Jeremiah and I are determined to emerge from this quarantine stronger and healthier, and that means a regular rotation of big salads with a variety of colors and flavors to pack in the nutrients. To be honest, this isn't too far of a departure from how we normally eat. We try to keep things lean and green! This chicken shawarma salad with tahini vinaigrette is quickly becoming one of our favorites. It is extremely satisfying and chocked full of colorful veggies.
Before I get too far into the recipe, can we talk about chicken thighs for a second? I am usually a white meat only kinda gal but I have a new found love for dark meat. Chicken thighs are higher in fat, but they are also WAY higher in flavor! They absorb marinades extremely well and cook up easily and quickly. The tender chicken thigh meat lends itself beautifully to this chicken shawarma salad.
The chicken is marinated in zesty Mediterranean spices, lemon juice, and avocado oil (my preferred oil for cooking). I like to marinate it overnight, but it only needs a few hours to absorb those delicious spices. It only takes about 30 minutes to cook in the oven, so while the chicken is cooking, I like to prepare the salads and dressing.
Using a base of your favorite greens (I went with chopped romaine and arugula here), you can build out the salad with your favorite toppings. We went with baby heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, shallot, marinated artichoke hearts, and pepperoncinis, with a sprinkling of crispy curry flavored chickpeas for some extra crunch.
The tahini vinaigrette is the perfect addition the already epic flavors of this chicken shawarma salad. The secret ingredient in the dressing is the champagne vinegar. It adds a bright acidity that compliments the lemon juice and balances out the creaminess from the tahini. If you don't have champagne vinegar, I have also used red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar before and both work as fine substitutions.
Once the chicken is done cooking and the salads are built, drizzle on that dressing and then comes the best part - EATING! This recipe reminds me that healthy eating doesn't have to be boring, so I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!Print