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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Pesto Chickpea Salad

I love quick fixes because I am busy and if something takes me more than 15-30 minutes to prepare, chances are I’m not going to do it, especially if it’s not my day off. So this Pesto Chickpea Salad was the perfect answer to lunch this week. It only takes about 10 minutes to make, […]

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I love quick fixes because I am busy and if something takes me more than 15-30 minutes to prepare, chances are I’m not going to do it, especially if it’s not my day off. So this Pesto Chickpea Salad was the perfect answer to lunch this week. It only takes about 10 minutes to make, it’s so creamy and delicious, and you can eat it a number of ways. Everything about this chickpea salad is my style! 

Originally posted 12-5-2012, updated 6-3-2021.

Pesto Chickpea Salad in a bowl surrounded by crackers

How to Serve Pesto Chickpea Salad

This super simple chickpea salad can be enjoyed several ways. You can serve it as an appetizer with crackers for dipping, like in the photo above, it can be a side dish with dinner, or you can use it as a filling for a sandwich (toasted whole grain bread, a hearty bun, or in a wrap). …Or, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself just digging into the bowl with a fork. ;)

What Kind of Pesto is Best?

There are a lot of different types of pesto on the market, offering a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly, ALDI makes a super affordable basil pesto that I use in a lot of recipes. Today I happened to be shopping at a different store, so I went with Filippo Berio Classic Pesto, which was still pretty affordable and it had a really incredible flavor. Barilla also makes a very affordable pesto. And since pesto is the main flavor in this recipe, you definitely want to go with a pesto that you know you like. 

How Long Does the Salad Keep?

This Pesto Chickpea Salad will stay good in the refrigerator for about four days, making it great for meal prep! 

Soak Your Onions for a Softer Flavor

If you’re sensitive to red onions, here’s a trick that will make life so much more enjoyable. Soak your sliced onions in cold water for about five minutes before adding them to your recipe. The water pulls out that super sharp flavor, leaving a nice mild hint of red onion that will flavor your dish without hurting your stomach. :)

side view of pesto chickpea salad in a bowl, surrounded by crackers

Pesto chickpea salad in a bowl surrounded by crackers

Pesto Chickpea Salad

This creamy and tangy Pesto Chickpea Salad is a quick and easy lunch. Enjoy with crackers, on a sandwich, or on top of a bed of greens.
Total Cost $3.14 recipe / $0.79 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 363kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $1.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.01
  • 2 15oz. cans chickpeas $1.10
  • 1/4 cup red onion $0.10
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley $0.17

Instructions

  • Stir together the mayonnaise, pesto, lemon juice, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Roughly chop the parsley. Finely dice the red onions (soak the red onions in cold water for 5 minutes for a milder onion flavor). Add the chickpeas, parsley, and onion to a large bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the chickpeas, parsley, and onion. Stir to combine. Serve as is or slightly mash the chickpeas for a thicker consistency. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 245mg | Fiber: 10g

Love chickpea salads? Check out my Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad

Pesto chickpea salad on a bun with greens

How to Make Pesto Chickpea Salad – Step By Step Photos

Creamy pesto dressing in a bowl being stirred
Start by making the creamy pesto dressing. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup basil pesto, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper. 

Chickpeas, parsley, and red onion in a bowl

Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of chickpeas, then place them in a bowl. Roughly chop about 1/4 cup fresh parsley. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion (soak for 5 minutes in cold water if you want a milder onion flavor). 

Dressing added to chickpeas in the bowl

Add the dressing and stir to combine. You can either serve the salad just like this, or…

Slightly mashed chickpea salad in the bowl

Or you can slightly mash the chickpeas in the bowl to make it hold together a little more like a potato salad. You can use a potato masher to do this, or just mash some of the beans with a fork against the side of the bowl.

Pesto chickpea salad in a bowl with a cracker dipped into the side

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat!

close up of pesto chickpea salad on a cracker

So much flavor, so little effort. ;)

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How to Make a Simple Side Salad and Why You Should Make One with Dinner Tonight

Use this easy formula to make simple side salads that will add color, texture, and flavor to your dinners.

The post How to Make a Simple Side Salad and Why You Should Make One with Dinner Tonight appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m sure we’ve all seen the memes about buying a package of spring mix just so we can throw it away at the end of the week, completely untouched. And I’m sure we’ve all been able to relate. But I hate wasting food, so I wanted to share my formula for making a simple side salad and why you should make one with dinner tonight (and most nights). Because side salads are very underrated and often over complicated. So let’s break it down.

