Feta

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

ChickenSalad

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.
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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%

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