Wow. I can’t think of a single relevant story to tell you that would tie into this quinoa salad. I mean, it’s quinoa, which I love, accompanied by mango and avocado, which I also love, and wrapped up with some red onion and the bright flavors of lime, cilantro and mint. It’s a happy salad designed for some good summer eating. It is also vegetarian, maybe even vegan, and possibly gluten-free. I’m neither vegan nor gluten-free, which is why I quality those statements with a resounding “maybe.” But seriously, other than, this is super yummy, great to take to things like a potluck or picnic and hooray for mango, I’ve got nothing. So, instead, I will tell you a completely unrelated story: the Tale of the Mini Muffin War.
I lived with two of my best friends my fourth year in college: Michael and Mary Beth. We had this great two story apartment so the girls could live upstairs and Michael had the one downstairs bedroom. One quiet evening found Mary Beth watching tv, Michael “studying” in his room and me trying a new muffin recipe I found in a cookbook. I was looking for an oatmeal muffin recipe to match the oatmeal muffins from Olive’s in Princeton, NJ, but alas, this was not the right recipe. In fact, these muffins were pretty terrible. They really had no flavor and I was kind of sad about the whole thing. In addition, I had gone the mini muffin route, so I was stuck with this mountain of tasteless mini muffins.
Mary Beth was a good sport and tried a muffin, even after I explained to her how terrible they were. She concurred with my assessment. However, it was noted at this time that the muffins were not sticky and actually held together very well. I don’t remember who came up with the idea to start throwing muffins at Michael, and I don’t remember who took the first shot, but I’m chalking it up to our combined genius, for muffins were launched from the kitchen, through the crack in Michael’s door and into his face. Thus began the great conflict known as the Mini Muffin War. It raged through open doors, up and down the stair case, from the inside of closets and across the expanse of the communal areas. The hallway echoed with the battle cries of “I am the muffin man!” from atop the kitchen counter (michael) and “All muffins retreat!” (also Michael). Roommates were torn asunder by conflicting loyalties (I totally played both sides) and a bottle of wine was sacrificed to the barrage of mini muffins as Michael returned fire.
It was one the best and most random nights in all of fourth year and several months later we were still finding super stale muffins in the strangest of places, which led to a prolonged game of “Hide the muffin.” And, while no petrified muffins remained to grace Michael’s wedding day some two years later, a mini muffin tin was definitely among his wedding gifts…
And thus ends the tale of the Mini Muffin War. Enjoy your quinoa salad!
Note: This recipe was inspired by the Black Quinoa Salad with Mango, Avocado and Tomatoes on Two Peas and their Pod. The original is super delicious as well and you should check it out!
2 C Black Quinoa
1 C White Wine
1/4 tsp Salt, plus more to taste
2 Mangoes, chopped
2 Avocados, chopped
1/3 C Lime Juice (approx 2 limes)
1/2 Cilantro, chopped
1/2 C Mint, chopped
3/4 C Red Onion, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pepper, to taste
Rinse the quinoa and then soak it in water for about 10 minutes. Then drain the quinoa and transfer it to a pot with the white wine, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 1/2 C water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Let the quinoa cook over the low heat for 20 minutes. When the quinoa has finished cooking, drain any unabsorbed water.
In a large bowl, combine the mango, avocado, cilantro, mint and red onion. Give it a good stir.
Whisk together the lime juice and olive oil and stir it into the mango/avocado bowl, then add in the quinoa. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed for seasoning.
- 2 C Black Quinoa
- 1 C White Wine
- ¼ tsp Salt, plus more to taste
- 2 Mangoes, chopped
- 2 Avocados, chopped
- ⅓ C Lime Juice (approx 2 limes)
- ½ Cilantro, chopped
- ½ C Mint, chopped
- ¾ C Red Onion, diced
- 1½ Tbsp Olive Oil
- Pepper, to taste
- Rinse the quinoa and then soak it in water for about 10 minutes. Then drain the quinoa and transfer it to a pot with the white wine, ¼ tsp salt and 1½ C water.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Let the quinoa cook over the low heat for 20 minutes. When the quinoa has finished cooking, drain any unabsorbed water.
- In a large bowl, combine the mango, avocado, cilantro, mint and red onion. Give it a good stir.
- Whisk together the lime juice and olive oil and stir it into the mango/avocado bowl, then add in the quinoa. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed for seasoning.