Friday, February 11, 2011

Battle lunch

There’s a mini-competition at my office about who has the best lunch each day. Those of you who have played games with me probably are thinking that this is a dangerous pastime—what with my rumored competitive nature. While your concern is touching, I’ll assure you that the 12:08 debate is harmless—we are simply giving props where props are due.  Last week, in no uncertain terms, my props were don’t.  I got beat everyday.  Cinnamon raisin toast is as delicious as it is unimpressive.

This week, certainly not motivated by losing last week, I decided to do better.  My inspiration came from a recent addiction to endive. Plus, I had some grapes in the fridge that I didn’t want to sour… Don’t read anything into that.
I made chicken salad.  Juicy, tart grapes, crisp celery, and crunchy walnuts tossed with chopped chicken, scallions, and a light mayo-based dressing.  Light and mayo? you ask? Question mark? Yes. I answer. Narrating. Because I don’t love mayonnaise, I don’t use a lot of it. It makes me feel uncomfortable in large doses. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll dip fries in aioli all day, I just can’t stand scooping mayonnaise out of the jar in my fridge.  This makes me sound strange, so let’s just move on.
Paired with sharp endive cups and followed by goat cheese–stuffed dates, this meal is good enough for your next ladies’ luncheon or fancy hat party (or just for eating at your desk out of tupperware).  It’s a real winner. I mean that in the least competitive way.

Fear of Mayo Have to Win Lighter Chicken Salad
(About three days of delightful work lunches (unless your boyfriend eats it all).)

2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup grapes, halved
1 rib of celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 oversized scoop of mayo (using a regular for-the-table spoon)
1 regular-sized scoop of country Dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix mayo, mustard, and lemon juice together at the bottom of a large bowl.  Add in chicken, grapes, celery, walnuts, scallions, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Win (with grace). 


  1. That chicken salad looks lovely. Where did the dates come from? Did you make those as well?

    "Rumored competitive nature." Ahem.

  2. Hmmm. I must have missed the blog entry about having tamales two days in a row. Once with celery as a side.

  3. Lighter chicken salad qualifies as man food?

    Those dates were delicious, and I'm looking forward to the chicken salad, made by loving hands.

  4. Tamale day one with cucumber was delicious. Day two, you will recall, quickly turned into free pizza day, not my fault.

  5. That lunch would win all lunches ever. I really want to start mixing up my lunches like this too. Inspired!