Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.

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I’ve been totally obsessed with the salty-sweet-spicy flavor combo lately. Ever since I fell victim to a Facebook ad selling some chili-coated sour patch kids (yes, they were awesome). So I was totally delighted when I decided to throw together the gochujang in the back of my fridge with some pineapple from my freezer, and a fresh cucumber, and it tasted exactly like the chili gummies! But like, with actual fruit and vegetables instead of candy. Haha! Needless to say, this Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is a HIT.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a centuries-old Korean chili paste made with chili peppers, rice, soybeans, and salt (check this article for a really extensive history and detail of this awesome sauce). It has a salty-spicy-umami flavor that kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. The flavor profile is so unique and so delicious, and I couldn’t be happier about the fact that it’s really trending in the U.S. right now because that means it’s fairly easy to find in major grocery stores. My local Kroger store has about five or six different brands on the shelf!

P.S. Gochujang stays good in the fridge for a really long time, so don’t worry about needing to use up the whole container right away. Here are some other recipes I’ve made using gochujang, if you need some inspiration.

Fresh or Frozen Pineapple?

I used frozen pineapple this time around because I had it on hand, but fresh would work just as well. Canned pineapple (in juice, NOT syrup) might work in a pinch, but it tends to be a lot sweeter and not quite as bright in flavor as fresh or frozen, so it’s definitely not my first choice for this recipe.

Substitutions

This particular flavor combination has a lot of flexibility, so I think there is a lot of room for substitution. Here are some ideas:

  • Pineapple: You can use mango, cantaloupe, or even watermelon in place of the pineapple.
  • Cilantro: If you can’t do cilantro, you can either leave it out or try adding some green onion for a little fresh kick.
  • Gochujang: If you can’t find gochujang, Tajín seasoning actually makes a really good substitute. It has a really similar salty-spicy flavor profile. It is a powder instead of a paste, but will mix into the dressing all the same. Use about 1 tsp Tajín and add more to your liking.

What to Serve with Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This tasty salad would make a great side dish to something like Coconut Chicken Strips, Baked Ginger Salmon, Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls, or Easy Orange Chicken.

Side view of spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl
Overhead view of Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad in a bowl

Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.
Total Cost $4.41 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Calories 75kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber (3 cups chopped) $1.25
  • 1/2 lb. frozen pineapple chunks (2 cups) $2.46
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 1.5 tsp gochujang $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.37
  • 1 Tbsp sugar $0.01

Instructions

  • Thaw the pineapple chunks and chop the cucumber into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple chunks. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking together the gochujang, rice vinegar, and sugar until dissolved.
  • Combine the cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and dressing in a bowl. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Stir the salad just before eating to redistribute the dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cucumber, pineapple and cilantro in a bowl

Thaw ½ lb. (about 2 cups) pineapple chunks. Chop one cucumber (about 3 cups) into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple. Roughly chop about ½ cup cilantro. Place the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in a bowl.

Gochujang dressing in a bowl

In a bowl, stir together 1.5 tsp gochujang, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 Tbsp sugar until everything is dissolved.

Dressing being poured over cucumbers and pineapple

Pour that “awesome sauce” over the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in the bowl, then give it a good stir.

Finished spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl

You can either eat your salad immediately or let it marinate for a while. The salad will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days, but the fruit and vegetables will get softer the longer they marinate. Make sure to give it a good stir each time just before serving to redistribute the dressing!

front view of a bowl full of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

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Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.

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As soon as the warm weather of summer rolls around all I want to eat are crunchy vegetables and cold pasta salad. This Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is my go-to with a medley of colorful vegetables, a tangy homemade vinaigrette, and plenty of ways to customize it based on what I have on hand, or what I’m craving that day. Plus it holds up great in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep!

Originally posted 6-14-2011, updated 5-22-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Perfect for Potlucks

This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge batch and it goes with everything. Not to mention it holds up well to travel and is still super delicious after it’s been sitting on that picnic table for a bit. ;)

Vegetable Options

I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and parsley, plus threw in some roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add so many different vegetables to this mix. Here are a few more options:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh bell pepper
  • Black olives
  • Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Artichokes

Other Add-ins

In addition to swapping out some of the vegetables, you can experiment with adding other ingredients to this salad to either add more flavor or make it into a full meal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Toasted pita bread
  • Feta cheese
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella cubes or pearls

Dressing Options

The recipe below includes a really basic tangy vinaigrette, but if you don’t have a well stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any basic Italian dressing will do well. You could also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy-style) or a Greek vinaigrette.

