Vegetarian

Fresh Veggie and Hummus Wrap

VeggieWrap

I’ve just returned home after studying abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy. However delicious all that pizza and pasta was, there were a lot of foods that I missed from the states; hummus being one of them. I have to give my mom props for this delicious wrap sandwich. The combination of hummus and fresh vegetables makes for a beautiful, yummy, and healthy lunch.

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Ingredients

  • 1 fajita sized tortilla (flour or whole grain)
  • 2 tbsp hummus (I like garlic or pine-nut hummus)
  • 6-8 grape tomatoes; halved
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper; sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp red onion; diced
  • 1/4 cup pea pods; chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber; sliced
  • 2 Tbsp shredded carrots

Directions

  1. Spread hummus down the center of the tortilla
  2. After preparing the veggies, layer them in the center of the tortilla and tightly roll one end of the tortilla to the other. Enjoy!

The Frugality

The frugality of this recipe really depends on where you buy some of your key ingredients and what brands you’re buying. As a frugal foodie I purchase a lot of my non-produce ingredients (like tortillas and hummus) as places like Walmart and Costco. Generally, one Veggie Hummus Wrap costs me around $2.50…I can’t complain about that!

Nutrition Breakdown

Calories 235; Cals from Fat 69; Total Fat 7.7 g (Saturated 1g; Polyunsaturated 1g; Monounsaturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 430mg; Potassium 63mg; Total Carbohydrates 35g (Dietary Fiber 7.5g; Sugar 6g); Protein 7.5g; Vitamin A 58%; Vitamin C 88%; Calcium 44%; Iron 14%

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Chicken, Grapes, and Feta Salad with Honey-Lemon Dressing

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Not only is this chicken salad delicious, but it’s also good for you (and kind of pretty). It is the perfect lunch. Make the whole recipe ahead of time and save it in your fridge for several lunches throughout the week!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast
  • 1 bunch grapes; halved
  • 1/2 cup spelt grains; uncooked
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions; sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook spelt grains according to package directions. Meanwhile heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan and cook about 4 minutes per side. Let chicken cool for about 5 minutes, then shred into small chunks using a fork.
  2. To prepare the dressing mix the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, sugar and honey in a small dish.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, grapes, and spelt grains. Add the dressing, tossing to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with green onions and feta.

Chickpea & Avocado Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

IMG_1921Salad

Since I arrived in Italy I have taken on a new diet that include carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all of the paninis, pasta, pizza, ect., but sometimes I need a little break. My desire for a fresh, health, and carborhydrateless) meal inspired this hearty salad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado; diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes; halved
  • 1 (8oz) can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries or spelt grains; cooked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Cook wheat berries or spelt according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl toss avocado, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, and wheat berries.
  3. In a small bowl stir olive oil, lime, honey, and sugar.
  4. Pour dressing over avocado mixture and toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste. (makes 3-4 servings)

Grueyer Mushroom Quesadilla

GrueyerQuesadilla

Yum! These quesadillas taste like restaurant quality, but are actually super simple to make.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Flour Tortilla
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup baby bella mushrooms; sliced
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion; sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic; minced
  • 3 Tbsp gruyere cheese; shredded
  • 1 tsp sherry cooking wine
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and onions are translucent. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add cooking wine and cook 30 seconds, until liquid evaporates.
  2. Spread about 2 Tbsp of gruyere on one half of the flour tortilla. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the tortilla as well. Cover with the rest of the cheese and fold tortillas in half.
  3. Wipe pan clean and spray with cooking spray. Heat pan over medium heat. Add tortilla, cooking 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden brown. (makes 1 serving)

 

Apple Feta Pecan Salad

ApplePecanSalad

My grandmother always makes this as a side salad with our holiday dinners, but it is so delicious that I often find myself wishing it was the main course. Finally, after years of drooling over this salad (yes, it is possible to drool over a salad) I was able to get my hands on the recipe. Now it has become one of my favorite lunches. Believe me when I say, this salad is so good you will want to eat it for dessert.

I will typically make a batch of the roasted pecans ahead of time so I can quickly whip up the rest of the salad whenever I so choose.

