Vegetable Chop Salad

Being born and raised into an Italian family it was inevitable that I would develop a love for food. Pastas, meats, seafoods and vegetables, I ate it all. But about three years ago I discovered that I had various food intolerances that would inhibit my ability to enjoy many scrumptious dishes. For a while it was hard. I felt like a nuisance constantly having to ask for a separate meal at parties and dissecting items on the menu at restaurants. It wasn’t until just recently that I got inspired (mostly by Giada DeLaurentis) to cook food that was not only delicious but healthy for me as well.

Two weekends ago, my mom asked me to make several side dishes for my brother’s high school graduation party. Personally, I loved the taste of mixed vegetables in an oil based sauce. I came up with a delicious recipe that is not only easy to make, but received great reviews from the graduation party goers. I like to call it my “Vegetable Chop Salad.” It is great for parties but also tastes delicious the second time around and can be a great snack for work or on-the-go. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):
1/2 cup diced cucumbers not peeled
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced orange pepper
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup diced carrots
1 cup baby arugula
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt and pepper

Directions:
1. In one bowl, chop and mix all the vegetables together.
2. In a separate bowl mix the oil, vinegar, lemon and salt and pepper.
3. Mix everything together and enjoy!

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