Close up view of summer vegetable pasta salad
Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.
Total Cost $8.76 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Calories 330kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil $1.28
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta $0.79
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.63
  • 1 yellow squash $0.75
  • 1 zucchini $0.85
  • 1 broccoli crown $1.07
  • 1/2 red onion $0.19
  • 1 12oz. jar roasted red peppers $1.99
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley $0.35

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes or until tender), then drain in a colander. Rinse briefly to cool the pasta, then let it drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and parsley. Slice the roasted red peppers (drained) and the red onion.
  • Place the pasta and chopped vegetables in the largest bowl you have. Give the vinaigrette a brief whisk, then pour it over the salad. Stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 856mg | Fiber: 5g | Iron: 2mg
close up side view of a bowl of summer vegetable pasta salad

How to Make Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos

homemade vinaigrette in a glass measuring cup

Make the dressing first. Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked bowtie pasta in a metal colander

Cook 12oz. bowtie pasta (or other short shaped pasta) according to the package directions (boil until tender, drain in a colander). Give the pasta a quick rise to cool it off, then let it drain well.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and drain and slice one jar of roasted red peppers.

Chopped broccoli and red onion on a cutting board

Chop one crown of broccoli into small bite-sized florets and slice ½ of a red onion. Roughly chop ½ cup parsley (not pictured).

pasta and vegetables in a large dish, vinaigrette being poured over top

When the pasta is cool and drained and all the vegetables chopped, it’s time to assemble the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, give the vinaigrette a quick whisk, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.

Finished summer vegetable pasta salad in a large casserole dish

Stir until everything is really well coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to give it a stir after refrigerating and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Overhead view of summer vegetable pasta salad in a rectangular casserole dish

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Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

Talk about addictive! Once you try one of these crispy Coconut Chicken strips dipped in tangy sweet chili sauce you’re going to want to make them on a weekly basis. Because the chicken is sliced nice and thin and then cooked quickly in hot oil, the chicken stays juicy and tender on the inside, while developing […]

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Talk about addictive! Once you try one of these crispy Coconut Chicken strips dipped in tangy sweet chili sauce you’re going to want to make them on a weekly basis. Because the chicken is sliced nice and thin and then cooked quickly in hot oil, the chicken stays juicy and tender on the inside, while developing a perfectly golden brown and crispy exterior. Pair that with a bowl of cool, sweet, and tangy Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping and I’m in absolute heaven. So if you love chicken tenders, chicken strips, boneless wings, or anything along those lines, I think you’re going to love these Coconut Chicken Strips.

Originally posted 1-18-2010, updated 5-10-2021.

Overhead view of a plate full of coconut chicken strips with one being dipped into a bowl of sweet chili sauce

What Kind of Chicken to Use

I’ve tried this recipe with both chicken breast (boneless, skinless) and chicken tenders. Chicken tenders ended up being too large when used whole, so while they are an option you’ll probably still want to slice them into thinner pieces before breading and cooking. 

Another option would be to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks, so you’ll have something more along the lines of coconut chicken “bites” than strips. I think that would be awesome! The dark meat of chicken thighs will be extra tender and juicy.

Cooking Options

Frying – I chose to shallow fry my coconut chicken strips in a skillet because I don’t have a deep fryer and I don’t deep fry often enough to warrant using as much oil as deep-frying requires. Shallow frying will still get you that great super crispy exterior without allowing the inside to dry out.

Baking – While you can bake these, the results won’t be as awesome as frying. Baking takes longer and the hot air causes more evaporation, which results in drier chicken. You also won’t get as much browning as you will with frying. To help the browning issue, you can try adding a tablespoon or two of oil into the panko and coconut breading mixture, similar to the technique used in my Homemade Chicken Nuggets. I suggest using the baking temperature and technique used for the chicken nuggets as well, but increasing the bake time by a few minutes.

Air Frying – I do not own an air fryer, so unfortunately I can’t offer suggestions for cooking times and temperature, but I suspect these chicken strips would be a good candidate for air frying. Because this appliance uses hot air, similar to an oven, I would suggest either spritzing the strips with a little spray oil or mixing a tablespoon or two of oil into the panko and coconut mixture to help with browning.

What to Serve with Coconut Chicken Strips

Don’t skip that sweet chili sauce! You can find sweet chili sauce in the international aisle of most major grocery stores, or you can try making your own with my Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce recipe. For side dishes, you can pair this with something like Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing, Cucumber Mango Salad, or Savory Coconut Rice

What Oil is Good For Frying?

It’s really important to use the right kind of cooking oil for frying. Every type of cooking oil has a different “smoke point,” which is the temperature that the oil begins to smoke and burn. And obviously, we want to avoid that because burned oil does not taste good (and it’s a fire hazard!). So, you’ll want to choose an oil that can withstand the high temperature of frying and an oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own. Some good oils to choose from are canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, refined olive oil, or refined avocado oil.