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Ingredients

For the Spiced Pecans

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cups pecan halves

For the Salad (serving: 4 side salads or 2 lunches)

  • 1 cup spiced pecans
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 2 Tbsp feta cheese
  • green leaf lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lite olive oil
  • Pinch granulated sugar

Directions

Spiced Pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 300º F. Grease two large baking sheets.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar, water, salt and spices; stir until sugar dissolves. Add nuts to sugar mixture and cook until syrup thickly coats nuts, stirring frequently; about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer nuts to prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool. (store in airtight container)

The Salad

  1. In a small bowl, add sherry, dijon, olive oil and sugar; stir until combined.
  2. In a salad bowl, add lettuce, apple slices, feta and dressing. Toss until evenly coated.
  3. Divide evenly among 4 side plates (or two lunch plates). Top each salad with spiced pecans.

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The Frugality

This salad costs about $9.00 total or $2.25 per side salad. OR $4.50 for an amazing lunch.

The Nutrition

If you’re looking for a healthy green lunch this salad will leave you full and satisfied. A lunch serving is around 375 calories with 266 from fat.

Here is a further breakdown:

Calories 375; Total Fat 30g (Saturated 4.8g, Polyunsaturated 7.6g, Monounsaturated 13g); Cholesterol 9.8mg; Sodium 453mg; Total Carbs 26g (Dietary Fiber 6.4g, sugars 19g); Protein 5g; Vitamin A 39%; Vitamin C 34%; Calcium 5%; Iron 14%

Pesto Pita Pizza

PestoPitaPizza

After making gyros last week I was left with one piece of pita bread that needed to be eaten, so I came up with this delicious and simple Pesto Pita Pizza. When I say delicious I mean DELICIOUS. I am wishing I had more pita bread so I could make this again tomorrow night.

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Ingredients

  • Pita Bread
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Basil Pesto
  • Dash of dried oregano
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. To build the pizza, lightly drizzle olive oil on one side of pita. Sprinkle with oregano and Italian seasoning, then evenly spoon pesto across top of pita. Arrange tomato slices on pita, then top with both feta and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges of pita turn a golden brown.
  4. Let cool, garnish with fresh basil, then slice and serve! (makes one pizza: one dinner serving or two appetizer servings)

The Frugality

In my particular situation I would say this meal cost me absolutely nothing since all of the ingredients were left over from previous recipes. In reality I still paid for the ingredients that I used. Even so, this is a very frugal way to have an amazing pizza. For starters, I used to make homemade pizzas with Boboli crust, which costs a whopping $6.00 for two small crusts! For the same sized pizza I can use pita bread, which I purchased for $4.00 for 6 pitas! When I include the cost of the rest of the ingredients I figure I can make 6 pizzas for around $12.00! Most people spend that much on a carry out pizza that only serves four people. When can you say you’ve ever seen an individual pizza for only $3.00?

Roasted Vegetables & Chickpea Salad

VeggieChickpeaSalad

The other night we made grilled corn to have along side our baby back ribs, and I must say they were some of the best ribs I’ve ever had. My brother, who decided not to attend dinner that night, missed out big time! Not to mention his nonattendance left us with an extra ear of delicious grilled corn. I couldn’t let the corn go to waste, so the next day I decided to use in a lunch, resulting in this very fresh and healthy salad. This Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad is an excellent and hearty vegetarian lunch that has a hint of sweetness from the honey dressing and roasted tomatoes.

The recipe I am showing is for one lunch serving or two side dishes, however, it is easy to make a larger amount in order to accommodate for more people. Simply add more vegetables and chickpeas and mix a little more dressing. Exact measurements aren’t very important in recipe, and I’ll admit I really just threw things together; this is my closest guestimate to how much I used of everything!

