The Bagel Lunch Box

Here’s another quick lunch box idea (or meal prep breakfast idea) for you! While this one isn’t completely no-cook because it contains a hard boiled egg, it is still a super easy no-reheat lunch box that you can take to work, school, or on the road. This Bagel Lunch Box includes a mini bagel, some […]

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Here’s another quick lunch box idea (or meal prep breakfast idea) for you! While this one isn’t completely no-cook because it contains a hard boiled egg, it is still a super easy no-reheat lunch box that you can take to work, school, or on the road. This Bagel Lunch Box includes a mini bagel, some of my favorite Scallion Herb Cream Cheese, a handful of vegetables that go oh so well with the flavored cream cheese, and a simple hard boiled egg. It’s super simple to put together, but it makes life so much easier when your mornings are busy. Just grab a lunch box and go!

Three glass meal prep containers in a diagonal line filled with the bagel lunch box items

About that Cream Cheese…

I included my Scallion Herb Cream Cheese in this bagel lunch box because it has so much flavor and really adds a nice element of interest to the meal. If you don’t want to make this cream cheese you can use plain cream cheese or use a store-bought flavored cream cheese. Another nice option is to use plain cream cheese, but then bring some Everything Bagel Seasoning with you to add some extra flavor.

Other Lunch Box Add-In Ideas

If you want to substitute any of the ingredients or add to this lunch box, here are some good ideas of things that would also match well:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Carrot sticks
  • An orange, tangerine, or cutie
  • Grapes
  • Deli ham
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Where Did You Get Those Containers?

The divided glass meal prep containers and the small metal cups were both purchased on Amazon (links in the bottom of the recipe card below). 

Three bagel lunch boxes lined up in a row

 
Three bagel lunch boxes lined up in a row

The Bagel Lunch Box

This Bagel Lunch Box is an easy and affordable grab and go breakfast or lunch idea, perfect for work or school.
Total Cost $5.32 recipe / $1.33 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 307.18kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Scallion Herb Cream Cheese

  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro $0.04
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.11
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.02

Lunch Box Ingredients

  • 4 mini bagels $1.52
  • 4 large eggs $0.92
  • 1 cucumber, sliced $1.29
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes $0.75

Instructions

  • To hard boil the eggs, place the eggs in a sauce pot and add water until the eggs are covered by one inch. Place the pot over high heat and allow the water to come up to a full boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn off the heat, place a lid on the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  • To make the scallion herb cream cheese, combine the cream cheese, parsley, cilantro, green onion, garlic powder, salt, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir together until evenly combined.
  • Place one bagel in each lunch box along with ¼ of the cucumber slices, ¼ of the grape tomatoes, ¼ of the cream cheese (1 oz.), and one hard boiled egg. Refrigerate up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1lunch box | Calories: 307.18kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.6g | Protein: 12.98g | Fat: 15.1g | Sodium: 420.95mg | Fiber: 420.95g

How to Make the Bagel Lunch Box – Step by Step Photos

Place Eggs in Ice Bath

To hard boil the eggs, add the eggs to a sauce pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Place the pot over high heat and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the eggs to an ice water bath to cool.

Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread mixed

To make the scallion herb cream cheese, combine 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, one sliced green onion, 1/16 tsp (or one pinch) garlic powder, 1/16 tsp (one pinch) salt, and ½ Tbsp lemon juice in a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined.

One bagel lunch box in a glass meal prep container

Place one bagel, one hard boiled egg, ¼ of the sliced cucumbers, ¼ of the tomatoes, and ¼ of the cream cheese (1 oz.) in each lunch box. Refrigerate up to five days.

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Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that dollar and work it into an affordable meal. This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is an incredibly easy (and FAST) recipe that will […]

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I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that dollar and work it into an affordable meal. This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is an incredibly easy (and FAST) recipe that will make you feel like you’re eating a restaurant quality meal at home. So even if shrimp is just a once in a while special occasion splurge, you’ll still be saving a TON by making this splurge at home instead of having it at a restaurant!

Originally posted 12-28-2010, updated 8-27-2020.

Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the middle

This recipe was originally posted in 2010. When updating this recipe I made only minor changes to the recipe yield, ingredient quantities, and preparation method. If you prefer the old recipe, you can reach out to us at support@budgetbytes.com and we can send you a pdf of the old version.

What Kind of Shrimp is Best for Pesto Shrimp Pasta

A smaller sized shrimp works best for this recipe so you get more shrimp pieces throughout the pasta. If you check your package of shrimp you’ll see a number range specifying the number of shrimp per pound. The higher the number, the smaller the shrimp (more shrimp per pound). The shrimp I used were 41-60 size, or 41-60 shrimp per pound.

