Arugula Salad with Chicken, Black Quinoa, and Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Back in May, right before our book came out, I moved out of the apartment I shared with Caitlyn for four years, and temporarily back into my parents’ place. Now, it’s 2012. And guess what? I’m still here…

As the idea of “temporarily” went out the window in mid-November, my mother and I began to have a bit of a turf war over the kitchen. Most of the time, she was happy to let me cook in peace. But come lunchtime, which as a fellow self-employed soul, could range from 11am to about 3pm, things could get a little tense.

Sure, my parents’ kitchen isn’t necessarily as small as the ones that inspired this blog. But it’s still a NYC galley kitchen, and even our puny butts manage to meet in the middle when we’re chopping on opposite sides. But my constant looming presence in the kitchen she designed herself is not even the worst of it. It’s my inability to follow roommate rule number one: don’t eat food that is not yours.

The rules get a little blurry when your roommate is actually your mother. Isn’t one of her primary goals in life to feed me? Even if I’m 26 years old?? This salad was a result of a good day, when she did just that.

When grazing from my mother’s fridge, my lunches usually consist of some sort of salad green with leftover rotisserie chicken from Fairway and a variety of other pantry vegetables like carrots and cucumbers. My mother eats some variation of this salad nearly everyday. It’s quite amazing.

I’ve learned to jazz up these offerings from day to day, and in this case, I did so by adding a little bit of cooked black quinoa, which has a firmer texture than the regular grain, and a homemade lemon-tahini vinaigrette. The end result was so good, I would be a fool not to want to eat it everyday, should my roommate allow me access to her ingredients, of course.

From my kitchen, making lunch with a little help from mom, to yours,



Arugula Salad with Roasted Chicken, Black Quinoa, and Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Makes 2 entree servings


For the salad:

5oz baby arugula
½ cup cooked black quinoa
¼ cup thinly sliced carrots
½ cup diced cucumbers
1 roasted chicken breast, shredded

For the vinaigrette:

Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

In a large salad bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad.

Make the vinaigrette: in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon, vinegar, and tahini. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it is emulsified and combined. Season with the salt. Alternatively, you can combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.

Pour the dressing down the side of the bowl and toss the salad until combined. Serve as an appetizer or a hearty main course salad.


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