Many people cannot fathom being filled up by eating a salad for dinner, but it can be done cheaply and quickly.
The cheapest alternative is to purchase a head of lettuce and chop it yourself. So what is a good type of lettuce to get? Icebergis usually the cheapest type of lettuce in the store. It is crisp and firm, but generally tasteless. Some people love it though, and if you are one of them – great!
If it is on sale, it is worth it to pick up Romaine lettuce, which is much heartier and flavorful than iceberg. Other lettuces worth the price are in the Butterheadfamily of lettuce such as Bibb, Boston or Butter. They are very tender, flavorful and have a nice texture. Salad kits are also great when they are on sale.
Now that you have your lettuce sorted out, there are a ton of options for topping your salad that are healthy and cheap, such as:
- Chick Peas (side tip: try roasting them with your favorite dry salad seasoning – recipe coming in future)
- Lentils, Black Beans or whatever canned/prepared beans you have
- Mandarin Oranges or Pineapples (always a good pantry staple item)
- Leftover chicken, beef or other protein
- Corn (this is another great, cheap pantry staple item)
- Cherry tomato
- Carrots (worth it to get the pre-shredded kind)
- Sunflower seeds
- Hard boiled egg
So now that you have the ideas for a great, healthy, and cheap salad what are you going to top it with? Home made vinaigrette of course! But how? Well the basic recipe is below and feel free to improvise. This make ahead salad dressing is always waiting and can also be used to marinate meats.
- Whisk Together –
- 3/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar of your choice
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Any of the following – to taste:
- minced/diced garlic
- red pepper flakes
- lemon/lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Any SALT FREE general seasoning such as Ms. Dash