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Quinoa Mango Spinach Salad

This quinoa mango spinach salad is filled with healthy ingredients for a vegetarian protein packed meal.

I’m halfway through the first stage of NROLFW and wanted to do a quick update on my thoughts/progress so far with the plan.

Stage 1 calls for 16 workouts, alternating between workout A & workout B. After 3 full weeks, I’ve completed 8 of the workouts at the “2 set” phase and just today moved into the second half of stage 1 which increases the sets to 3.

I’m not going to do any updates on measurements yet, I’ll wait until the end of stage 1 for that. Sorry, no awkward full body muscle pictures today.

In general, I love it! In these 3 weeks, I’ve learned to live and function in a perpetual state of soreness (in a good way!). This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with a strength training program before. I seriously look forward to each and every workout. I think a few things are contributing to that:

  • The way the program is structured it encourages you to add heavier weights as the workouts progress.
  • It gives you “beginner” moves when necessary so it’s easy to tell when you’re gaining strength because they start to feel easy and you move onto the “real” moves (push-ups are an example here).
  • I think the emphasis on dumbbells and barbells instead of machines makes it more easily recognizable when you can handle increased weight.
  • I already see a difference in muscle definition. Positive reinforcement baby!
NROLFW update
NROLFW update

These are me not flexing. I’m going to call them my “rolling hills” and I’m pretty sure they weren’t there before. Well on my way to looking like the book cover.


Click here for before pictures (granted, I am flexing in those so they’re not totally comparable).

A few fun facts:

-Prone jackknife is my favorite move of this stage.

-Step-ups are my least favorite (boring and tedious)

-I can now do 3 sets of 10 full push-ups!

Diet wise I haven’t been doing anything out of the ordinary besides being more cognizant of my protein intake. I will try to have a protein smoothie or something high in protein after each session. It doesn’t always happen, but I’d say about 75% of the time.

protein smoothie

Today’s smoothie, which overflowed the second I put the camera down and which Ginger promptly licked up.

Stay tuned after another 3 weeks for a full Stage 1 recap.


Now, let’s talk about mangoes. Again.

I actually bought 2 mangoes for last week’s mango black bean salad but only ended up using one because the other was hard as a rock.

Six days later after hanging out next to the bananas getting all ripe, it was begging to be used.

After reading Jenna’s recap on her fruit detox, I had been craving fruit and couldn’t even think about “real” dinner foods.

I just wanted fruit.

The practical side of me kicked in though and somehow I ended up with this.

Quinoa mango spinach salad

A quinoa, mango and spinach salad.


It’s a great summer salad that takes very little effort to throw together.

The quinoa adds some staying power as a lovely complete protein while the fruits bring wonderful sweet flavor.

Spinach greens kind of just wilt into the mix once the dressing is added. And feel free to use whatever greens you have on hand.

Arugula, watercress, baby kale or even tatsoi would be great.

Quinoa mango spinach salad

Top with some crunchy nuts and seeds for healthy fats and dinner or lunch is ready!

Quinoa mango spinach salad

With a piece of whole wheat sunflower seed bread it was the most delicious, light dinner.


Jicama Salad
Mango Black Bean Salad
Shrimp Avocado Mango Lime Salad
Simple Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

Quinoa Mango Spinach Salad

This quinoa mango spinach salad is filled with healthy ingredients for a vegetarian protein packed meal.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 3 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1 mango chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt & pepper


  • Rinse quinoa and toast with coconut oil before adding water and cooking normally (optional, but recommended).
  • Combine next 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
  • When quinoa is finished cooking, add to bowl and mix to combine.
  • Whisk together last 5 ingredients and pour over salad. Toss.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 817kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 978mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 4621IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 7mg

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Salads
Keyword quinoa mango spinach salad

What’s the weirdest craving you’ve ever given into for dinner (or any meal)?

Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating

Living, Learning, Eating

Friday 18th of November 2011

BWAHAHAHA to 'I live things up and I put them down.' I love it! I haven't spent any time in a gym in ages, but I feel like the weight lifters always take their picing stuff up so seriously. :P

Quinoa Newbie

Sunday 24th of July 2011

[...] Quinoa Mango Spinach Salad – Running to the Kitchen [...]


Tuesday 28th of June 2011

Just wanted to say that this post has two things I love: weight training and mangos! It gets an A+ from me.

I’m Not At Work | Love, Sweat, and Beers

Friday 24th of June 2011

[...] Gina, for posting this commercial.  I love [...]


Wednesday 22nd of June 2011

I have tiny rolling hills but yours rock! Fitness books have never worked for me though....but maybe I should check this out! Thanks for the recap.