You can purchase your shrimp with or without the shell and tail, but you’ll want to remove the shell and tail before cooking. You can leave the tail on, but I find that tail-on shrimp is more difficult to eat in a dish like pasta because you have to stop and remove the tail with every bite.

This recipe is written for raw (frozen or fresh) shrimp, but you can use pre-cooked shrimp if that’s what you have available. To use pre-cooked shrimp, simply add them into the pasta at the end.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

If you know you’ll be making this recipe a head of time, you can transfer your shrimp from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you didn’t plan ahead, don’t worry! Shrimp thaws very quickly under running water. I just place my shrimp in a colander and run cool water over the shrimp for a few minutes until it has thawed. Once thawed and peeled, make sure to dab the shrimp dry with paper towel.

Can I Substitute the Shrimp?

If you’re not into shrimp, this recipe would also be good using diced chicken, sea scallops, or even chopped artichoke hearts! 

Tips for Cooking Shrimp

Shrimp can be intimidating for people who have never cooked it before, but I promise it’s very easy! The trick is that shrimp cooks very quickly and if you continue to cook it longer than necessary, the proteins will continue to contract leaving you with tough, rubbery shrimp. So watch your shrimp closely and remove them from the skillet just as soon as they turn pink and opaque. It only takes a few minutes (depending on the shrimp’s size and the heat level under the skillet)!

What Kind of Pesto to Use

Pesto is another ingredient that can be pricy if you don’t shop around. I used pesto from ALDI, which is very affordable, but if you don’t have an ALDI store near you check to see if your grocery store has their own store brand, or look for Classico or Barilla brand pesto, which usually tends to be a bit more affordable. I used basil pesto for this pasta, but I bet it would also be great with other flavors!

Overhead view of the skillet full of pesto shrimp pasta

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the center

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is a restaurant quality meal that you can make in under 30 minutes! The perfect quick weeknight meal.
Total Cost $8.07 recipe / $2.02 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446.23kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined $4.99
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.24
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.49
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $0.55
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.11

Instructions

  • If using frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cool water over top to thaw (this should only take a few minutes). Peel the shrimp and remove the tails. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about seven minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the prepared shrimp and sauté just until the shrimp turns pink and opaque (2-3 minutes). Remove the cooked shrimp to a clean bowl.
  • Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the grape tomatoes and minced garlic. Continue to sauté over medium until the tomatoes begin to burst and release their juices. If the garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes have burst, add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to slow the browning.
  • Once the tomatoes have broken down in the skillet, add the cooked and drained pasta, ¼ cup pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the pasta water if needed to loosen the pasta and spread the pesto over everything.
  • Finally, return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta. Top with grated Parmesan, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 446.23kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.3g | Protein: 26.4g | Fat: 15.58g | Sodium: 602.68mg | Fiber: 3.78g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Budget-Friendly Shrimp Recipes:

Front view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a fork twirling the pasta in the center

How to Make Pesto Shrimp Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Shrimp Package

This is the shrimp I used. 41-60 size (that means 41-60 shrimp per pound) and this is a 12oz. bag. To thaw the shrimp I placed them in a colander and ran cool water over them for a few minutes, or until they were thawed enough to peel and remove the tails. Once thawed, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove the excess water.

A measuring cup scooping out starchy pasta water from the pot

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add ½ lb. angel hair pasta to the pot and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander. You can begin cooking the shrimp while the pasta boils.

Cooked shrimp in a skillet

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the shrimp and sauté just until they are pink and opaque (2-3 minutes), then remove them from the skillet to a clean bowl. Make sure not to over cook them!

Grape tomatoes and garlic in the skillet

Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the pint of grape tomatoes and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the garlic and tomatoes over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to burst and break down.

Cooked grape tomatoes

If the tomatoes are not very ripe they may take a while to burst, so if your garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes start releasing their juices, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to prevent the garlic from browning. The juices from the tomatoes will create a sweet jam-like sauce on the bottom of the skillet.

Cooked pasta and pesto added to the skillet with tomatoes and garlic

Once the tomatoes are at least half way broken down, add the cooked and drained pasta, ¼ cup pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the starchy pasta water if needed to loosen things up and help the pesto spread.

Cooked shrimp added to the pasta

Finally, return the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta and pesto.

finished pesto shrimp pasta in the skillet

I like to add just a little (about 1 Tbsp) grated Parmesan on top, and you can add some chopped parsley for color if you’d like (it’s not necessary for the flavor).

Overhead view of a finished bowl of pesto shrimp pasta with a fork on the side

Enjoy! (A little extra freshly cracked pepper on top doesn’t hurt, and if you’re into spicy try adding a pinch of crushed red pepper!)