Close up of a coconut chicken strip being dipped into sweet chili sauce

A plate of coconut chicken strips with a bowl of sweet chili sauce in the center, a hand dipping one chicken strip into the sauce

Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

These tender and crispy homemade Coconut Chicken Strips are perfect for dipping in a tangy and sweet chili sauce.
Total Cost $10.95 recipe / $2.73 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 4 strips each
Calories 873.13kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $7.70
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk $0.25
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs $0.22
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut $0.56
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil, divided* $0.32
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce $1.43

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken breasts into ½-inch wide strips, slicing diagonally to maintain a more even length among the strips.
  • Sprinkle the salt and flour over top of the sliced chicken. Toss the chicken until they're evenly coated.
  • Whisk together the eggs and coconut milk in a bowl. In a separate wide shallow bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and flaked coconut.
  • To bread the chicken, dip each chicken strip into the egg wash, allow the excess to drip off, then dip it into the breadcrumb mixture until it's fully coated. Place the breaded chicken strips on a clean plate or tray until they're all breaded.
  • Once they're all breaded, it's time to fry. Heat ¼ cup cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. To test the heat of the oil, drop a breadcrumb into the oil. It should begin to sizzle immediately. If the oil begins to smoke at anytime, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken strips, several at a time, leaving a little space between each one. Cook the chicken strips for about three minutes on on each side, or until they're deeply golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain, then repeat with another batch of chicken. Remove any burned pieces of coconut before beginning the next batch, and add more oil as needed, making sure to wait until it is hot before adding more chicken.
  • After frying all of the chicken, it's time to serve! Serve hot with a bowl of sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Notes

*Use a high heat cooking oil. Good options include: canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, refined olive oil, or refined avocado oil. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 873.13kcal | Carbohydrates: 82.7g | Protein: 39.45g | Fat: 42.1g | Sodium: 1313.3mg | Fiber: 3.15g

Close up of coconut chicken strips on a plate with a bowl of thai sweet chili sauce

How to Make Coconut Chicken Strips – Step by Step Photos

Sliced chicken breasts

Start with about 1.3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cut them into ½-inch wide strips. I like to do this sort of on a diagonal to keep them more even in length. If your chicken breasts are very large, you might want to cut the length of the strip in half as well. Cutting the chicken strips thin enough is important because this allows it to cook through quickly. 

Chicken strips coated in flour and salt

Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp flour over the chicken strips, then toss until they’re evenly coated.

Egg and coconut milk mixed in a bowl

Whisk together two large eggs and ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk in a bowl. Make sure to use the type of coconut milk that is in a can, not the type in a carton that is meant to be a dairy milk substitute.

Coconut and panko breadcrumbs mixed together in a bowl

Combine 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs in a wide, shallow bowl.

Breading station with chicken, egg wash, coconut and breadcrumbs

Set up your breading station with the bowl of coconut egg wash, the bowl with coconut and breadcrumbs, and a plate or tray for the breaded chicken. I’m using a parchment lined baking sheet to hold the breaded chicken just for easy cleanup. Dip each chicken strip first into the eggwash (let excess drip off), then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the breadcrumbs and coconut fully coat all sides, then place the chicken strip on your holding tray.

Breaded chicken strips on a baking tray

Once all of the chicken strips are breaded, it’s time to start cooking. Add ¼ cup cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Wait until the oil is very hot, but not smoking. If you drop one of the panko breadcrumbs into the hot oil, it should immediately begin sizzling. If it doesn’t sizzle right away, the oil is not hot enough. If at any point during the cooking process the oil begins to smoke, remove it from the heat immediately and wait for it to cool down. 

Browned chicken strips in the skillet

Once the oil is good and hot, add several of the chicken strips, leaving a little space between each. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are deeply golden brown on each side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Scoop out any loose pieces of coconut, add a little more oil if needed, wait for it to get hot again, and then cook a second batch of chicken strips. You should be able to cook them all in 2-3 batches. 

Finished Coconut Chicken Strips on a paper towel lined plate

Once they’re all cooked, it’s time to serve! 

Overhead view of a plate full of coconut chicken strips with a bowl of sweet chili sauce in the center

Pour about one cup of sweet chili sauce into a bowl and place that in the center of the coconut chicken strips. I sprinkled the chicken strips with a little cilantro for color, but that’s not needed for flavor. Sliced green onions are another optional garnish idea. Enjoy!

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Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

These curry roasted vegetable bowls are colorful, full of vibrant flavors, and the leftovers pack up well for your weekly meal prep!

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My absolute favorite meal “formula” is roasted vegetables (with or without meat) over a bowl of grains, with a delicious drizzle of sauce. I come back to this type of meal over and over again because the formula is easy to prepare, meal preps well, and there are endless flavor possibilities. This week’s version was Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls with a Lemon Tahini Dressing drizzle. It’s simple, colorful, flavorful, filling, and will leave you looking forward to the leftovers. :)

Overhead view of curry roasted vegetable bowls with a dish of dressing on the side

What is Curry Powder?

Since curry powder is responsible for all of the seasoning in the bowls, let’s take a minute to chat about it. If you’ve never had curry powder, it’s a warm blend of spices that are pre-ground and blended to mimic the fresh spices used in Indian cuisine. This blend usually includes cumin, turmeric, coriander, and other spices. Every curry powder blend is unique, so you may need to experiment with different brands or recipes to find one that suits your palate. If you’d like to try making your own curry powder, try this recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Upp.

