoa
  • 1 apple, rinsed and diced
  • 3 peaches, rinsed and diced
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T lime juice
  • sprinkle of salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste

While your quinoa is cooling up above – we can get our fruit chopped into bite sized pieces and in a bowl – toss with the vinegar, lime juice and salt/pepper. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and add to the large bowl with fruit. Combine. Drizzle the honey over the whole mixture and combine. The fluffy quinoa already flavored with mango picks up even more fruity flavour from the berries and dressing. This would make a great fruit salad to bring to a summer BBQ or gathering. It’s also good for a light & summery breakfast or snack. It can be refrigerated – but this one of those recipes I recommend making fresh and immediately putting out.

Some options? You could toss some fresh mint in this salad, as well as sprinkling your favorite nuts (Cashews? Macadamias?) over the top.

Another one of my most popular Bob’s Kitchen recipes is also a quinoa salad – with moonblushed tomatoes.