September 3, 2014

Colombian Quinoa Salad with Avacado and Mango | Easy Vegan Salad Recipes

C for Colombia. After traversing through Armenia and Brazil, we go to Colombia today.

Colombia. Columbia. 

A slight difference in the spelling but a world of difference (pun intended). 

There is only one correct spelling for the South American state and it is Colombia. If 'Colombia' refers to the South American state and 'Columbia' refers to the North-American river which "rising in the Rocky Mountains and flowing through British Columbia", There’s also a city by the name Columbia in South Carolina, USA. Even its own country men seem to be angry about being misspelt as seen in this media report

So today, we are travelling to the country Colombia (in South America) with a wonderful salad of Quinoa with Avacoado and Mangoes. Thanks to Mir, who promptly messaged me that Quinoa had roots in South America. I had (still have) a huge bag of red and white quinoa that H lovingly lugged back from New York, and everytime I look at my staples, it says to me ‘please use me up’. It was the first time I was cooking with Quinoa (a wondergrain in today’s parlance) although I have eaten the baked Quinoa at a friend’s place.

The lightness of the grain along with its versatility blew me away. I had two servings of today’s salad and still felt light like a feather. During that process, I have bookmarked scores of veg Quinoa recipes that I hope will help me use this grain quickly. Its almost like the Couscous Salad and Couscous Tikkis I cooked, although I feel Quinoa lends itself to baked and stir fried salads better while Couscous can be adapted better to Indian style cooking.

Before we get to the dish of the day, quick 5 facts about Colombia (Source - Wiki) :
Map of Colombia
Location Map
  • Colombia's varied cuisine is influenced by its diverse fauna and flora as well as the cultural traditions of the ethnic groups. Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Some of the most common ingredients are: cereals such as rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; assorted legumes; meats, including beef, chicken, pork and goat; fish; and seafood. 
  • Colombia occupies the northwestern end of South America, and is the only country there with coasts on both the Pacific(1350 km long), and the Atlantic (over 1600 km) oceans. 
  • Colombian coffee is among those considered as the best coffee in the world.It is exported to United States, Germany, France, Japan, and Italy.Most coffee is grown in the Colombian coffee growing axis region.

When I saw Erica's recipe here, I really didn’t have to go further. I almost cooked the Vegan Lentil Loaf but changed my mind (once more).

About this dish : I Loved it for its simplicity and earthiness and fruit filled sweetness that the mango brought in. I didn’t add pineapples per the original recipe but luckily for me, it was the fad end of the mango season here in Mumbai so I could lay my hands on a not-fully-ripe mango (which still retained its slight tang). And I also added a few more salad veggies to make it wholesome. 

Will I be making this often ? Yes, with probably a few roasted bell peppers and zucchini thrown in for good measure and slightly cranky up the spice meter.

This is a salad that’s apparently served with grilled chicken or even with barbequed dishes. For me, it’s a dish I can carry to potlucks or even when I want to enjoy a light meal J

Country – Colombia

Dish – Quinoa Salad with Mango and Avocado


Recipe type – Salad
Difficulty level – Easy
Spice Level - Medium
Recipe adapted from Here
Prep  - 20 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 2
Serving Suggestions : At room temperature, serve with Garlic bread or even toasties


To cook the Quinoa :
  • Quinoa – 1 cup
  • Olive Oil – 1 TBSP
  • Water – 2 cups
Salad :
  • Diced Fresh mango (with skin on) – ½ cup
  • Bell peppers - 1/2 - juilenned
  • Juilenned carrots – a handful
  • Red Onions – 1 medium (Slit lengthwise)
  • Avacoado – ½ (peeled and diced)
  • Cucumber – ½ medium (diced)

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • Olive oil – 1 TBSP 

Bring the water to a rolling boil in a pot. Add a pinch of salt to it. Add olive oil. Wash quinoa thoroughly. Add to the pot and cooked covered for 15-20 mins. Once its cooked, turn off flame  and fluff up the quinoa with a fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Add the salad ingredients , toss once or twice. Check for salt or spice. Add Cooked Quinoa and toss again
Serve immediately.

See what else the Marathoners are cooking for Alphabet C


  1. Not a fan of quinoa but I enjoyed reading your entertaining post. BTW, the most important Columbia in North America would be the District of Columbia. :)

  2. I get it regarding the spelling. :) I too was assuming that it was Columbia until last night when I happened to read the difference between the two spellings.
    I am a great fan of quinoa and eat it like rice most of the times. Even a small quantity of quinoa is more filling compared to rice. The quinoa salad looks colorful besides being healthy.

  3. That's a good post Kalyani and the salad looks very inviting..

  4. Quinoa salad looks interesting and the write up is very nice !

  5. Thats a nutritious salad to enjoy without any guilt, love quinoas in any form.

  6. I have not yet gotten on to the quinoa bandwagon. But do love all the veggies you added to the salad. Nice one Colombia..

  7. What a healthy & protein rich salad. It looks very colorful too :-)

  8. I love quinoa salad a lot , please pass me the plate here dear :) such an colorful salad :) love the addition of veggies looks so colorful !!

  9. That is an excellent way to consume the Colombian Salad!! Very healthy, colorful and filling !

  10. How interesting to have the mango with skin on - that is definitely a very new concept to me. but I love quinoa and thanks for the linkback.

  11. Interesting salad with a amazing combo of Mango and avocado. .trying to get all flavours. .would love to try some from that plate.

  12. Nice write up Kalyani.Enjoyed reading it.And that is a beautiful and healthy salad!

  13. i am yet to have my quinoa moment..and this one looks good one to start with....and beautiful post as always

  14. I am not able to cook any thing to day heavy cold and body pains. I will be so happy if i get this salad. so inviting with that mango pieces.

  15. Refreshing salad!!! Lovely colors added by the veggies!!!

  16. Looks like a colourful salad. I haven't got a chance to prepare any dish with quinoa as it is so expensive here. Need to try this some day..

  17. Yummy salad Kalyani.I love the use of mango in the salad. As for the pics they are amazingly beautiful.

  18. Salad looks refreshingly good. Love to this one very soon.

  19. Avocadoes are a new favourite with me since I made the guacamole. This salad sounds so tempting, but where do I go for the quinoa? I guess I'll simply sub with broken wheat ;)

  20. quinoa salad is actually a very health food and quinoa salad dressing is very impressive and eye-catching

    quinoa salad with roasted peppers


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