Gratitude Salad and the sounds of Spring – a feast for your eyes and ears

Gratitude Salad

Gratitude Salad

Hello Spring,

This past weekend was a wonderful taste of Spring.  We had such an amazing weekend that was a combination of home and Riverbend.  We took in walks in the springtime weather of Toronto, attended a 50th birthday party at a friend’s beautiful home and enjoying the last bit of snow in Eastern Ontario.  My son brought his snowboard to up and managed to create a mini-jump to do 180’s in a t-shirt.  We enjoyed great food, family and friends all weekend.  I am very grateful to have so many amazing people in my life that make everyday a great experience.

Last week I posted Garam Masala Chick Peas with a colourful salad.  This salad is a favourite for me – particularly in the summer when I can head to the farmer’s market and enjoy local produce.  For now, heading to my local organic store and picking up the ingredients is a joy as the staff are super friendly and know my name.  Here it the recipe:

Gratitude Salad


  • 3 handfuls of boxed organic baby spinach
  • 1 handful of boxed organic baby kale
  • 5 colourful organic baby peppers
  • 1/4 cup sweet white onion
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar


  1. In a long bowl, toss the baby spinach and baby kale together to combine them.  This is your base layer.
  2. Cut the baby peppers into bite size pieces and add to layer.
  3. Dice the sweet white onion and add to layer.
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place on top of the pepper layer.
  5. Sprinkle the capers throughout the salad.
  6. Assemble the dressing by combining the olive oil, dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar.
  7. Pour the salad dressing over the salad just before serving.
  8. Add freshly cracked pepper (the capers are salty so you should not need salt).
  9. Serve and enjoy.
Garam Masala Chick Peas - served with a salad and thick wedge generation sweet potato fries

Garam Masala Chick Peas – served with Gratitude Salad and thick wedge generation sweet potato fries

As Spring comes, be sure to start listening to the sounds of birds returning.  We had the pleasure of hearing this flock of Red Wing Blackbirds fly through Riverbend on Sunday.  They stayed only for an hour and then moved on.  Last fall, I was out in my kayak when they came through to head south.  I just sat back and listened to them gather and sing.  There must have been over 1,000 birds flying from one side of the river to the other.  An experience that is magical and rare.

May your day be filled with the sounds of Spring, birds singing, colourful delicious food, people who care about you and of course gratitude.

To gratitude,

Jo-Ann Blondin, your 9CupChallenge partner

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