If you ask my friends what I’m known for, in terms of my food, they may list a few things. They might be inclined to tell you about my breakfasts, my lasagne, or my salad rolls, but those who have actually lived with me and have observed what I cook for myself, would most likely list my love of salads. I know. Salad is often perceived as super boring, and I guess it certainly can be, if you are too narrow within the box. When Chad and I decided to work on spending less money, I decided I needed to make sure that I always had simple salad ingredients in the fridge.
I will make salads with all kinds of things. Obviously, summer makes for much better salads. Scape season is my favourite. Corn season too. Grilled scapes and grilled peaches in a salad is silly good. I’ll make one come July and share the pics with you! For now, I just wanted to share what some might consider a ‘boring’ salad, but I think is actually beautiful, filling, healthy, and fantastic. You should be able to make this with things in your fridge. Really, you can toss literally anything into a salad, and make something awesome. This week, Chad made ‘Pork Carnitas’, and the next day I made ‘Pork Carnita Salad’ with fresh salsa as the dressing. Killer.
The point of this entry is to keep it simple. This is a salad I frequently make for my lunches, and it fills me up and sustains me throughout the day. I almost always make my own dressing, and really, that’s the magic of this salad. You can pretty much ignore any direction I give about what should go in the salad, because it was really a ‘kitchen sink’ kind of affair. But the dressing, you should totally try.
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings)
- ½ head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
- ⅓ English cucumber, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup of cabbage, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 3 ounces of blue cheese, crumbled
Normally, I’d add some apples or clementines to this salad, but I kind of forgot the day I took these pictures. I did, however, have some really amazing leftover blue cheese in the fridge, so I added that to the top. When I make this salad for my lunch, I usually add a few hard boiled eggs.
Before I get into the salad dressing, I’d like to issue a PSA about Olive Oil. You guys, its REALLY important to buy quality olive oil. You know olive oil is good quality if it has a lot number. The majority of grocery store olive oils are low quality, flavourless, or even rancid. To learn more about the problems with grocery store olive oil, click here. I think its important to confess that my $60/week food budget doesn’t include staples. Excellent olive oil is a staple in our house. The stuff we get sets us back about $24.99 for 750ml. It is worth EVERY DAMN PENNY. Until you make the switch, you have no idea what an impact high quality extra virgin olive oil has on your food, and we only need to replace the bottle every 3-4 months or so. Some things, I really believe, you just can’t cheap out on. Olive oil is one of those things.
Now, on to my dressing:
**Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- The juice of three clementines (aka mandarine oranges)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard (I used Bourbon Molasses Mustard. It was awesome)
- salt and pepper to taste
And that’s it! I love this salad in its simplicity, ease, and low cost. Healthy and delicious for the win!
Don’t worry, I’ll show fancier salads down the road, but this is what I’m eating right now :)
Enjoy the roughage!
- Iceberg Lettuce $0.50
- English cucumber (⅓ of $1.50) $0.50
- 2 carrots ($0.15)
- cabbage ($0.25)
- red pepper ($0.50)
- blue cheese ($2.00) (But this cheese was a gift)
- Clementines ($0.25)
- lemon ($0.25)
Total: $4.40 for four servings, coming in at $1.10 a serving (but note, you don’t have to add the blue cheese, which is what amps the cost up. Without it, this recipe is only about $2).
Nutritional Information for the Salad with Blue Cheese:
Nutritional Information for the Citrus Honey Dressing:
Note: The 'incomplete' message is because Calorie Count doesn't understand when I say "one lemon, juiced", though it is about 5kcal. So, the recipe should be 24Kcal per serving.
Once again, thanks to www.caloriecount.about.com for their awesome recipe analyzer tool where I got my nutritional info.