It shall be no secret, that I am one big fan of vegetables. They just always taste so good! In a nice minestrone soup, with scrambled eggs, as a snack in a stick or like a salad!
But the salads. Oh, how I find it hard to keep up the creativity when making salads. My biggest problem is, that I always find amazing salad recipes online – but then – when it’s time to shop – all the ingredients are so expensive. In Denmark nuts are exceptionally expensive. Spinach and arugula cost twice as much as iceberg, and even cherry tomatoes can cost enough to wrinkle my nose.
I’m not poor or anything – don’t feel sorry for me! But I’m super cheap or stingy or whatever. Always have been. I hate spending money on stuff that isn’t necessary. And I don’t think arugula or almonds are gonna be missed in my everyday salad.
Since I believe, that I am not the only one that keeps my money in my pocket this is 3 recipes in 1 for a great and cheap salad that is fancy enough for guests. I originally served this with my Chicken Tikka Masala – but then I had leftovers and therefore I had to serve it with the Swedish Sausage Dish and Beef and Brown Onions too. All of which was great. And the final leftovers I ate for lunch – cause nothing should be wasted here!
Ingredients for the salad for 4 people as a side dish:
1 iceberg salad
1 bell pepper (red or yellow)
1 cup frozen peas
2 spring onions
Feta cheese (Whatever you see fit – I’m not gonna judge)
- Rinse all the vegetables until very clean.
- Tear the salad into small pieces, then put the salad in a clean kitchen towl or a salad swing and swing it until all the water has left the salad.
- Use a potatopeeler to get long thin slices of carrot and cucumber.
- Cut the bellpepper in very thin slices. This can probably be done with the peeler aswell if it is a little sharper than mine.
- Unfreeze the peas by pouring over boiling water.
- Cut the spring onions in small slices.
- Make sure all of the vegetables are dry: Pat the pepper, carrot, spring onions and cucumber with the kitchen towl and drain the peas in a strainer. The dryer the veggies the better the dressing will stick.
- Mix all the vegetables in a big bowl
- Dress it with approximately 1-2 tbsp of dressing and mix it together.
- Crumble the feta cheese on top.
- Finish with the roasted chickpeas. I used ½ the can of chickpeas for this salad.
Diced carrots, peppers and cucumber works too, it’s just not as fancy.
The vegetables can of course be changed to most of what’s in your fridge or what is very cheap where you live.
How to make Roasted Chickpeas:
1 can of chickpeas
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
- Rinse the chickpeas very well.
- Drain the chickpeas just as well.
- In a plastic bag combine all the ingredients and mix it until all the chickpeas are covered in oil and spices.
- Place the chickpeas in one layer on a baking dish layered with parchment paper.
- Bake in a 150° C/300° F oven. In my oven this took about 1 hour 15 minutes. But the only way you know then the chickpeas are done is by taking one out and letting it cool a bit and then tasting it. If it’s crunchy it’s done. But watch out that it doesn’t burn, you don’t want them that crunchy.
What should I dress this with:
3 parts olive oil
1 part lemon juice
¼ part honey or syrup
Salt and pepper
I mix the ingredients in a old marmalade jar. Just shake everything well. And no! I didn’t use juice of a fresh lemon – this is a budget friendly salad and organic lemons cost a fortune here. And the pre-squeezed juice is cheap and in this recipe it works very well. Don’t be a snob. But on the other hand, I’ve heard rumors that lemons grow on trees in gardens some places in the world. You guys just don’t know how lucky you truly are!
How to store:
Always mix the amount of salad that you need! That way your leftovers will last longer.
The iceberg salad can be rinsed and teared and then stored in a bag or container in the fridge. Just cover the iceberg in cold water since it’s the oxygen that makes it go brown and bad. When you need a bowl of iceberg, you just drain the amount you need, and the rest will last in your fridge for up to 5 days.
Cucumber is best preserved in it’s original form. Cut it up when you need it. At most slice up cucumber for 1 extra day and keep in a container in the fridge, but it will dry out a little.
The peas are kinda obvious: Only unfreeze the amount you need – let the rest stay in the freezer. But if you have some left, they will last 1 day in the fridge in an airtight container. But only one short day! So keep them in the freezer.
Cut out bellpeppers keep very well in a closed container in the fridge. I don’t know for how long, but I’ve tried 4-5 days and that didn’t ruin them.
I always peel my carrots in big batches and keep them in cold water in a closed container in the fridge. Then i just pat one dry and cut it up when I want my salad. Honestly carrots only last for a maximum of 2 days in our household but I’m very certain they won’t turn bad for 5 days.
The thinly sliced spring onions don’t turn bad any time soon. I keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days with no trouble. The uncut whole spring onions stay in my fridge for an embarrassing two weeks sometimes, just because I tend to forget i have them. Luckily they are still fine most of the time. And if they are all flappy and soft I sneak the last sad one in a soup or a stew.
I’m not gonna tell you how to store feta, cause it should really just be eaten right away. And this comes from someone who didn’t like feta (!) until 6 months ago. I have been missing out on feta for 24 years, so I’m not allowing feta to turn bad or get labeled “leftovers”.
The roasted chickpeas I just keep in a lid glass in a cabinet at room temperature for 3-4 days. If they turn soggy instead of crunchy you didn’t eat them fast enough, and you know that for next time.
The dressing is very easy. I keep it in the glass I originally mixed it in. I just use an old jar that used to have marmalade in it. Then I keep it refrigerated. That means it will separate and turn hard. So you will need to take the dressing out of the fridge a good 15 minutes before using it, and right before using it, it will need a good shake.