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Mediterranean White Bean Salad

You can never have enough easy side dish recipes, am I right?? I like to keep my side dishes simple so they don’t steal the show from my main dish, and they don’t add a lot of extra work to the overall preparation of the meal. Simple salads like this Mediterranean White Bean Salad only […]

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You can never have enough easy side dish recipes, am I right?? I like to keep my side dishes simple so they don’t steal the show from my main dish, and they don’t add a lot of extra work to the overall preparation of the meal. Simple salads like this Mediterranean White Bean Salad only take minutes to prepare, they bring flavor, color, and texture to your plate, and they hold up really well as leftovers (hello, tomorrow’s lunch). Bookmark this one, because I know you’ll use this recipe a lot!

Originally posted 2-19-2010, updated 8-22-2020.

A big bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with tomatoes and parsley on the side

This Mediterranean style bean salad was inspired by one of my all-time favorite salads, tabbouleh, but it uses white beans instead of bulgar. It has all that tangy lemon-garlic flavor that I love about tabbouleh, but without needing to spend time cooking and cooling bulgur.

What Kind of Beans Can I Use?

I used large butter beans for this recipe, but if you don’t have butter beans available try cannellini beans or chickpeas. I would avoid softer beans that tend to mash easily, like navy beans or great northern beans. Cannellini beans and chickpeas are large enough and firm enough to hold up to the stirring of this salad.

What to Serve with Mediterranean White Bean Salad

The flavors in this white bean salad (lemon and garlic) are so versatile that it makes a great side dish for a wide variety of mains. Try it with Garlic Butter Baked Cod, Baked Pizza Chicken, Greek Turkey Burgers, Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken, Oven Baked Fish with Tomatoes, or Chicken Piccata. Or, this could be one part of a vegetarian spread with some homemade hummus, pita, and falafel

How Long Does This Salad Stay Good?

This is another great example of a “refrigerator salad” or a salad that holds up really well in the refrigerator. This salad will stay enjoyable when stored in the refrigerator for a good four days or so. The flavors will blend and the beans will marinate in the dressing as it refrigerates, making it even better the next day! Make sure to give it a stir just before serving to redistribute the flavors.

Front view of a bow full of mediterranean white bean salad

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with parsley, tomatoes, and garlic on the side

Mediterranean White Bean Salad

This Mediterranean White Bean Salad is a fast, easy, and fresh side dish that pairs nicely with any grilled or roasted meat.
Total Cost $4.87 recipe / $1.22 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 843.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 15oz. cans butter beans* $1.38
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley $0.40
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.49
  • 2 oz. feta cheese $1.10

Instructions

  • Prepare the dressing first. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Rinse and drain the canned beans. Allow them to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Finely chop about 1 cup of fresh parsley (about ½ bunch). Cut the grape tomatoes in half.
  • Add the drained beans, chopped parsley, tomatoes, and 2 oz. feta cheese to a bowl. Pour the prepared dressing over top, then stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to four days.

Notes

*You can use cannellini beans or chickpeas in place of butter beans.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 843.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 90.3g | Protein: 33.9g | Fat: 36.3g | Sodium: 2209.6mg | Fiber: 29.1g

How to Make Mediterranean White Bean Salad – Step by Step Photos

lemon garlic dressing in a small bowl

Make the dressing first. Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl. Set the dressing aside.

Rinsed white beans in a colander

Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of butter beans (or cannellini or chickpeas). Let them drain well.

Chopped parsley on a cutting board

Finely chop about one cup of fresh parsley (about ½ bunch). Slice one pint grape tomatoes in half.

Combine salad ingredients in a bowl

Add the beans, tomatoes, chopped parsley, 2 oz. crumbled feta, and the prepared dressing in a bowl.

Stirred salad in a bowl with two forks

Toss the ingredients to combine and serve!

Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with parsley, tomatoes, and garlic on the side

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Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s so sweet and juicy when it’s fresh, and the smell of the husks as you peel them back from the cob brings back so many memories of summers past. So when I saw fresh sweet corn on sale at the grocery store this […]

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Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s so sweet and juicy when it’s fresh, and the smell of the husks as you peel them back from the cob brings back so many memories of summers past. So when I saw fresh sweet corn on sale at the grocery store this week I grabbed a couple and whipped up this super simple Summer Sweet Corn Salad. It has a medley of colorful vegetables, a little pasta to bulk it out, and a super fresh lemon vinaigrette keeps everything light and flavorful. This is a very flexible recipe and I’ve got a couple modification ideas for you below!

Overhead view of a serving bowl full of Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Make it Pasta-Free

I added pasta to my salad for bulk, but you can totally make this salad without pasta, too! Just double up your vegetables, drizzle that lemon vinaigrette over top, and you’re good to go! You can eat the vegetable salad as-is, or scoop it over a bed of greens.