Add More to Your Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

I kept my curry roasted vegetable bowls simple because I like simplicity, but you can add more to make them a little more fancy, if you’d like. I think a light sprinkle of raisins would add an incredible pop of sweetness to contrast the savory curry powder and tahini dressing.

Slivered almonds would offer an amazing crunch to these bowls without competing with the already strong flavors.

If you want to add some meat, rotisserie chicken would be great, as would some Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

Swap Out the Vegetables or Grains

This recipe is super flexible. You can swap out the vegetables for anything you like. Try broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, sweet bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, or whatever vegetable you like.

The same goes for the “bed” for these bowls. If you don’t like brown rice you can swap it out with white rice, couscous, quinoa, your favorite grain, or even salad greens.

How Long Do The Leftovers Last?

Simple bowl meals like this hold up in the refrigerator for about four days, with the dressing kept on the side. Your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the conditions within your fridge. I’ll link my favorite meal prep containers for meals like this in the recipe below.

Side view of a fork lifting a bite out of the curry roasted vegetable bowls
Overview of curry roasted vegetable bowls with lemon tahini dressing on the side

Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

These curry roasted vegetable bowls are colorful, full of vibrant flavors, and the leftovers pack up well for your weekly meal prep!
Total Cost $6.10 recipe / $1.53 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 480.38kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked) $0.40
  • 1 head cauliflower $2.29
  • 3 carrots $0.24
  • 1 red onion $0.37
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini $1.13
  • 1/3 cup water $0.00
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Begin the rice first because it takes the longest to cook. Combine the uncooked rice in a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat onto high, and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for an additional five minutes.
  • Once the rice is started, move on to the curry roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice the carrots. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch wide slices.
  • Place the cauliflower, carrots, and red onion on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the curry powder and salt. Toss the vegetables until everything is evenly coated in oil and spices. Spread the vegetables out over the baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Transfer the seasoned vegetables to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes give them a good stir, then roast for another 15 minutes. Next, add the frozen peas and toss together with the roasted vegetables, then return the baking sheet to the oven for the an additional 5 minutes. Taste the vegetables and add additional salt, if needed.
  • While the rice is simmering and the vegetables are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Place the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a blender then blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork. Place about ¾ cup rice into each bowl or meal prep container. Top with ¼ of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 480.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.68g | Protein: 14.18g | Fat: 20.38g | Sodium: 579.93mg | Fiber: 12.85g

How to Make Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cooked rice being fluffed with a fork in a saucepot

Start the brown rice first, since it takes the longest to cook. Add 1 cup brown rice to a sauce pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and turn the heat onto high. Bring the water up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest with the lid on for five more minutes.

Chopped vegetables on a baking sheet

While the rice is cooking, start on the roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop one head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice three carrots. Slice one red onion into ¼-inch wide slices. Place all of the vegetables onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Olive oil and curry powder added to the chopped vegetables

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp curry powder, and ½ tsp salt to the prepared vegetables. Toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned unroasted vegetables

Transfer the prepared vegetables to the preheated 400ºF oven. Roast for 20 minutes then give them a good stir. Return the stirred vegetables to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Frozen peas added to the roasted vegetables

After roasting for 35 minutes total, add 1 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw). Toss them together with the roasted vegetables and return them to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

lemon juice being poured into a blender containing the rest of the dressing ingredients

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the lemon tahini dressing. Combine ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp salt in a blender.

Blended lemon tahini dressing in the blender

Blend the ingredients until smooth, then set the dressing aside.

Finished roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Give the final roasted vegetables a taste and adjust the salt, if needed.

Overview of curry roasted vegetable bowls with lemon tahini dressing on the side

To build your curry roasted vegetable bowls, add about ¾ cup brown rice to each bowl or container then top with ¼ of the roasted vegetable mix. Drizzle with the lemon tahini dressing just before serving!

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Lemon Tahini Dressing

This super fast and easy dressing has bold flavors of garlic, lemon, and nutty tahini. Drizzle over salads, roasted vegetables, and more!

The post Lemon Tahini Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s about time this delicious, magical elixir got its own blog post. I first used this dressing on a cauliflower salad years ago, and have been adding it to salads, side dishes, meal preps, and more ever since. So here is the famous Lemon Tahini Dressing recipe on its own, so you can bookmark it and easily refer back or share it whenever you want. And if you haven’t tried this lemon tahini dressing yet, get on it! You’re missing out!

Lemon tahini dressing in a wooden bowl dripping over the side, a cut lemon in the back

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a paste made out of ground sesame seeds. Think peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. It has a very distinct flavor that is slightly nutty and mildly bitter. You can find tahini in the grocery store either near the peanut butter or near middle eastern ingredients.

