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London Tea Merchant uses chickpeas for 'chickenless' salad

London Tea Merchant uses chickpeas for 'chickenless' salad

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Q • My husband and I have been enjoying a plant-based diet for nearly 6 months. I would love to make “chickenless” chicken salad, as the traditional dish — with chicken — is a summer staple for us. — Linda Meyer, St. Louis

A • The delicious “chickenless” salad at the London Tea Merchant & Cafe hits all the right notes with customers.

“It’s become very popular on our menu,” owner Jackie James says. The cafe offers a Chicken Waldorf Salad as well. The salad is most often served as a sandwich on a flaky croissant. It’s great paired with one of the cafe’s house-made soups as well.

The Garden Waldorf Salad begins with chickpeas, smashed in different size pieces. The addition of finely chopped celery and red onion is consistent with a standard chicken salad. Chopped walnuts and dried cranberries add a hint of sweetness, nuttiness and texture to the mix. Its mayonnaise-based dressing, however, just may be what keeps people coming back.

“There’s a bit of curry powder, garlic powder and Spanish paprika in the dressing,” James says. “It’s just enough so people notice something different and delicious, but it’s not overwhelming. The Garden Waldorf Salad has become quite popular in the cafe, in the tearoom and in our Picnic Box.”

The popular Picnic Box contains a Garden or Chicken Waldorf Salad sandwich, a bag of Billy Goat chips, a cookie or a slice of Victoria sponge cake, and an iced tea of your choice packed in a sturdy box and ready to go to the park, concert or your own backyard.

Check out the Brunch Box as well for a special breakfast at home of quiche, with scones, Devonshire cream, strawberry jam and tea, of course. Both boxes illustrate how Jackie and Peter James thought outside the box during the pandemic.

The cafe dining room and the tearoom are both open now for inside dining. Patio service, carryout and curbside pickups are also still available. Their popular afternoon teas, by reservation only, are booking up now online at their website.

It’s also time to make reservations for Mummy & Me Teas at 10 a.m. June 13 and at 2 p.m. June 20 featuring Peter Rabbit. Both teas will have prizes and giveaways from the upcoming movie “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.” Reservations made by emailing


The London Tea Merchant & Cafe

3128 Morganford Road



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