Kale and Baked Delicata Salad with Sweet Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe

This recipe comes from our friend Emma over at Cook Novel. She’s an amazing cook on top of being a mother and she’s able to keep food costs low by maximizing ingredients for maximum nutritional value. Keep reading for the article and recipe and get cooking!

Anyone who’s ever had a good salad, knows they’re one of the most delicious things out there. Unfortunately, most of them seem to have been made with only lunches in mind.

If you’re looking for a delicious and filling salad that’s perfect for dinner during any time of the year (but especially in Autumn) this is it!

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Asian Beef and Mango Salad

We’re a regular taco night family. It’s an easy meal that we often turn into taco salad night which just means our taco ingredients go over top of crunched up tortilla chips. This time we decided to give taco night an Asian flair.

Take away the tortilla chips and swap out a few ingredients to change up the flavor profile and you’ve got yourself a brand new salad that requires the same amount of prep and cooking time. This meal takes a total of 20 minutes from heating up the first pan to putting the fork in your mouth. Easy peasy.

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Acorn Squash with Pear and Quinoa Salad

Acorn Squash, Pear & Quinoa make a perfect fall meal. Let me just start out by saying this is a breakthrough recipe. It stands far and away from most recipes I’ve discovered or created. Bravo to Sprouted Kitchen and thanks for sharing this with the world initially. Continue reading

Cherry Tomato Salad with Homemade Croutons

Cherry Tomato Salad with Homemade Croutons: A New Summer Favorite

I don’t recall how I came across this recipe, but I believe it was from the Smitten Kitchen Facebook page since they are a regular in my feed. This tomato salad recipe stuck out because we had a bag of cherry tomatoes in the fridge for about a week or so and some home made bread in the freezer waiting to be used for breadcrumbs or croutons. With basil growing in the back yard and all but one ingredient already in the house, it was the perfect cheap side dish for us.

We varied the recipe ever-so-slightly since we recently ran out of shallots (which we bought SUPER-cheap at the neighborhood Asian food store – $2.50/lb), used all red cherry tomatoes, added some olives and we made the crouton topping from a left over homemade loaf of rye bread. But, it’s a really simple recipe and uses a pretty standard base, so, you can’t really mess too much up. What I love about cheap recipes using ingredients already on hand and not bought for the specific purpose of a recipe, is that they seem free. Not that I wouldn’t use those ingredients up on something else, it just seems overly convenient.

I do love a good salad recipe and when it has fresh, in-season tomatoes, it’s bound to be a keeper. If you’ve never done it before, you can find some really nice guides on how to grow tomatoes so don’t be afraid! Combine the acidic flavor of tomatoes with olives and red wine vinegar, and it really puts a summery zip into a meal. Salads also tend to be quick to assemble since there’s hardly any cooking time required but prep-time can be a little daunting depending on how many ingredients there are. But, this is also another reason to love this recipe: it has very few ingredients and very little prep time. Hooray!

Alright, let’s get on with it then. First, a photo preview:

The final assembled cheap salad with tomatoes, olives, croutons and basil

Cheap Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 extra thick slice of stale, homemade rye bread
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground Black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Lb of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 7-8 Large basil leaves finely slivered

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and coarsely chop the slice of bread
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, place the bread crumbs, onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Toss to evenly coat the crumbs.
  3. Spread crumbs onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes, flipping the crumbs over once.
  4. Once they are golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
  5. Meanwhile, slice all of the cherry tomatoes in half and place on a large plate, cut side up. Sprinkle with chopped olives.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Drizzle mixture over the tomatoes and olives.
  7. Sprinkle the cooled bread crumbs over the tomato-olive mixture, top with basil and serve immediately.

Citrus Lentil Salad

Citrus Lentil Salad Recipe

Lentils might be the most underrated food, for the American diet, that is. You’ll find lentils in diets across the globe, but not often in the United States. I wonder why that is since they are so cheap and healthy to boot. It’s crazy how a third world country could eat healthier than a rich and powerful western nation. I guess there’s always hope and I’m thankful I’ve been exposed to proper nutrition to make a decision about my diet and improve my life overall. With a cheap food like lentils, it’s amazing that people choose non-nutritious foods that just toxify the body.

I’ve made soups with lentils before but never really thought to use them in as a primary ingredient in side dishes or salads, until recently. Now I’ve opened up my menu of lunches and dinners considerably. In fact, this new staple cheap food of mine, when paired up with brown rice, the make a perfect protein (which is defined as a food with all nine essential amino acids) and these things are pretty versatile. Some of my absolute favorite lentil recipes come from this site and I’m sure I’ll be posting more as I explore with lentils.