Tahini stays good in the refrigerator for months, just like peanut butter, so don’t worry about not being able to use the leftovers. Not only will you want to make this dressing over and over, but it’s the key ingredient for making really good homemade hummus. You can check out the rest of our recipes that use tahini in our tahini archives.

Can I Substitute the Tahini?

I don’t suggest substituting the tahini in this recipe because the tahini is what makes this dressing what it is. Not only is the nutty-bitter flavor perfect for balancing the lemon and garlic, but the thick texture emulsifies with the lemon juice and water to create a thick and creamy dressing (without using dairy).

How Long Does This Dressing Last?

For any homemade dressing, I suggest refrigerating it for a maximum of about five days. Fresh ingredients, like garlic, and even dry spices can contain yeast and mold that can eventually begin to ferment the dressing.

How to Use Lemon Tahini Dressing

The original recipe where I used this incredible dressing is my Roasted Cauliflower Salad, but I’ve also used it on other salads, like this Mediterranean Farro Salad. This dressing is also great drizzled over roasted vegetables or used as a dressing for wrap sandwiches.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?

Nope! While I do have some pretty fresh lemons in the photos, I most often make this recipe with bottled lemon juice for convenience (and price). If you do have fresh lemons that will definitely make the dressing even more flavorful, but I wouldn’t consider it a deal breaker, by any means.

A spoon stirring the thick lemon tahini dressing in a wooden bowl, ingredients on the sides
Side view of a wooden bowl with lemon tahini dressing, some dripping down the side

Lemon Tahini Dressing

This super fast and easy dressing has bold flavors of garlic, lemon, and nutty tahini. Drizzle over salads, roasted vegetables, and more!
Total Cost $1.56 recipe / $0.39 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 2 Tbsp each
Calories 62.31kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini $1.13
  • 1/3 cup water $0.00
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, thick, and creamy. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 62.31kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.95g | Protein: 1.79g | Fat: 5.39g | Sodium: 74.73mg | Fiber: 0.99g

How to Make Lemon Tahini Dressing – Step by Step Photos

lemon juice being poured into a blender containing the rest of the dressing ingredients

Add ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp salt to a blender.

Blended lemon tahini dressing in the blender

Blend the ingredients until the dressing is thick, smooth, and creamy.

Lemon tahini dressing dripping off a spoon into a wooden bowl. Lemons in the background

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later!

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Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

This tangy and slightly sweet tomato basil vinaigrette only requires a few simple ingredients and tastes great over salad and pasta alike.

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If you know me, then you know I always have some tomato paste stashed in my freezer. Haha. So today I have another great way you can use the odds and ends of one of those little cans of tomato paste. This tangy Tomato Basil Vinaigrette is super simple, has incredible flavor, and is great poured over salad and pasta alike.

Overhead view of a bowl full of tomato basil vinaigrette with tomatoes, dry pasta, and spinach on the side

Adjust the Oil to Your Liking

The cool thing about making your own salad dressing is that you can adjust the flavor to your particular taste buds. And since for this dressing you are going to add the oil a little at a time, you can stop before you get to the full six tablespoons if you prefer. You can also add a little more red wine vinegar if you want your vinaigrette even more tangy.

Can I Use Fresh Basil?

Yes, absolutely! Dried basil is obviously the more budget-friendly option, but if you have access to fresh basil I would absolutely use that in this salad dressing. Just finely chop your basil and stir it on it. I’d probably use about a tablespoon chopped fresh basil.

How Long Does it Last?

Make sure to store your tomato basil vinaigrette in the refrigerator. I generally don’t suggest keeping homemade vinaigrettes more than five days in the refrigerator, although your mileage may vary.

What to Serve with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

This tomato basil vinaigrette is going to be good on just about any basic green salad, but it would also be good poured over a mix of fresh tomato slices and fresh mozzarella slices. In addition to fresh vegetable salads, this dressing would be great over a pasta salad. And, to be honest, I liked this dressing so much I wouldn’t mind using it a dip for a nice piece of crusty French bread!

Side view of a bowl of tomato basil vinaigrette with a spoon dripping the dressing into a bowl
Side view of a bowl of tomato basil vinaigrette with a spoon dripping the dressing into a bowl

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

This tangy and slightly sweet tomato basil vinaigrette only requires a few simple ingredients and tastes great over salad and pasta alike.
Total Cost $1.34 recipe / $0.34 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 2 Tbsp each
Calories 191.33kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil $0.96

Instructions

  • Combine the tomato paste, red wine vinegar, basil, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl or a blender. Whisk or blend until smooth.
  • Begin whisking in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, making sure it's fully incorporated before adding more. This allows the oil to emulsify into the tomato mixture, creating a smooth dressing. The dressing may separate slowly as it sits, but a quick whisk before drizzling over your salad will bring it back to a thick mixture.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 191.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.23g | Protein: 0.25g | Fat: 21.03g | Sodium: 210.53mg | Fiber: 0.28g

How to Make Tomato Basil Vinaigrette – Step by Step Photos

tomato paste, vinegar, and herbs in a bowl

Start by combining 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper in a bowl or blender. Whisk until smooth.

