My Perfect Summer Salad

When the weather gets hot (very infrequently here in Sheffield) I love nothing more than a summery salad to get my veggie fix and enjoy some delicious tasting vegan food. This is one of my favourite salads and is really simple and perfect for summer as it is light, tasty and full of foods a coeliac vegan needs!

Chickpeas make an excellent base for a gluten free vegan salad as they are full of protein, low in fat and rich in minerals including iron, magnesium and others vital for a healthy and balanced diet. For a perfect lunchtime portion I use half a can of ready cooked chickpeas and pop into a large bowl. I then slice approximately 5 -7 black olives finely and add these to the chickpeas. Black olives are not the healthiest of foods but they do give this salad a great bite of Mediterranean summer flavour.

I really enjoy finely chopped salad vegetables so next I finely chop a third of a cucumber into squares and finely chop about a quarter of a round lettuce. Cucumber and lettuce add some healthy leafy greens but don’t distract from the flavours of the chickpeas and olives, or in fact the artichokes which we will add next! Artichoke antipasti in olive oil are a real treat for me and I have to use all my willpower not to eat the entire jar. I add 3 – 4 slices of artichoke antipasti to the salad and use the oil already coating the artichokes as the dressing for the salad. Mix through to disperse through the rest of the vegetables. A small twist of black pepper finishes the flavour off and leaves you with a really simple and yummy vegan and gluten free lunch. Perfect to brighten up even the English summer.

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