Per Serving: $0.82
In general, I've never been one for following recipes or hoarding cookbooks. I find that most cookbooks have a specific theme, and I've never found a theme that I really wanted to follow. (Frugal real food is the theme I want!) However, I've been trying to change my tune a bit. There's a lot to be learned from different cookbooks, and they can offer just as much inspiration as blogs! (Plus the added bonus of "reading" them in bed without being seen as "wasting time" on your computer.)
Well I ordered a copy of the Everyday Healthy (eCookbook) by Pinch of Yum blogger Lindsay Ostrom during the pre-sale, and I've actually loved reading through the recipes when I should be working. It has been such a success that I subsequently bought Nom Nom Paleo's cookbook and pre-ordered the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook. I see hoarding in my future.
The first recipe to catch my eye in Everyday Healthy was Roasted Chickpea BLT Salad with Parmesan Basil Dressing. You can put basil in basically anything and I will eat it. However, still unable to follow recipes precisely, I had to make a few frugal changes of my own:
- I omitted the bacon! Sacrilege, I know! I'm sorry guys, I'm just not a fan. Bacon in salad is the absolute worst. Go ahead, get the pitchforks!
- I incorporated the pesto ingredients in the dressing - just in case you're like me and don't always have pesto at the ready.
- No chickpea roasting! If you live in a teeny studio that becomes about 5,000 degrees when you turn on the oven, you feel me. She roasts them with salt, pepper, olive oil at 400º for 30 minutes, stirring at the halfway mark.
- Organic, Pasture-Raised, Full-Fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. You guys, you will forever stay stocked with Greek Yogurt when you taste Straus Family Creamery Yogurt. I can't get enough.
- I used cherry tomatoes instead of Roma - they're currently CHEAPER. Which is strange. And feta instead of parmesan, just cause that's what I had! I also added red onion because that is my jam right there.
Clearly you can go ahead and add bacon and use Roma tomatoes and omit the onion and such if you prefer. And you should definitely follow her advice to roast the chickpeas in the oven (stirring once) for nice crunch if you have proper ventilation in a normal-sized home! Also, I've learned that this dressing tastes EVEN BETTER leftover. The garlic really infuses, so if I were you, I'd make it the day before!
The recipe below includes my changes, but is adapted from Pinch of Yum's Everyday Healthy eCookbook.
- 1/2 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans, soaked overnight and cooked (or a 15-oz can, about 1.5 cups cooked)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (a little under a pint)
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 5-6 cups chopped lettuce (any leafy greens will do – romaine, farmer’s market lettuce, kale, etc.!)
- For the Dressing:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (optional)
- 1-2 Tablespoons water
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup full-fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Add herbs, garlic, 1 Tbsp water, and lemon juice to blender and blend until smooth, add more water to get the blender moving if necessary. Add remaining ingredients – salt, pepper, yogurt, feta, and blend until smooth, then blend in the olive oil on low (high speed can make the oil give off a bitter taste).
- Assemble lettuce, onions, chickpeas, and tomatoes and toss with dressing. Top with the walnuts and serve!
- *If you use kale, this salad will stand up to the dressing without wilting too much, otherwise, be sure to store the dressing and greens separately before serving.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Category: Salad