Meatless Monday: Taking Advantage of Local Produce

It's strawberry season in the Northeast of the U.S. Take advantage and hit up a local farmer for their freshest and sweetest!

It’s strawberry season in the Northeast of the U.S. Take advantage and hit up a local farmer for their freshest and sweetest!

We had another busy Monday — originally it was going to be busy because of another baseball game for the kids, but it got canceled for some pretty heavy rain. Our cellar started to take on some water, so we needed to deal with that instead. So, the salad was great to have on hand for a quick one-dish meal to go to between wading in shin-deep water in the cellar and running around outside trying to unplug the pipe that drains the water from the cellar … oh the fun of living in an old farm house!

Therefore, we needed to go for a quick meal option again, so for this week’s Meatless Monday meal, I decided to take advantage of the amazing local produce that we have around here. One of the great things about living in the country is that there is an abundance of farmers who sell their fruits and vegetables along the roads, and you know they’re going to be the freshest, best-quality food out there.

Local strawberries on a bed of fresh basil.

Local strawberries on a bed of fresh basil.

It’s strawberry season, so I decided to buy some of those up, and make up a batch of a salad that I’ve been eyeing: Strawberry Quinoa and Spinach Caprese. The recipe comes from the blog “Closet Cooking.” Here’s your link: Strawberry and Quinoa Spinach Caprese Salad recipe.

The salad turned out really nicely, and was surprisingly filling. I did use the cheese that it calls for, but if you wanted to make it vegan, you could easily leave it out, and replace it with another protein source of your choice. The fresh basil adds a nice aromatic note to the zing of the balsamic, and of course it all complements the strawberries surprisingly nicely. When I first saw strawberries paired with balsamic vinegar, I was skeptical. This was an instance in which I was quite happy to be wrong!

My husband decided to add some of the grilled chicken from earlier in the week to top off the salad, and really enjoyed it that way too.

Strawberry Quinoa and Spinach Caprese Salad.

Strawberry Quinoa and Spinach Caprese Salad.

Very versatile, and most importantly, really delicious!

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