Spring Bounty Quinoa Salad with Baby Lettuce

Happy Thursday, y’all!  One more day to the weekend – woohoo!  So, yesterday was my CSA pick-up day, and I received the following goodies: baby zucchini, including eight-ball variety, beets, baby lettuce, chard, potatoes, purple cabbage, cauliflower, thyme, and spring onions.  On Sunday, My mom had brought me some baby yellow squash from my cousin’s farm, so I have quite the bounty in my refrigerator.  What to do?  Well, make a salad that incorporates as many as possible, of course, and the perfect vehicle for all is quinoa!  I LOVE quinoa – versatile, healthy, and protein-packed – best of all, delicious!
 

The best thing about this salad is how easy it is to customize.  If you’re out of one thing, just increase another, or if you don’t like my combination, toss in something you love.  I didn’t have any tomatoes, but they would have rocked in this salad.  You know what else is terrific?  It’s perfect for a picnic because there’s no mayo, and it actually tastes more flavorful at room-temperature.  So, get chopping and make yourself a big ‘ol bowl of this salad!

Spring Bounty Quinoa Salad with Baby Lettuce

1 cup quinoa
4 baby yellow squash, diced
4 baby zucchini, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced (if using a regular cucumber, seed first, then dice)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium red spring onion, diced (regular red onion is perfectly fine)
3/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
4 leaves basil, chiffonade cut
8 leaves mint, roughly chopped
Baby lettuce, 4 cups or more, your preference

Dressing (Adapted from Everyday Food, May 2012 issue)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Creole mustard (Dijon is fine)
1-2 cloves garlic, grated or very finely minced
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix dressing ingredients by shaking in a covered jar or whisking together; set aside.

Rinse your quinoa and cook according to package directions.
While quinoa is cooking, chop your veggies and prepare your dressing.
After chopping your veggies, place in a large bowl – do not add lettuce.
Add cooked quinoa and drizzle dresssing over all, mix and serve on baby lettuce.
Enjoy!

Linked to the following Meatless Monday Linkys
Meatless Monday at Veggie Mama
My Meatless Mondays
MMMM

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