Best Mango Quinoa Salad and Smith Rock, Oregon

Enjoy Best Mango Quinoa Salad, a healthy, delicious summer salad made with mango, fresh veggies, and a light dressing. Perfect for a summer picnic or party!

Mango Quinoa Salad

When I think of gratitude, I think of the simple things in life, like the beautiful hike and picnic our family enjoyed together at Smith Rock, outside of Bend, Oregon.

Best Mango Quinoa Salad

One of the simple recipes we enjoyed on our picnic by the river was a Mango Quinoa Salad with the freshest of fresh ingredients!

Oh, and are you looking for how to cook perfect quinoa? My friend, Holly, has great tips. You may also want to try my Strawberry Quinoa Salad with fresh basil, or delicious Pear Quinoa Salad, or Heidi’s classic Quinoa Tabbouleh with Chickpeas, or Kalyn’s Southwestern Quinoa Salad–all so good!

Best Mango Quinoa Salad

Life doesn’t owe us

When we hike, we talk a lot about life.

We remind our kids that life does not owe them happiness or personal fulfillment. We become happy people not because we get what we want, but because we appreciate what we have.

I think they are getting it.

I’m still getting it. :)

Gratitude at Smith Rock and Mango Quinoa Salad


Gratitude is something that I work on daily. It takes cultivation, just like the work we put into our garden.

It’s happens when I slow down and look at the gifts around me—all the blessings of friends and family— and I recognize that it’s because of God’s great love that I’ve been given these things.

It’s about acknowledging and being thankful, and putting to rest any resentment or longings for things that I think I may lack. (Hubby kissed by the sun.)

Gratitude at Smith Rock and Mango Quinoa Salad

Forward and backward

I love to thank God.

It works inside and out. Forward and backward. That’s why it’s important to express to others gratitude for their being in my life.

This hike was another lesson for me, as we journeyed back to the car at dusk, on a gorgeous summer Oregon night.

Stars were bright.

Gratitude at Smith Rock and Mango Quinoa Salad

What’s important

Every step reminded me of things that were important.

The sounds of nature brought a quietness and stillness to my soul.

I looked around at these big kids, that used to be so small, and my heart welled up with gratitude.

“A grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life.” – Sarah Young

Gratitude at Smith Rock and Mango Quinoa Salad

Simple picnic

Now for the simple picnic. We packed snack foods such as crackers, curd, cheese, jicima, and green apples. I made BLT Green Apple Sandwiches !

And we indulged in our favorite salad using mangos, Best Mango Quinoa Salad.

I love this recipe because you can make it ahead of time, and it does not get soggy.

It’s great for a potuck or picnic, or a backyard gathering!

Enjoy – and today … give thanks!

Print Recipe
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Mango Quinoa Salad

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 6


  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup mango chopped in small pieces
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries optional


  • Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl; set aside.
  • Add the other ingredients together in a larger bowl.
  • Mix in the dressing. Serve!

Mango Quinoa Salad Recipe

reposted from April 2014

15 comments on “Best Mango Quinoa Salad and Smith Rock, Oregon”

  1. This sounds delicious! Perfect for this time of year. I love your bit about how “life doesn’t owe us”. That’s a hard one to swallow, but definitely a lesson we all need to learn.

  2. Quinoa is so good for summer salads, and that salad looks amazing! Thanks for the shout-out for my Southwestern Quinoa Salad too.

  3. i made this for dinner today and its a winner!!yummy!!and whats more its very easy to make,though i omitted some of the ingredients but still,the outcome is fantastic!thank you so much..

  4. So beautiful Sandy! And so so true! Eyes that see the gifts in every day never search for more.

  5. Yum! This looks delicious. I make a similar quinoa salad Mediterranean style with Balsamic vinegar.

  6. Oh darling. This just made me smile so so so much. Definitely words I needed to read. I find a lot of my thoughts have been really negative recently… maybe it’s harsh winter that just got to me. But every time I spend a few moments outside, in the sun, with my husband and our dog. Well, I remember how wonderful life is and how thankful I am for everything. Anyway… sorry for rambling. Just wanted to send my love and thank you for sharing such a beautiful post.

  7. Beautiful post, m’lady! So inspirational. You and Paul are wonderful spouses and parents. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous family photos with us. Oh, and the salad…so pretty and healthy! xo

  8. Fun! We’ve never been to smith rock even though we have gone to Central Oregon so many times. we’ll have to do that next time we go.
    Food looks yummy too!

  9. Your family is so beautiful Sandy! Lovely recipe and lovely words :) xoxo

  10. Beautiful post Sandy.

  11. What an inspiring post. We loved our day at Smith Rock a couple years ago, just amazing. I can’t believe seeing those people slack-lining across the large rock structures!

  12. You are such an inspiration as a mother and wife, Sandy! I hope to create many memories like this with my boys!

  13. This was a beautiful post, and your quinoa salad looks delicious!

  14. I love you family photos. You guys look like a happy bunch!! And Bend is such a beautiful place. I have spent to summers in Mt. Hood have been through bend once.

    Love the salad too. Mango and quinoa sound delicious!

  15. Such a beautiful, inspiration read! Perfect way to start my morning! And loooove this salad. All my favorite things!

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