Despite living in a city with one of the most diverse and vibrant food scenes in the world, I'm embarrassed to admit that repeated Seamless orders to various Turkish restaurants around the East Village led me to discover one of my all-time favorite meals: the traditional chopped shepherd's salad made with cucumber, tomato, onion, feta, and parsley topped with a chicken kebab and drenched in olive oil and red wine vinegar.
One would assume that the average adult could simply look at this salad and instinctively know how to make it themselves, but my long work hours coupled with limited knowledge in the kitchen made me a regular Seamless customer instead. Fortunately for my bank account, I've since graduated to making this meal in my own kitchen, and it's quickly become one of my go-to lunches or dinners (I probably make some version of it at least three times a week).
I initially looked up the traditional recipe online to make sure I wasn't leaving anything out, but I've since formulated my own version that changes based on what I have in my fridge and pantry. While I typically pass on the chicken for time's sake (I am always beyond hungry and need to eat ASAP when I get home from work), I follow the New York Times' chicken shawarma recipe (made on the stovetop instead of in the oven) when I'm looking for some added protein and have a bit more time to cook.
I love how easy, healthy, and filling this dish is. In just 15 minutes, I get in my recommended daily intake of vegetables, plus a bit of fiber from the chickpeas, protein from the hemp hearts and chicken, and healthy fats from the pumpkin seeds. Find my go-to recipe below, and feel free to create your own version of this meal.
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil (it doesn't get any better than Cobram Estate's)
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted naan bread on the side
Kale (if you're looking for added fiber)
Pumpkin seeds (for a nice crunch)
Hemp hearts (sprinkled over top for added fiber—I have Manitoba Harvest's organic version in my pantry)
Annie's Organic goddess dressing (for added flavor)
Soom's sesame tahini (At one point, I drizzled some of this on top, and it was a delicious addition.)
Chop the cucumber into quarters, chop the onion, and halve the Roma tomatoes; add all three to your serving bowl. Wash and finely chop the parsley; sprinkle parsley and feta over top.
Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar over top, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add whatever extras you want—I personally love chickpeas, a bit of kale, pumpkin seeds, and a touch of the Goddess dressing. Serve with a piece of toasted naan bread or top with chicken shawarma for added protein. Enjoy!
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