Add a Protein and Make it a Meal

If you want to eat this salad as a main dish instead of serving it as a side, try adding some grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, boiled shrimp, or cooked salmon on top. It’s such a light and fresh dish that it pairs really well with “lighter” meat and seafood.

Can You Eat Raw Corn??

Yes, yes, and YES! Raw sweet corn is soooo sweet, crisp, and juicy. It’s an absolute delight! It adds nice little pops of sweetness throughout this salad that contrast so well with the creamy avocado and tangy vinaigrette. 

If you don’t have fresh corn for this salad, I would suggest frozen corn as the next best substitute, BUT just know that it’s 100x better with fresh sweet corn.

Doesn’t the Avocado Turn Black?

Nope! I kept this salad in my fridge for four days and it was still great. On day two there was no noticeable difference in the appearance of the avocado chunks. By day four, they were slightly grey on the edges, but overall still looked great. The lemon vinaigrette goes a long way toward preventing the oxidization that usually causes the color change. 

What to Serve with Sweet Corn Salad

This salad makes a great side dish to Quick BBQ Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, or Marinated Portobello Burgers.

Close up of a bowl of Summer Sweet Corn Salad with a wooden spoon in the middle

 
Close up of a bowl of Summer Sweet Corn Salad with a wooden spoon in the middle

Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Colorful summer vegetables, creamy avocado, pasta shells, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette make this light and fresh Summer Sweet Corn Salad.
Total Cost $7.67 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 255.84kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.89
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil $0.03
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.20

Salad*

  • 8 oz. pasta shells $0.63
  • 2 cobs sweet corn $0.80
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $2.50
  • 2/3 lb. zucchini $0.89
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.11
  • 1 avocado $0.89

Instructions

  • Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, basil, Dijon, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley in a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients in a bowl, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add a couple large pinches of salt to the pasta water, then add the pasta. Continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes), then drain in a colander. Rinse the pasta briefly with cool water, then allow it to drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs, slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the zucchini, finely dice the onion, and dice the avocado.
  • Once the pasta has drained well and cooled, add it to a large bowl with the prepared vegetables. Pour the dressing over top, then toss until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Season with a pinch of salt to taste, then serve.

Notes

*The vegetable amounts are very flexible. If you have a little more or a little less of each, it's okay.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 255.84kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.68g | Protein: 5.95g | Fat: 11.54g | Sodium: 68.91mg | Fiber: 4.28g

How to Make Summer Sweet Corn Salad – Step by Step Photos

A zested and juiced lemon on a cutting board

Zest and juice a lemon. You’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest.

Lemon Dressing in a jar

To make the lemon vinaigrette, combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp lemon zest, 1/4 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, and about ¼ cup chopped parsley. If you do this in a bowl you can whisk the ingredients together, or combine them in a jar and shake until they’re combined.

draining shell pasta in a metal colander

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add a couple pinches of salt and 8 oz. pasta shells. Continue to boil the pasta for about 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain the pasta in a colander, and give it a brief rinse with cool water. Let the pasta drain well.

Cutting corn off the cob

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Cut the kernels off two cobs of sweet corn. I like to do this with the end of the cob in a bowl so they kernels fall right off into the bowl instead of flying all over the kitchen. Haha!

Chopped vegetables on the cutting board

Also dice about ⅔ lb. zucchini, slice 1 pint grape tomatoes in half, finely dice about ¼ cup red onion, and dice one avocado.

Dressing being poured over the salad ingredients in the bowl

Add the drained and cooled pasta to a large bowl with the corn, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado. Pour the dressing over top, then toss until everything is combined and coated in dressing.

Seasoning the salad with a pinch of salt

Finally, add just a small pinch of salt on top, if desired. I like to have a little bit of crystalized salt on the surface of the pasta and vegetables for a little pop of flavor. 

Overhead view of a serving bowl of summer sweet corn salad with a wooden spoon on the side

The post Summer Sweet Corn Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked, while many of the shelf stable items were sold out. I presume that’s because people are afraid to buy perishables. So, […]

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We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked, while many of the shelf stable items were sold out. I presume that’s because people are afraid to buy perishables. So, that made me rethink my strategy. I’m going to focus on fresh ingredients for about a week after shopping, then transition into the more shelf stable recipes (like my 15 Pantry Staple Recipes) for the second week, or until my next grocery run. Besides, after eating so many pantry recipes over the past month, I’m craving fresh produce hard. So this week I grabbed some fresh parsley, cilantro, and a pint of tomatoes, and whipped up this SUPER easy Chimichurri Chickpea Salad.

…Because chimichurri is good on anything and everything. ;)

Chickpea Salad with Chimichurri and Feta

Overhead view of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with triangles of pita bread stuck in the side.

