Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

chickpea and tomato salad with fresh basil

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are an excellent source of cheap protein.  Pair them with basil from your garden and sweet grape tomatoes when in-season, and you’ve got a frugal salad that’s also really healthy.  I found these tomatoes at my ALDI store for just $.79 this week (view more recently posted Grocery Bargains).  You could also easily add rotini to this to make it a pasta salad.

Frugal Tips:  To save money, buy dried chickpeas and soak overnight.  Beans can even be soaked and frozen for later.

Chickpea and Tomato Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
A refreshing summer salad that’s rich in protein and packed with flavor
Ingredients
  • 1 carton of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 25 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the vinegars, oils, honey and salt and pepper. Drizzle over the chickpeas, basil, and tomatoes. I put mine in a plastic container and give a good shake. Chill a few hours or overnight.

Thanks for the inspiration, Green Lite Bites!

Greek Salad with Couscous

Greek Salad with Couscous | Frugalbites.com

I love Greek food.  Not only is it packed with flavor, it’s usually pretty healthy.  This easy Greek Salad with Couscous salad is no exception.  Don’t have couscous?  Substitute orzo pasta, quinoa or bulgur.  I find that the couscous is a frugal way to extend the salad and give it more texture.

Frugal Tip:  If jarred Kalamata olives are too expensive, check the grocery store deli.  You may be able to buy them by the pound for less.

Greek Salad with Couscous
Serves: 6
 
Healthy Greek salad is packed with flavor
Ingredients
  • 1 C. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cucumber, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • ¼ C. fresh parsley
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 4 oz. feta cheese crumbles
  • ½ C. Kalamata olives
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 C. large-pearl couscous

Instructions
  1. Cook couscous according to package directions. Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients. Drain couscous and add to veggies/dressing. Chill for 4-6 hours before serving.

Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Blue Cheese Bacon Potato Salad | Mommysavers.com

Everything is better with bacon, isn’t it?  This bacon blue cheese potato salad is creamy, flavorful and tangy.  If you like bacon and blue cheese, you’ll love it.  It goes perfectly with a burger straight off the grill.  Bring on summer!

Frugal Tips:  Look for blue cheese at stores like ALDI, Sam’s Club and Costco to save money.

Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad
Serves: 6
 
Blue cheese and bacon make this a hard-to-resist potato salad
Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs red potatoes, cubed
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
  • ½ C. mayo
  • ¼ C. sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. Boil potatoes with the skin on until fork-tender (about 12-13 minutes). Meanwhile, add the other ingredients in a large bowl. After potatoes have cooled, dice them and add to dressing ingredients. Chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight.

 

Boil potatoes with the skin on until fork-tender (about 12-13 minutes). Meanwhile, add the other ingredients in a large bowl. After potatoes have cooled, dice them and add to dressing ingredients. Chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Spanish Rice with Bacon

spanish rice

Spanish rice is the perfect side to serve with any Tex-Mex dish.  Bacon and chicken stock add tons of flavor to this classic.

Spanish Rice with Bacon
Serves: 6
 
Bacon makes everything better, including Spanish rice!
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1 C. uncooked white rice
  • 1 C. chicken broth
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, brown the bacon. Remove bacon to cool.
  2. Add onions and green pepper to bacon grease and saute until translucent.
  3. Add uncooked rice to onion and green pepper mixture and stir until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, chopped bacon. Season with chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

 

Copycat Recipe: Carrabba’s Italian Grill Salad Dressing

Carraba's Italian Grill House Dressing Copycat Recipe

This copycat version of the creamy Parmesan dressing from Carrabba’s Italian Grill is my new favorite. Not only is it delicious, it’s incredibly easy to make.

Frugal Tips:  This recipe only calls for a little bit of buttermilk, so don’t let the leftovers go to waste.  Did you know you could freeze buttermilk?  Here are some great ideas to use up buttermilk after making this dressing.

Copycat Recipe: Carrabba’s Italian Grill Salad Dressing
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • ¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ C. buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. minced fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and serve with romaine lettuce, croutons, fresh black pepper and any of your other favorite salad ingredients.

 

carrabbas-salad-dressing

See how simple the ingredient list is?  Much of this is in your refrigerator already.


carrabbas-salad-dressing

 

Mix the dressing well.

carrabbas-salad-dressing

Serve with romaine and croutons.