Eating delicious salads every day doesn't have to mean breaking the bank.
I often shy away from buying lots of salad stuff because if I buy all of the really delicious ingredients, the cost can pile up. And by "good ingredients" I mean things like nuts, fancy cheeses, dried fruit... you know, the GOOD stuff. But then I remembered Budget Bytes Principle #2: adding a just little bit of really flavorful ingredients makes a huge flavor impact without hugely impacting the wallet.
So, instead of making a huge greek salad with tons of vegetables, feta, fancy olives, sun dried tomatoes, pickled peppers and all the rest, I scaled it back a bit. I was still able to accomplish the pungent greek flavor without going crazy with the ingredients and spending tons of money.
I used simple vegetables (romaine lettuce, cucumber and tomato) and added a little feta cheese (portion control is key) and some plain jane green (manzanilla) olives. Yeah, I would have loved Kalamata but the green olives were super inexpensive and still gave me that briny, salty, olive flavor that I was craving. The Kalamatas can wait for a special occasion!
Cost for salad dressing varies considerably... for a 1/4 cup of store-bought I estimate about $0.25. Yes, I KNOW, I should be making my own... I will soon, promise.
Total Recipe cost: $1.21 ea.
Prep ahead time: 10 min. Assembly time: 5 min.
|1/4 head||romaine lettuce||$0.40|
|1 medium||roma tomato||$0.19|
|2 Tbsp||feta cheese||$0.21|
|approx. 10||green olives||$0.24|
STEP 1: Wash and slice the whole cucumber. Keep the cucumber refrigerated in a re-sealable container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. If you wish to prep the lettuce ahead of time you can wash, drain well then chop the lettuce. Keep the lettuce in a re-sealable bag or container with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Drain the lettuce as much as possible prior to refrigeration. I just washed and chopped my lettuce daily, it only took 5 minutes.
STEP 2: When you're ready to prep the salad, slice the tomato and roughly chop the olives. Layer the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, olives and feta in a bowl. Top with your desired dressing and dig in!
NOTE: Prepping salad ingredients ahead of time is really quick and they will they stay good in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. This means you can have fresh, quick salads almost all week. I prefer to chop soft or wet vegetables (like tomatoes) just prior to building the salad.
Making a series of homemade salad dressing is on my "to do" list for the blog. So, please, no lectures about my store bought balsamic vinaigrette in the photos! hahahhah.