How to Serve Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

This salad is the perfect side dish as the weather starts to warm up. I think this would go great with just about any type of grilled meat, or if you’re cooking inside I can see this matching well with dishes like Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs, Herb Roasted Pork Loin, or Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

If you want to turn this into a vegetarian meal, consider chopping up some pita or a crusty bread and stirring it right into the salad to make it like a Panzanella, or adding a few greens and a chopped hard boiled egg.

How to Use Leftover Parsley and Cilantro

Don’t let the rest of the parsley and cilantro go to waste after you make this salad! Parsley and cilantro are great in and on so many other dishes. This chickpea salad recipe uses a half batch of my basic Chimichurri recipe, but you could always make the full size batch and use half on this salad, then use the other half for dipping some crusty bread. That will use up more of your parsley and cilantro.

Here are some other great recipes for using parsley and cilantro:

Make sure to scroll down to the step by step photos to see how I store my leftover feta so it doesn’t go to waste!

Close up side view of the bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita triangles in the side of the bowl

 
Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl
Print

Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

This super simple chickpea salad is bright and flavorful thanks to homemade chimichurri and feta. Goes great with all your summer grilling!
Total Cost $4.36 recipe / $0.73 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 328.57kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Chimichurri

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley $0.18
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro $0.10
  • ¼ cup olive oil $0.42
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Salad

  • 2 15oz. cans chickpeas $0.49
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.69
  • 2 oz. feta $1.09

Instructions

  • Make the chimichurri first. Rinse the fresh parsley and cilantro, then drain well. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, then add it to a bowl along with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, oregano, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt. Stir to combine, then set the dressing aside.
  • Rinse and drain both cans of chickpeas. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes to a large bowl. Crumble the feta, add it to the bowl, then drizzle the chimichurri over top. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (up to four days).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 328.57kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.67g | Protein: 13.58g | Fat: 15.98g | Sodium: 675.75mg | Fiber: 11.7g

How to Make Chimichurri Chickpea Salad – Step by Step Photos

Chimichurri ingredients in a bowl, not stirred

Make the chimichurri first. Rinse and drain the fresh parsley and cilantro. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, you’ll need ½ cup parsley (about ¼ bunch) and about ¼ cup cilantro (a big handful). Add them to the bowl along with 1 minced clove of garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper, and ¼ tsp salt.

Mixed chimichurri in a bowl with a spoon

Stir the ingredients together and now you have chimichurri! Set the chimichurri aside.

Chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta in a bowl, chimichurri being poured over top

Rinse and drain 2 15oz. cans of chickpeas. Slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half. Crumble 2oz. feta. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta to a bowl, then pour the chimichurri over top.

Finished chimichurri chickpea salad in a bowl with a spoon

Stir to combine and it’s ready to eat! Or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

block of feta in a freezer bag, inside a plastic container, ready to freeze.

I like to buy my feta in a block, as opposed to pre-crumbled, because it’s easier to save for later. I cut the block into quarters first (right through the plastic) because I usually use about 2oz. per recipe. I then place the rest of the block, still in the original plastic, inside a freezer bag, then inside a re-usable freezer container. I can take out one 2oz. block at a time to use whenever needed!

Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl

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Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a […]

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a super colorful, vibrant, flavorful dinner, but they also meal prep well, so consider making them for your weekday lunches!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl next to a lime and bowl of cilantro lime ranch

Are There Any Shortcuts I can Take?

This recipe does look like a lot of “parts” but I promise it really is easy to throw together. That being said, there are a couple of shortcuts you can take if you want to make it even easier. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, they sell a frozen corn that is already “fire roasted” and it’s SO good. You can use that in place of blistering the regular frozen corn in the skillet. You can definitely use a store-bought cilantro lime ranch instead of making your own, or any southwest-inspired ranch dressing you can find (chipotle, avocado, etc.). And lastly, if you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of taco seasoning in place of the taco spices listed below.

What Else Can I Put in My Taco Bowl?

One of the reasons I love bowl meals the most is that they are extremely flexible and they allow you to use leftover ingredients that are lingering in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. Here are some other things that you can throw into your taco bowl, if you have them:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey jack, even feta)
  • radishes (sliced thin)
  • fresh red onion
  • pickled red onion
  • bell peppers (diced, sliced, or roasted)
  • salsa
  • lettuce

How to Meal Prep Your Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

If you want to prepare this meal for grab and go lunches (meal prep), divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, and blistered corn between four containers as soon as they are done cooking. You can skip heating the black beans, because you’ll just be placing the containers straight into the refrigerator, to be reheated later. Pack the bowls with the remaining fresh ingredients (tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges), but leave the dressing separate. When you’re ready to eat your bowl, reheat the bowl in the microwave until hot, then top with the dressing and enjoy.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Frozen cauliflower roasts really well in the oven, but you may have a hard time getting the taco seasoning to stick to the frozen cauliflower. You would probably need to let it thaw completely before seasoning and roasting. The thawed frozen cauliflower will likely roast a bit faster than the fresh cauliflower. I would use about 1 pound frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Close up side view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch

 

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

These light and flavorful Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls have tons of color, flavor, and texture to keep you coming back for more! Great for meal prep!

