A Wallet-Friendly Way to Stretch Any Salad

I try not to be the kind of person who tells you a dish you’ve made is missing something. But also, that big salad you’re about to dive into definitely needs pita chips. Let’s back up: When it comes to summer dinners—whether I’m having people over or i…

I try not to be the kind of person who tells you a dish you’ve made is missing something. But also, that big salad you’re about to dive into definitely needs pita chips. Let’s back up: When it comes to summer dinners—whether I’m having people over or it’s just me—come dinnertime, I gravitate towards simple meals that show off summer produce. I’m talking toasts, cold noodles, dips, salads. And when I go salad, there’s only one non-negotiable part: adding chips. Pita chips, specifically.

I understand there might be skeptics about this addition, but hear me out. Obviously you know about croutons in salad. And perhaps you’re familiar with Tuscan panzanella, stale torn bread and tomatoes soaked in oil and vinegar; or fattoush, the Levantine salad of greens, vegetables, and toasted or fried flatbread—this crispy-carb-tossed-in-tangy-dressing is the vibe we’re going for. Like croutons, pita chips add a welcome crunch to salad, but their flat shape also makes them something of a scooping device, excellent for making sure every last bite of cucumber or feta gets into your mouth, not left clinging to the side of the bowl.

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How to Make Filling & Flavorful Dinners in $2.50 (or Less!)

I’m always looking for a good deal. I buy my clothes from resale sites and my glassware at antique stores—and before the pandemic forced us to eat at home every night, I regularly opted to make dinner instead of dropping $40 at a restaurant. This pench…

I’m always looking for a good deal. I buy my clothes from resale sites and my glassware at antique stores—and before the pandemic forced us to eat at home every night, I regularly opted to make dinner instead of dropping $40 at a restaurant. This penchant for thrift often led me towards recipes that slant on the cheap side, but I discovered that most budget-friendly recipes simply don’t suit my lifestyle: hefty casseroles and pastas to serve a large family (I live in a two-person household); cheaper cuts of meat swapped in for thicker chops to make a big, meaty entree (I rarely eat meat, and when I do, I don’t want it to take over my meal); and ingredients purchased in uber-large quantities (my apartment has minimal storage).

While these styles of recipe are indeed helpful to many, to find recipes I like and save money, I decided to take matters into my own hands in the form of a monthly recipe column called Nickel & Dine. Every one of these recipes makes at least four servings, and will run you about $10 in total—that’s just $2.50 per serving!

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