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Ingredients

(yields 1 lunch or 2 side dishes)

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes; halved (about 8 tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion; chopped
  • Corn kernels cut from one ear of cooked corn (preferably grilled)
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup canned Chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp Crumbled Feta
  • 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Basil; chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

For the Dressing

  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Red-wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Add the grape tomatoes, red onion, corn, and garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well and spread the veggies evenly over the lined baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and are fragrant (you may need to add more roasting time if you are increasing the recipe size). Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. While veggies are cooling, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl. Exact measurements for the dressing aren’t necessary, simply mix a ratio of 1/2 olive oil, 1/4 vinegar, and 1/4 honey.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chickpeas, feta, and roasted vegetables. Pour the desired amount of dressing over the mixture and toss. Top with fresh basil and serve!

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The Frugality

I actually had all of the ingredients for this salad in my house already, making this lunch cost me exactly $0.00! However, if you don’t happen to have a bunch a vegetables and chickpeas left over from previous recipes, one serving would still only cost you around $2.20. Now that’s assuming that you would find another use for the extra chickpeas, feta, red onion, etc. rather than just throwing them away. If you don’t use an entire onion in a recipe (which happens to me more often than not) the best way to keep it is to tightly wrap the left overs in saran wrap and keep it in your fridge. If you do this, the onion should keep for at least a week, if not more. Also, if you have the ability to grow any of your own vegetables, I highly recommend growing your own basil; it requires very little maintenance and it tastes so much better than store bought! And, if I might add, it is WAY cheaper than buying fresh basil, only for it to spoil in your fridge two days later.

Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

Print

This super simple, yummy salad is perfect on a hot summer day.  I’ve made it twice now as a side dish; once with hamburgers and once with grilled chicken.  It would also work really well as a healthy vegetarian lunch.

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Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh cilantro

Honey-Lime Dressing

  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper; to taste
  • 1 clove garlic; minced
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Remove corn husks and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the corn is tender and has grill marks.  Cut the corn off the cob and set aside.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half, dice the avocado, and chop the cilantro.  Lightly toss together in a medium sized bowl, being careful not to mash the avocado.
  3. Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until combined
  4. Combine the tomato mixture and corn.  Add the dress and toss together.  Dish out and enjoy!

(this makes about 4 side dishes or 2 lunch servings)

The Frugality

Sadly, unlike most of the dishes I make, this dish does not keep well because of the avocado, which means it can’t be made for just one person.  However, it only costs about $6.15 total; that’s only $1.54 per serving!  Or if you make it for a lunch its only $3.08 per serving!

Greek Quinoa and Avacado Salad

GreekQuinoa

It seems like everyone and their mother have recently discovered this nutritious little grain called quinoa. This tiny grain is packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 grams of protein, only 3.4 grams of fat, 15% of your daily recommended iron intake, 21% of your daily recommended fiber intake, and much more!  Why didn’t I start eating this sooner?

I have only just started cooking quinoa within the past couple months, and since then I have fallen in love.  It makes for perfect healthy lunches that are not only delicious, but leave me pleasantly plump for several hours.  One of my favorite quinoa dishes that I’ve made is this Greek Quinoa and Avocado Salad.

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I should probably explain the not so beautiful looking avocado. If you’re like me, cooking for only one person, you likely only use one half of an avocado at a time and you are left wondering what to do with the other half. Thanks to Pinterest, I discovered a genius way to keep the other half from going bad!  Simply wrap the avocado slice (still in the skin) tightly in saran-wrap, then put it in a freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to two weeks.  As you’ve probably guessed, the avocado pictured here is one of my previously frozen slices, which is why it looks so shiny.  But believe when I say it still tastes just as fresh as the day I bought it!

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lite olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. While quinoa cooks, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Transfer quinoa to a medium sized bowl.  Add tomatoes, onion, and avocado, stirring to combine.
  4. Add dressing to quinoa mixture, tossing to coat.
  5. Top with feta cheese. This makes 2 lunch servings or 4 side dishes

The Frugality

Keeping in mind that I already had the olive oil and lemon juice, this recipe only cost $4.63.  That means you would get two lunches for only $2.32 each!  I can guarantee you won’t pay any where near that amount on a lunch out.

  • Quinoa $6.35, but I only used a quarter of the package for this recipe making it $1.59
  • Avocado $1.29
  • Red Onion $1.00, but I only used half the onion for this specific recipe making it $0.50
  • Cherry Tomatoes $2.49, but I only used half the container for this recipe making it $1.25