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.11)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.11)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($0.89)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onion for garnish ($0.20)
  1. Prepare the cilantro lime ranch first, so the flavors have time to blend. Zest the lime, then squeeze the juice from half, and cut the other half into wedges for serving. You'll need about 1 Tbsp lime juice. Finely chop about 1 Tbsp cilantro and one green onion.

  2. Combine the ingredients for the cilantro lime ranch in a bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, salt). Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until you're ready to eat.

  3. Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

  4. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it's brown and crispy on the edges.

  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

  6. Add the undrained can of black beans to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through (if making the bowls for meal prep, skip heating the beans).

  7. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is browned and blistered (about 7-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  8. Slice the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the cilantro, and slice a green onions for garnish.

  9. To build the bowls, divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a pinch of cilantro, sliced green onion, and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro lime ranch over top just before eating.

*The chili powder listed is a blend of spices, usually fairly mild, that is generally used to season a pot of chili. It is not straight ground red chiles. 

Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cilantro lime ranch in a bowl

Make the cilantro lime ranch first. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice from half of it (you’ll need 1 Tbsp juice). Slice the other half into wedges for serving. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 chopped green onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until ready to eat.

Season cauliflower florets with taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning: 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the baking sheet. 

Roasted cauliflower on the baking sheet

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a small sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 more minutes with the lid in place. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

Warmed black beans in a sauce pot, a spoon lifting some toward the camera

Add one 15oz. can of black beans (undrained) to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If making your cauliflower bowls for meal prep, you can skip heating the beans, since the bowls will be going straight into the refrigerator.

Blistered corn in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 cup frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is a little browned and blistered (7-8 minutes).

Chopped fresh toppings for cauliflower bowls

Finally, prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, cut the remaining half lime into wedges (if you haven’t already), slice a green onion or two, and chop a little cilantro.

Build the cauliflower taco bowls

Once all the components are prepared, it’s time to build the bowls! Divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a little cilantro and sliced green onion.

Cilantro lime ranch being drizzled over a cauliflower bowl

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl if it is refrigerated, then top with a drizzle of cilantro lime ranch and enjoy!

A finished roasted cauliflower taco bowl with cilantro lime ranch, with a black fork on the side.

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls 6 Ways

Food trends are one factor that can have a big impact on ingredient costs. It’s all about the laws of supply and demand. If the demand is low but supply is relatively stable, the cost will come down. And do you know what food isn’t exactly trendy right now? Cottage cheese. It may not be […]

The post Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls 6 Ways appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Food trends are one factor that can have a big impact on ingredient costs. It’s all about the laws of supply and demand. If the demand is low but supply is relatively stable, the cost will come down. And do you know what food isn’t exactly trendy right now? Cottage cheese. It may not be a popular food, but it is extremely versatile and an excellent source of inexpensive protein. So I’m going to try to make it popular again. 😂 Starting with these meal prep friendly Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls.

Six Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese for Breakfast

Six flavors of Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls in glass meal prep containers

How to Meal Prep Your Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

I made one each of the six different flavors for the photos in this post, but you’ll probably get the most out of your time and money if you prepare four of one flavor at a time. That way you don’t have to buy several different ingredients for each one, or have partial leftover ingredients like a ½ banana, cucumber, or apple. Use the whole piece of fruit and make more than one bowl at a time.

If you’re concerned about the apple and banana getting brown, you can opt to chop those fresh daily. Personally, I’d rather do it all at once and just not worry about the appearance later. Brown does not mean it’s spoiled, only that it has been exposed to oxygen.

Prepared cottage cheese breakfast bowls will be good in the refrigerator for about four days.

What Meal Prep Containers Do You Use?

I’m slowly transitioning from plastic Ziploc containers to glass. The Ziploc containers are inexpensive, convenient (lightweight), dishwasher and freezer safe, and a great option if you’re on a budget. Glass containers are great because they are extremely durable, are also dishwasher and freezer safe (oven safe, too!), they last a lifetime, and therefore reduce waste. The glass containers in the photos are part of a 26 piece set made by Anchor Hocking, and can be found in my Amazon Shop. I also love Pyrex glass meal prep containers.

