There is nothing worse than a salad that doesn’t measure up to par, or opening an empty pantry and wondering what you’re going to cook for dinner. If you’ve been victimized by a dissatisfying salad or find yourself need inspiration for budget-friendly meals, you’re not alone. There is a cure. Here are five ways to to bring out the salad-lover in you and guarantee your next money-saving meal is a tasty one.
Seeking some crunch? Find it from a nut. Pine nuts, pecans, walnuts and almonds are packed with all-day energy and release even more flavor after they’ve been toasted. Plus, they have a long shelf-life and can be stowed away in the freezer. Sprinkle them on in seconds, and save yourself from salad boredom.
Go beyond the same old salt and pepper and add flavor profiles to your salad like adwiya, curry and harissa. In fact, use them as inspiration for the rest of your salad’s ingredients—hot curry powder pairs well with sweet, dried apricots and chickpeas. A squeeze of lemon with lentils balances with the heat from harissa.
Your dollar can go a long way when purchasing bulk grains. These ingredients are what give your salad body and substance. They don’t have much flavor on their own, which makes them an excellent vehicle for potential flavor profiles. Sprinkle tsardust on farro and add roughly chopped mint for a warm yet refreshing flavor.
Another penny-pinching ingredient, canned beans are one of the easiest and satisfying ways to beef up a salad. Like grains, they take on the flavor of what ever they’re mixed with. A small handful of beans thrown in salad is the quickest and easiest way to incorporate protein.
5. Dried Fruit
Satisfy your sweet tooth by studding a salad with plump, golden raisins or tart, dried cranberries. Be mindful that they’re typically high in sugar, and a little goes a long way. A substantial salad should leave you energized and focused, not in a sugar coma.
If you think salad can only be bland, think again. The next time you’re fixing a salad, reach for ingredients that will keep you fuller, longer — and don’t be afraid to spice it up.