One tablespoon oil being added to tomato paste mixture in the bowl

Begin whisking in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, making sure the oil is fully incorporated before adding more. This allows the oil to emulsify into the dressing, creating a smooth, thick vinaigrette. Add up to 6 Tbsp olive oil.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette being whisked in the bowl

If you try to add all the oil at once the dressing will separate quickly with a thick layer of oil on top. If you add it slowly and allow it to emulsify, it will still separate a little, but very slowly and a quick whisk will return it to its nice smooth texture.

Overhead view of a bowl full of tomato basil vinaigrette with tomatoes, pasta, salt, and basil on the side of the bowl

Serve immediately or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat (up to five days).

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Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

This week I had a killer craving for some classic spaghetti and meat sauce. But, as you may know, I like to add vegetables whenever and wherever I can to recipes. So I shredded a couple of handfuls of vegetables, tossed them into the sauce, and added some extra herbs and spices to make this […]

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This week I had a killer craving for some classic spaghetti and meat sauce. But, as you may know, I like to add vegetables whenever and wherever I can to recipes. So I shredded a couple of handfuls of vegetables, tossed them into the sauce, and added some extra herbs and spices to make this absolutely incredible “hidden vegetable” pasta sauce. It has more flavor, more color, and more texture (read: fiber). It’s a win-win-win!

 Originally posted 11-21-2015, updated 4-17-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread

Balance Your Costs with Vegetables

My favorite trick for stretching ground meat in recipes is to use vegetables or beans to replace half of the ground meat. This time I shredded vegetables, which mimicked the texture of the ground meat, but added a subtle sweetness and a whole lot of extra flavor, texture, and nutrition to the sauce. This sauce is so delicious that I couldn’t stop sneaking spoonfuls while I took photos!

Can I Make This Sauce Vegetarian?

If you want to make a vegetarian version of this hidden vegetable pasta sauce, I suggest mincing an 8oz. container of mushrooms and sautéing them with the onions and garlic. The minced texture will mimic the ground meat and mushrooms have that umami flavor that is similar to ground meat.

Is Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce Freezer Friendly?

This sauce freezes great if you want to make a double batch and have it on hand in your freezer for busy nights. Just make sure to cool the sauce completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer. The sauce will stay good in the freezer for months. To reheat, empty the freezer container into a sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Side view of hidden vegetable pasta sauce in a skillet with a spatula

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

Give your spaghetti an upgrade with this hidden vegetable pasta sauce that contains a medley of vegetables plus extra herbs and spices for maximum flavor.
Total Cost $6.21 recipe / $1.55 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 366.78kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini $0.57
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 24oz. jar pasta sauce* $1.49
  • 12 oz. spaghetti $0.75

Instructions

  • Use a cheese grater to grate the zucchini and carrots. You'll want about 1.5 cups of each, but the amount is flexible. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil and ground beef to a large, deep skillet. Cook the ground beef over medium heat until it is fully browned. Add the diced onion and garlic and continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with the basil, oregano, salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are wilted (about five minutes).
  • Add the pasta sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Allow the contents of the skillet to come up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and simmer the sauce as you prepare the spaghetti. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers.
  • Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the drained spaghetti to the pot with the heat turned off. Add one cup of the prepared sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with additional sauce.

Notes

*Use your favorite brand or flavor of red pasta sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 366.78kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.73g | Protein: 25.98g | Fat: 13.53g | Sodium: 979.83mg | Fiber: 7.78g

Close up of a fork twirling spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

How to Make Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce – Step by Step Photos

Shredded zucchini and carrot on a cutting board

Start by preparing your vegetables. Use a cheese grater to grate one small zucchini and two carrots. You’ll want about 1.5 cups each, but this is flexible so don’t sweat it if you have a little more or less. Also dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic.

Browned ground beef with onions and garlic

Add 1/2 lb. ground beef in a large deep skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook over medium heat until the beef has browned. Once browned, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Shredded vegetables added to the skillet with the meat

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Continue to sauté the vegetables until they soften, or about five minutes. 

Pasta sauce being poured into the skillet with the meat and vegetables

Finally, add one 24oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come back up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and continue to let the contents of the skillet simmer as you begin to prepare your spaghetti.

Simmered hidden vegetable pasta sauce in the skillet

Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers. The vegetables will continue to soften as the sauce simmers, further “hiding” them in the sauce.

Spaghetti and sauce in the stock pot

Cook 12oz. of spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the cooking pot with the heat turned off and add about 1 cup of the sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Divide the pasta into serving bowls, then top each bowl with additional sauce. This stuff is seriously so good, my mouth is watering just looking at that bowl!

Pasta sauce in a freezer bag

And don’t forget, this sauce is freezer-friendly! Just make sure to cool it completely in the refrigerator first, then place in a freezer-safe container (I used freezer bags), label, date, and freeze for later! It can be thawed in a saucepot over low, stirring occasionally.