Customize the Cost and Nutritional Content of Your Breakfast Bowls

I wanted to show you a variety of ways to use cottage cheese in a breakfast bowl so you could see that not only does it pair with many different flavors, but you can also make the bowls to match your price point and nutritional needs. This happens to be the first post on Budget Bytes to include nutritional content (we’ll be adding to the rest of the site starting this week!), so you can see how the different bowls compare. All of the stats below were calculated using 2% fat cottage cheese.

Are you ready to see all these awesome flavors? Yes, I’m calling cottage cheese awesome.

How to Make Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

Apple Cinnamon:

Close up overhead view of an Apple Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl in a glass meal prep container

This Apple Cinnamon flavored Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl is probably the best flavor for cottage cheese newbies to try. It’s not scary at all. It’s a lot like a yogurt parfait, but with a slightly different texture! And honestly, with all the texture from the apples and walnuts, you’re not going to notice the texture of the cottage cheese at all.

If you’re concerned about your apples browning, either chop them fresh each day, or sprinkle a little lemon juice on them just after chopping.

 

Apple Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Protein packed creamy cottage cheese, sweet and juicy apples, warm cinnamon, and crunchy walnuts make a delightful and healthy no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/2 apple, chopped ($0.25)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup ($0.30)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon ($0.02)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or container. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


Peanut Butter and Jelly:

A spoon digging into a glass container full of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

This flavor may be a little more experimental for some. If you think of cottage cheese as being a lot like yogurt, that might help you imagine how this combo tastes. Cottage cheese is like yogurt, minus the acidity, so it actually tastes creamier. It goes great with both sweet (jam) and savory (PB) flavors. The oats in this bowl will soak up the moisture as it’s stored, just like overnight oats, but you can also eat it immediately with the oats still dry. Banana would also be a great addition to this bowl!

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Hearty oats, creamy cottage cheese, sweet jam, and rich peanut butter make a filling and delicious no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats ($0.04)
  • 1 Tbsp jam (any flavor) ($0.05)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.08)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or container. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


The Savory Bowl:

A glass bowl with cottage cheese, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper.

If you’re a savory breakfast lover, like me, you’ll LOVE this one. Tons of fresh crunchy vegetables, an extra dose of protein with the hard boiled egg, and a little cracked black pepper for good measure. It’s simple, delicious, and honestly, good any time of the day!

 

Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, fresh crunchy vegetables, an extra shot of protein from a hard boiled egg, and a little black pepper to kick things up make this easy, protein-filled breakfast!

  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 6 grape tomatoes ($0.47)
  • 6 slices cucumber ($0.22)
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  1. Add one inch of water in a small sauce pot, place a lid on top, and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, carefully add the egg using either tongs or a slotted spoon. Replace the lid and let the egg steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and use the tongs or slotted spoon to transfer the egg to a bowl of ice water. Peal the egg once it is cool enough to handle. (If meal prepping these bowls, peel the eggs daily.)

  2. Add the cottage cheese, tomatoes (sliced or whole), sliced cucumber, peeled egg, and some black pepper to a bowl. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


Blueberry Almond:

Cottage cheese, blueberries, sliced almonds, and honey in a glass meal prep container

This simple bowl is sure to be a hit with its familiar breakfast flavors. Again, this cottage cheese breakfast bowl is a lot like a yogurt parfait, but with cottage cheese swapped out for the yogurt. The little bit of honey drizzled on top makes the bowl so 👌👌👌. It almost tastes a little like blueberry cheesecake!

 

Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, juicy blueberries, crunchy almonds, and a little drizzle of honey make a breakfast bowl that tastes surprisingly like blueberry cheesecake!

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (optional) ($0.03)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries ($0.37)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds ($0.25)
  • 1 tsp honey ($0.04)
  1. Add the vanilla extract to the cottage cheese and stir to combine. Top the cottage cheese with the blueberries, almonds, and honey. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container up to four days.


The Tropical Bowl:

Cottage cheese, pineapple, banana, and coconut in a glass meal prep container

This one is a little like ambrosia salad, minus the icky stuff like marshmallows and maraschino cherries. Haha! The creamy cottage cheese pairs so nicely with the sweet tropical fruit, it’s like they were made for each other! I suggest using frozen pineapple tidbits for this bowl, since you can save the leftovers without them going bad, and they tend to have a better texture than canned. Canned pineapple can be used, if needed. Just make sure to get pineapple canned in juice, not syrup.

 

Tropical Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, sweet banana and coconut, plus tangy pineapple make a delicious and easy no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp shredded coconut ($0.02)
  • 1/4 banana, sliced ($0.05)
  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl. If you plan to enjoy immediately, allow the pineapple to thaw before adding to the bowl. If you plan to store the breakfast bowl for later, the pineapple can be added frozen. Refrigerate the bowl in an air-tight container for up to four days.


