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A Recipe to Fill Your Empty Bowls

Several years ago, a newly found friend from my Tempe Leadership class invited me to an event called Tempe Empty Bowls. Not familiar with the event at the time, I simply looked forward to spending time with my friend. It was located in downtown Tempe, along the brick plaza just outside City Hall, with a maze of tables full of lovely, colorful, one-of-a-kind ceramic bowls just waiting to be taken home.

The purpose of the event was not only to bring awareness to local programs that combat hunger, but also to raise money for the cause by selling these donated, hand-crafted works of art. Proceeds from the event benefit Tempe Community Action Agency and United Food Bank.

As a collector of all things container-ish, I was all-in! Over the years, a broken shelf here, and a clumsy drop there, have resulted in a diminished collection, so I was grateful and excited when my husband suggested a return to the event this year's event, which took place just a few weeks ago.

After bringing my new bowls home, I promptly washed them and introduced them to their cohorts, cozily clustered in the cabinet; and got to work. The recipe I'd like to share with you is inspired by the vibrancy of both fresh ingredients and their colorful contrast with the bowls themselves. It can be easily modified to your preferences, but as is, it is balanced in texture, flavor and freshness! This is the perfect recipe for the day or night of the week where assembly work is all the energy you have to spare, and holds in the refrigerator for up to four days without sacrificing quality.

Please enjoy this free recipe of my tasty Brussels Chopped Salad. When you do, I'd love to hear what you think! I'd also encourage you to check out the upcoming Vicinity Tempe event (another tasty way to support the local fight against hunger) to see if it is a cause that speaks to your heart.

Be well everyone!

Chef Melody Elkin



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp honey

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp Dijion mustard

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 pound brussels sprouts, shaved with a knife or shredded in a food processor.

15 oz chick peas, rinsed

6 oz salami, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup olives, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup pepperoncinis

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 provolone cheese, cubed

shaved parmesan, to taste

Red chili flakes (optional)


For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper). Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, ass brussels sprouts and dressing, and toss.

To allow the brussels sprouts to soften, and absorb the dressing, refrigerate for at least 30-minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and toss.

Nutrition Facts:

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