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Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is an easy side dish with vibrant flavors that pair well with grilled or roasted meat.

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I get so excited for asparagus season every year! Not only are they way less expensive when in season, but they’re also just so much more delicious. And because the price is just so inflated the rest of the year, I pretty much save all my asparagus eating for the spring, when they’re in season. This simple method for Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is one of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus and it’s so scrumptious that I could just about eat the entire bunch myself. Consider that a fair warning. ;)

Originally posted 3/5/2011, updated 4/16/2021.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus on a white roasting pan with lemon wedges

Why I Love Roasted Asparagus

There are several ways to cook asparagus, but roasting takes first prize for me. Roasting kind of concentrates the flavor, so you get a much more deep, savory flavor than lighter cooking methods like steaming or sautéing. The edges get a little brown and crispy, which gives them so much wonderful texture. They’re just a delight to eat.

When is Asparagus Season?

As I mentioned in the introduction, asparagus is definitely one of those vegetables that you want to buy in season to get the best price and flavor. Asparagus are in season during the spring months, or from late February to early June, depending on where you live.

How to Pick Good Asparagus

Avoid choosing asparagus that aren’t kept moist at the grocery store. Check the cut ends to make sure they’re not dry (even better if they’re displayed with cut ends in water), and make sure the asparagus itself is crisp and not soft or rubbery. The flowering end should be tightly closed to the stalk.

What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus are a classic, simple side dish for roasted or grilled meats. These asparagus would go great with Lemon Pepper Chicken, Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, Honey Mustard Pork Chops, or Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions.

Close up overhead shot of lemon garlic roasted asparagus on the sheet pan
Lemon Garlic Rosted Asparagus on a sheet pan with lemon wedges

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is an easy side dish with vibrant flavors that pair well with grilled or roasted meat.
Total Cost $3.13 recipe / $0.78 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 56.28kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 lb.) $1.88
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.89

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the asparagus well, then trim off the dry or woody end of the stem (usually about one inch needs to be removed from the ends). Mince two cloves of garlic.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired. Place the trimmed asparagus on the baking sheet along with the minced garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they are coated in garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer the asparagus to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 20 minutes or until they have browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir once halfway through roasting.
  • While the asparagus are cooking, zest the lemon using the fine side of a box grater or a small-holed cheese grater. You'll need about 1 tsp zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.
  • Once the asparagus are roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon as desired. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 56.28kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.05g | Protein: 2.58g | Fat: 3.63g | Sodium: 106.38mg | Fiber: 2.45g

How to Make Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus – Step by Step Photos

Ends trimmed off asparagus

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse one bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb.), then trim off the dry woody ends. Sometimes I leave the rubber bands on while trimming to make it a bit easier. Mince two cloves of garlic.

asparagus, garlic, oil, and salt on a baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if you prefer easy cleanup. Add the trimmed asparagus to the baking sheet along with the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and about 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they’re coated in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast.

Zested lemon on a cutting board with a small-holed cheese grater

While the asparagus is roasting, zest one lemon. You’ll need about 1 tsp lemon zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.

Lemon being squeezed on roasted asparagus

Roast the asparagus for about 20 minutes, or until they are browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir the asparagus about halfway through roasting. Once roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss the asparagus to coat in lemon. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon to your liking.

Lemon Garlic Rosted Asparagus on a sheet pan with lemon wedges

Serve the roasted asparagus with the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy! And try not to eat the entire batch yourself…

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Secret Ingredient Cherry Almond Smoothie

This rich and creamy smoothie has a natural and subtle sweetness, a creamy texture, and tons of protein and plant fiber to keep you full.

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I’ve been playing around with riced cauliflower over the past week, and one of the fun and unexpected ways to use it is in fruit smoothies, like this Cherry Almond Smoothie. This rich and creamy smoothie has a natural and subtle sweetness, a creamy texture, and tons of protein and plant fiber to keep you full. So if hiding cauliflower in a fruit smoothie has you curious, keep on reading!

Cherry almond smoothie in a short glass with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries behind it

Why Add Cauliflower to a Smoothie?

Cauliflower is a really great neutral ingredient that adds fiber and body to the smoothie, which helps give it a lighter, more creamy texture. Plus, it’s a really simple way to add an extra dose of vegetables to your day.

I used frozen riced cauliflower to my smoothie, but if you have a really good blender you can use frozen cauliflower florets as well.

How Does it Taste?

You can’t taste the cauliflower in this smoothie. Not only is cauliflower mild in flavor already, but I find that ingredients that have a bit of fat (like the almond butter in this recipe) help mask that cruciferous vegetable flavor.

This smoothie has a subtle, natural sweetness, thanks to the banana and cherries. If you prefer a sweeter smoothie, you can add some honey, brown sugar, another sweet fruit like blueberries, or use sweetened almond milk.

