The AMAZING Jennifer Aniston Salad You Need in Your Life

Jennifer Aniston Salad

This Jennifer Aniston salad is EVERYTHING! Crunchy, fresh, delicious, easy to make and well balanced you may end up putting this salad in your permanent repertoire. Named after the Friends star it became known as the salad that she would eat every single day on the set of Friends. This makes a massive bowl perfect for entertaining or for a satisfying weekday lunch. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!

The Irony of the Jennifer Aniston Salad was that she never ate on the set of Friends!

“I’m sorry, I feel like I’m disappointing everybody, but that’s not my salad,” Aniston told Shape magazine. “It looks delicious, but it’s not the salad that I had on ‘Friends.'". In fact during a Q&A with Elle she said that she would never have that much chickpea in a salad saying that it was not good for the digestive tract.

“I feel terrible because it’s literally taken off like crazy, and it looks like a delicious salad, by the way, but that’s not the one that I had on Friends.” Aniston said to Elle magazine. The actual salad that she ate for 10 years while Friends was being filmed was actually a doctored up Cobb salad with shredded lettuce, chicken, egg whites, a small amount of garbanzo beans or chickpeas, bacon and a basic vinaigrette. This salad came years later when she was working together with the brand Living Proof on Instagram and described her ideal salad as having, "bulgur, cucumbers, parsley, mint, red onion, garbanzo beans, feta cheese and pistachios." Nevertheless I'm still so happy that this salad exists because it's one of my favourite ever salads. It has everything that you would want in a salad and more.

Why I LOVE this Salad!

1 - One batch makes a lot of salad. Enough to feed a crowd or enough for your lunch for 5 days.

2- It's easy to make. Seriously easy. Sometimes I make the quinoa the day before at dinner so I can just toss together the salad at lunch the next day.

3 - It's a vegetarian salad that is high in protein from the quinoa, chickpeas and feta.

4 - It has a delicious crunch to it from the pomegranate and pistachios.

5 - You can make it vegan, just omit the feta. I promise, it's still amazingly tasty!

6 - This salad doesn't wilt and stays fresh for 5 days!

7 - This salad is versatile. Don't have pistachios? Try almonds. Don't like quinoa? Try bulghur or brown rice! I added the pomegranates and tomato just for extra sweetness and textures.

Jennifer Aniston Salad

When Mr NQN was recently sick with COVID I found it hard to find food that he wanted to eat. The first day after he got his results back he slept all day and night and wouldn't eat anything. The next couple of days he would eat a very small bowl of vegetable soup that Monica and Marco delivered. By day 3 his appetite was picking up but he wanted only wanted salads and fruit. I knew that he also needed protein but every time I asked him what he wanted to eat he'd say no to meat.

Then I remembered the Jennifer Aniston salad that is made with quinoa and chickpeas which is are good sources of protein. I picked the parsley and mint from the garden and had all of the other ingredients already bar the pomegranate. By day four when I made this he was ravenous and started asking for more food. I gave him a medium sized bowl of it. Mr NQN wolfed it down with a "More please" and then ate two more bowls of this plus some soup and fruit.

There were still things that he used to eat that he wasn't keen on. For example he usually has an afternoon tea snack of carrot sticks and fruit but he didn't want any carrots at all and he was turned off by crunchy food. He was also off bread and cakes although they're things that he begrudgingly eats. I am also adamant that I'm not a café or restaurant because sometimes Mr NQN thinks that I am but in this case I had to give him options. Every morning I'd text him about what he would want to eat. For example he would get a choice: beef ravioli in broth or curry fish balls with snow peas. I did have to break it to him that we would have to return to normal programming where he just eats what I've cooked!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you like salads like this? Do you give people a choice on what they eat or do they just eat what you make?

Jennifer Aniston Salad

Jennifer Aniston Salad

Did you make this recipe? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6

  • 1 cup/190g/6.7ozs quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups/500ml/1pint chicken or vegetable stock
  • 90g/3ozs pistachios
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber (around 160g/5.6ozs)
  • 80g/3ozs. red onion
  • 20g/0.7ozs parsley leaves
  • 20g/0.7ozs mint leaves
  • 125g/4ozs. feta
  • 400g/14oz tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
  • 100g/3.5ozs. cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

Salad dressing

  • 1/4 cup/60ml//2flozs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup/60ml//2flozs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Step 1 - First cook the quinoa and roast the pistachios. You can cook the quinoa up to 2 days ahead of time and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Rinse the quinoa well in a sieve and then place in a saucepan with the stock and bring to a boil. Place the lid on and reduce the heat to low and steam for 15 mintues (do not open lid). Then uncover, stir and turn the heat off, replace the lid and leave for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and cool. Roast the pistachios spread out on a tray in a 180C/350F for 5 minutes. Chop roughly.

Jennifer Aniston Salad

Step 2 - Place the quinoa in a large bowl. Chop the cucumber into small bite sized chunks and then finely chop the red onion and add both to the quinoa. Roughly chop the herbs and drain the chickpeas and add these to the quinoa along with the pomegranate arils and cherry tomatoes. Crumble the feta into the bowl and add the pomegranate and cherry tomatoes and toss gently.

Jennifer Aniston Salad

Step 3 - Place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and fit the lid on tightly and shake to emulsify. Pour over the salad and mix in. Lastly add in the chopped pistachios just before serving so that they retain their crunch. Toss to distribute everything.

Jennifer Aniston Salad

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