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Fresh Chopped Salad

Tonight I made this Fresh Chopped Salad for supper with a grainy dijon, balsamic dressing...not only was it crunchy, fresh and full of flavour but it was just what I needed because I have gained ten pounds over the last few months...okay fifteen...okay, I don't own a scale but when I got head rush bending over, I thought I had better pull up on the reins a bit and make a salad!

Since our garden isn't even close to being harvest ready, I settled for "fresh from the grocery store" vegetables...

Start by slicing a cucumber into fairly thick slices then cutting the pieces in four ( I used about half of an english cucumber)..., coarsely chop one whole bell pepper ( I used green but yellow would have been much prettier!), slice in half, about 20 cherry tomatoes (19 or 21 won't has to be 20!). and grab a handful of fresh basil leaves...set this aside.

Then crack open a can of chick peas and pitted black olives...this blog is not sponsored by "Unico", just happened to be on sale!

Drain and rinse the chick peas and olives....

...this would have been a perfect food magazine shot if I hadn't have used that stainless steel bowl...just doesn't match...why did I do that?!

...anyway...what's done is will also need some feta cheese.

Drain and crumble the cheese...

...then get a PRETTY bowl, strictly for presentation purposes, and start layering your chopped vegetables, chick peas, olives, basil and feta.

Next, strategically place each piece of basil in an aesthetically pleasing position on your salad or just toss it in, cause we have worked all day for the love of God!!

For the dressing, pour a little more than a 1/4 cup of olive oil into a jam jar ( about 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps),

...add about a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar,

one heaping tablespoon of grainy dijon mustard

...and about two tablespoons of pure maple syrup...I usually eyeball these ingredients, so, if it needs a little more mustard or maple syrup, feel free to add, I won't be offended!

Put the lid on (essential) and shake it up!

Next, drizzle over your salad!

Presto...sure to kick start my motivation to get up at 5am and do a double session of my "Boot Camp" DVD...maybe!

Fresh Chopped Salad

Half of an english cucumber,chopped

1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped

About 20 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 handful of fresh basil leaves

Approx. 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

About 1/2 of a can of pitted, black olives, rinsed and drained

Approx. 1/4 cup of chick peas, rinsed and drained

Layer vegetables, basil, chick peas, olives and feta in a medium bowl...

Grainy dijon, balsamic dressing

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps. olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. grainy dijon mustard

About 2 tbsps. pure maple syrup

1. Put everything into a jam jar (250ml), put the lid on and shake it up.

2. Drizzle over salad before serving.


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