Chocolate Peanut Butter

Chocolate flavored cottage cheese with peanut butter and granola in a glass bowl

Yes, you can make chocolate flavored cottage cheese! And I promise, it’s delish!! I added cinnamon granola to my chocolate peanut butter cottage cheese bowl, but you could do any flavor granola, or even plain rolled oats. Sliced banana would also go awesome with this one!

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

A slightly sweetened chocolate flavored cottage cheese makes the base for this decadent high protein no-cook breakfast.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ($0.27)
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract ($0.03)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.08)
  • 1/4 cup granola ($0.18)
  1. Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, and vanilla to the cottage cheese and stir to combine. The cocoa may not blend in completely immediately, but it will after it sits a few moments and the powder hydrates.

  2. Add the flavored cottage cheese to a bowl and top with granola and a drizzle of peanut butter. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to four days.


So how about you? Do you like this slightly unpopular ingredient? If so, share your favorite way to eat cottage cheese in the comments below!

Six glass bowls with different flavors of cottage cheese breakfast bowls inside.

Want more breakfast meal prep? Check out our Breakfast Meal Prep Category!

The post Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls 6 Ways appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “what should I serve on the side?” To be honest, I don’t give a lot of thought to my side dishes. I keep them as simple as possible to let the main dish shine and to just keep life simple. So I wanted to post some […]

The post Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “what should I serve on the side?” To be honest, I don’t give a lot of thought to my side dishes. I keep them as simple as possible to let the main dish shine and to just keep life simple. So I wanted to post some of my go-to no-brainer side dishes that go with just about anything, like this Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, so you can have a bank of simple, versatile options to choose from!

Close up of Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes on a dinner plate.

Pictured with Garlic Butter Baked Cod.

Tips for Roasting Anything

Roasting Time Will Vary. Roasting time varies with the size and shape of your vegetables, your oven settings (they’re all a little different), and your cookware. When roasting anything make sure to keep an eye on it. I usually let it do its thing for the first 20 minutes, then check every 5-10 minutes after that until it reaches the level of doneness I like.

Don’t Skimp on Oil. The oil helps the vegetables caramelize without drying out. Too little oil and your vegetables will turn out more like dehydrated vegetables than roasted vegetables (leathery and not very browned). 

Don’t Overcrowd The Pan. If you’re trying to roast a LOT of vegetables, go ahead and split it up between two pans. Too many vegetables in one place will trap the steam and cause your vegetables to stew in their own juices instead of caramelize.

How To Season Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

I like to keep the seasoning on my roasted vegetable side dishes as simple as possible. Like salt and pepper simple. This allows me to taste the nuances of the vegetables themselves, and keeps them from competing with the main dish. Occasionally I’ll add some garlic, like I did for the tomatoes here, or if I’m doing something more simple for the main, I might add my favorite spice blend to the vegetables. Just don’t overthink it! Keep it simple.

 

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes is an easy, all-purpose side dish that pairs great with many main dishes, like meat, fish, pasta, and more.

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • 1 lb. asparagus ($2.99)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • salt and pepper to taste ($0.05)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice off any dry or woody ends from the asparagus spears (usually about the bottom inch or so).

  2. Spread the asparagus spears out over half of a large baking sheet. Add the grape tomatoes to the other half. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over each side. Toss the vegetables to coat in the oil.

  3. Add the minced garlic to the tomatoes and toss to combine. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to each of the vegetables.

  4. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, then give them a stir. Return the vegetables to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Stir again, then continue to roast, checking every five minutes, until the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness (35 minutes total roasting time for me). If one vegetable finishes before the other, simply remove it from the baking sheet and finish roasting the other.

  5. After roasting, taste the vegetables and season one last time with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Overhead view of the plate full of tomatoes, asparagus, and Garlic Butter Baked Cod.

Step by Step Photos

Asparagus and Tomatoes on the baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice off any dry or woody ends from the asparagus. Spread the asparagus out on one side of the baking sheet and the tomatoes on the other. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over each side and toss to coat in the oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the tomatoes, and toss to combine.

Asparagus and tomatoes seasoned and ready to roast

Season the asparagus and tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. 

Asparagus and tomatoes after roasting for 20 minutes.

Roast the asparagus and tomatoes in the preheated 400ºF oven for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir (pictured: after 20 minutes of roasting).

Asparagus and tomatoes after 35 minutes of roasting

Return the asparagus and tomatoes to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Stir again, then continue to roast, checking on the vegetables every 5 minutes, until they reach your desired level of doneness. I roasted mine for 35 minutes total, but the time will vary depending on the size and shape of your vegetables. Taste the roasted asparagus and tomatoes and season one last time with salt and pepper! Serve with your favorite main dish!

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