There are tons of different types of lentils, according to Wikipedia:

  • Brown/Spanish Pardina
  • French Green/Puy lentils (Dark speckled blue-green)
  • Green
  • Black/Beluga
  • Yellow/Tan Lentils (Red inside)
  • Red Chief (Decorticated yellow lentils)
  • Eston Green (Small green)
  • Richlea (Medium green)
  • Laird (Large green)
  • Petite Golden (Decorticated lentils)
  • Masoor (Brown-skinned lentils which are red inside)
  • Petite Crimson/Red (Decorticated masoor lentils)
  • Macachiados (Big Mexican yellow lentils)

The recipe below combines the clashing flavors of oranges and red onion for a perfect dissonance on top of the Indian Garam Masala seasoning and hearty lentils. It’s great as a side dish or as a larger portion for a full lunch.

Citrus Lentil Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of dried lentils (any color)
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, segmented, seeded and membrane removed
  • 1/2 small red onion, julienned
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a fresh jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/8 Cup of olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon (or lime)
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Lentil Salad Directions

  1. Prepare the lentils as directed on the package (use chicken or vegetable stock in the water for additional flavor).
  2. Toss lentils in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients until well coated and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend evenly.

Purple Cabbage and Green Bean Salad

Not Just Another Cheap Salad Recipe

If there’s one thing Cheap Food Here is set out to do, it’s get as far away from the stereotype that cheap food is boring. Many think that cheap food is unhealthy or uninventive just because you don’t have the ‘luxury’ of spending an arm and a leg when you’re shopping. The truth is, salads, for example, CAN be boring and uninventive, but a lot of times you just need a great homemade salad dressing to jazz things up a bit. One of our passions at Cheap Food Here is with salad dressings that perfectly balance the oil and vinegar mix in vinaigrettes adding fresh fruit or herbs that provide a natural freshness bottled dressings can’t.

Figuring out alternative ways to make a great, healthy, flavorful salad often starts with a great base. Ice berg lettuce can be a bit tasteless, but has a great crunch, so someone along the way figured out that cutting the head into fourths gives it a fancy style and thus named it a wedge salad. What a perfect cheap salad that is marketed brilliantly. Green leaf and red leaf lettuce add great color and texture with a somewhat delicate texture to contrast the crunch of veggies like cucumber, bell pepper and onion. Romaine on the other hand has crunchy with soft and a whole lot of vitamins and have done wonders with the Caesar Salad.

But don’t forget about cabbage as an option for a base. There are a ton of health benefits of cabbage, but most importantly, Cabbage has more vitamin C than oranges do per serving, is high in fiber and helps with brain function because of it’s high iodine content. The texture is thicker and hardier than lettuce and has a great distinct flavor which pairs well with ingredients you might not expect to find in a salad.

The recipe below combines three unique flavors, giving the salad an Asian flair that pairs well with fish or chicken dishes, like seafood empanadas or chicken empanadas. Enjoy it with a glass of white wine and tell me your thoughts.

Purple Cabbage & Green Bean Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1 cup green beans, ends removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A splash of sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Juice from one Lemon

Purple Cabbage & Green Bean Salad Directions

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage until you have a pile of shreds similar to coleslaw. Place into a large glass or wooden bowl.
  2. In a small pot with boiling water, blanch the grean beans for 2 minutes and then plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
  3. Then slice the green beans thinly into rounds and place in the mixing bowl with the cabbage.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, toss until evenly coated and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Cheap Salad – Broccoli with Orange Peel and Cashews

This is a great cheap vegan salad that was inspired by a recipe book created by a naturopathic doctor here in Costa Rica. The photos were nice in the ebook, but the recipes didn’t always call for the correct ratios or explain the directions very well. This could be a matter of translation issues but I decided only to ever use the book as a guide for myself. My first clue was that several recipes called for an insane amount of raw garlic, and believe me I love garlic, but I could tell it would have ruined the dish.

Salads are always a favorite of mine probably because of the rich, fresh taste of raw produce and the chance to play around with dressings. Plus, my husband and I have been on a broccoli kick as of late, which has shaped our dinners quite a bit. It isn’t unusual for us to cut up a head of fresh broccoli, steam it and throw some olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and just down it for a full meal. So, when I found this recipe for a broccoli salad, I was hooked. It reminded me of a previous post of a roasted broccoli pasta salad, which I love and make frequently.

So, here is the adapted recipe. It’s easy, quick and delicious so don’t hesitate to make it and let us know what you think. Is it better than the broccoli pasta salad?

Broccoli Salad with Orange Peel and Cashews

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh broccoli head cut into florets
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tsp of red pepper flakes
  • Toasted cashews
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Himalayan (or sea) salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1 large lemon or 1 small lime

Directions

  1. Heat a medium-sized pot to boiling and quickly blanch the broccoli for 1 minute and then plunge into an ice bath.
  2. Toss broccoli in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes to several hours and toss again before serving.