Can I Sub the Almond Butter or Almond Milk?

If you can’t eat almonds, another good option is to make this a cherry coconut smoothie. In place of using almond butter and almond milk, you can use some full-fat coconut milk. The creamy coconut flavor will offer that same richness as the almond butter and help hide that cruciferous flavor.

A glass filled with a cherry almond smoothie with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries in the back
A glass filled with a cherry almond smoothie, with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries in the back

Cherry Almond Smoothie

This rich and creamy smoothie has a natural and subtle sweetness, a creamy texture, and tons of protein and plant fiber to keep you full.
Total Cost $1.69 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 (12 oz.)
Calories 254.7kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust the liquid as needed to make it blend smoothly. Serve immediately.

Notes

*I used plain, unsweetened almond milk, but you can use sweetened if you prefer a sweeter smoothie. Vanilla flavored almond milk will also work well. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1smoothie | Calories: 254.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.8g | Protein: 6.7g | Fat: 11.6g | Sodium: 229.5mg | Fiber: 6.8g

How to Make a Cherry Almond Smoothie – Step by Step Photos

smoothie ingredients in a blender, almond milk being poured in

Add ½ cup frozen riced cauliflower, ½ of a frozen banana, ½ cup frozen sweet cherries, 1 Tbsp almond butter, ⅛ tsp cinnamon, and 1 cup almond milk to a blender.

Looking down into a blender with a blended cherry almond smoothie

Blend the ingredients until smooth. Sometimes with smoothies you may need to adjust the liquid up or down to make it blend smoothly. Taste the smoothie and adjust the sweetness (honey, sugar, more fruit) to your liking. Serve immediately.

A glass filled with a cherry almond smoothie, with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries in the back

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Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!

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Look, I’m not one to say that cauliflower tastes like rice. It doesn’t. Not to me anyway. But there is something to say for cauliflower that has been “riced.” Or cauliflower that is minced to the size of small granules. It’s a fun and useful ingredient in its own right. So today I’m highlighting a really easy recipe using riced cauliflower. This Southwest Cauliflower Rice makes a super flavorful and easy side dish, or you can spruce it up and turn it into an entire meal! Keep on reading to find out how.

Overhead view of a skillet full of Southwest Cauliflower Rice garnished with lime and a bowl of salt on the side

What is Cauliflower Rice?

Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been minced to rice-sized granules. It takes on flavors really well and is an easy way to add a bunch of vegetable fiber to your meals. You can find this in the freezer section of most major grocery stores, or you can make your own with a food processor or a knife. I’ve got a tutorial for this coming later this week!

Cauliflower rice gained in popularity with the low-carb movement because a lot of people use it as a substitute for rice. I don’t find them to be similar at all, but I think that it’s useful as its own unique way.

Take a Short Cut with Taco Seasoning

I seasoned this dish with my Homemade Taco Seasoning (minus the cayenne and garlic powder), but if you want a short cut or don’t yet have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use one packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the herbs and spices listed in the recipe below.

Overhead view of a bowl full of southwest cauliflower rice with a fork on the side

Is it Spicy?

I would rate this as a “medium” on the spicy scale. All of the heat is going to come from either the diced tomatoes with green chiles or the chili powder. Some brands of both chili powder and diced tomatoes with green chiles do make mild versions (no heat), so if you can’t handle spiciness, make sure you look for non-spicy versions of both of these ingredients. You can also try using fire-roasted diced tomatoes in place of the tomatoes with green chiles.

How to Serve Southwest Cauliflower Rice

This simple recipe makes a great side dish to any southwest-flavored dish, like Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas. But you can also add a few ingredients and just make the cauliflower rice into a whole meal…

Make it a Meal

To make this Southwest Cauliflower Rice into a full meal you can add a can of black beans, ground beef or turkey, top it with some shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and maybe a couple of jalapeños. In fact, let me just put that on my list of recipe to make because now I want some!!

Overhead view of a skillet full of southwest cauliflower rice with a bowl of salt and cilantro on the side
Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!
Total Cost $3.00 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 83.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice $1.66
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a skillet with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is slightly softened and fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower is a little softer.
  • Finally, add the diced tomatoes with green chilies (and all the juices from the can), as well as all the spices: chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Taste the cauliflower rice and adjust the salt or other spices to your liking. Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 83.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.13g | Protein: 3.33g | Fat: 4.08g | Sodium: 456.33mg | Fiber: 3.95g
Side view of a fork picking up some southwest cauliflower rice out of a bowl

How to Make Southwest Cauliflower Rice – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower rice in a skillet with a spatula

Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until soft and fragrant. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened.

Tomatoes being poured into the skillet with cauliflower rice and spices

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (with the juices), ½ Tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper.

Finished southwest cauliflower rice in the skillet

Continue to sauté the cauliflower, tomatoes, and spices for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Give the cauliflower rice a taste and adjust the salt or other spices to your preferences. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

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