Overhead view of a simple side salad with artichokes in a white bowl

Why Simple Side Salads Are Awesome

Simple side salads have become one of my favorite quick side dishes to make with dinner because…

  • The light texture and zingy flavor of the dressing can really lighten up a heavy meal (like pasta or casseroles)
  • They take five minutes to assemble
  • They’re a great way to use up leftover vegetables in your fridge
  • They add so much color, texture, and flavor to your plate
  • They instantly make your meal feel “put together”
  • It’s an extra dose of vegetables!

My Formula for the Perfect Side Salad

I think the biggest mistake when making side salads is overthinking them. Keep it simple, use as few ingredients as possible, and don’t spend more than five minutes on it. Because if you do, you’ll probably just end up avoiding making the salad altogether, and that’s when your spring mix ends up in the trash without ever making it to your plate.

So, to prevent over thinking your salad, use this formula:

Greens + one vegetable + dressing + topper

That’s it. That’s all you need. Now let’s go into more detail on each of those elements.

A fork taking a piece of Baked Pizza Chicken from the plate with chicken, garlic bread, and salad.

1. The Best Greens for Side Salads

There are a lot of options for salad greens out there, but for simple side salads I like to go with a green that is light, delicate, and that has a lot of color and texture. So that means that my favorite is spring mix or baby greens. Of course you could use anything from kale to spinach, or even finely shredded cabbage.

Just don’t use iceberg because while it does have texture, it’s totally lacking in the flavor and color department. It’s better suited for situations where it is utilized solely for its texture.

Spring mix in a bowl

How Much Salad Greens to Use

Remember, this is a simple side salad that will be served as an accent to your dinner, so you don’t need a lot. You’ll only need one large handful, or about one ounce, of greens for each serving.

How to Keep Leftover Greens

Since you’re only eating a little bit at a time, you’ll want to keep the rest of your greens fresh so you can make side salads for the next few days. But since that’s a subject large enough for its own article, I’m going to just give you a link to someone who’s already done the research. This article from The Kitchn compares three methods for keeping greens fresh, and they got great results!

2. Add A Vegetable (or Two)

This is the part of the formula where it’s easy to get out of control, but I’m here to tell you that you only need ONE vegetable to make the salad really good. Sure, if you have some leftover vegetables in your fridge that need to be used up, add them in there! But plan for one and call it a day. Here are some vegetable ideas for your side salad:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red Onion
  • Bell Pepper
  • Zucchini or Yellow Squash
  • Carrot
  • Sweet Corn
  • Radish
  • Mushrooms
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Olives
tomatoes added to the salad greens

You can also add fruit to your side salad. Here are some fruits that are awesome in salads:

  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mangoes

3. The Best Dressing for Side Salads

As with the salad greens and vegetables, you can technically use any salad dressing for your side salad, but my dressing of choice is a simple vinaigrette.

You want the dressing to just lightly coat or “kiss” the salad greens in your side salad, so a thicker or heavier dressing like ranch or blue cheese would be too heavy and overpower the salad. The acidic nature of vinaigrettes also provides that “light” element to your plate, which is really important when balancing heavier main dishes.

Bottled vs. Homemade Dressing

Side salads are one of the few occasions where I prefer a bottled dressing to homemade. Bottled dressing lasts longer in the fridge than homemade, so it’s nice to just have a bottle on hand that you can use a tablespoon or two of at a time without having leftovers go to waste. Look for a red wine vinaigrette, champagne vinaigrette, an Italian dressing, or a non-creamy Caesar dressing.

If you do want to use a homemade dressing for your side salad, check out my Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette, Tomato Basil Vinaigrette, or a classic like the Homemade Italian Dressing used in this Pizza Pasta Salad.

Dressing being poured over the side salad

How Much Dressing to Use

The goal for the side salad is to have your greens just kissed with the lightest hint of dressing. This keeps the salad light and fresh, and doesn’t overpower the flavor of the greens, or steal the show from your main dish.

Drizzle only about ½ Tbsp dressing for each serving and toss the salad until everything is lightly coated. Make sure to wait to dress the salad until just before serving so the greens don’t go limp.

Salad Toppers

This is the fun part. I like to add one final topper to the salad that will add just a touch more texture and flavor. You just want to add a little pinch of your topper to each serving after tossing with the dressing. The dressing will help your topper “stick.” Here are some ideas for salad toppers:

  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Flakey salt (like Maldon)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Toasted breadcrumbs
  • French fried onions
  • Nuts or seeds (walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc.)

Here are the side salad combos pictured above:

  • Spring mix + tomatoes + vinaigrette + freshly cracked pepper
  • Spring mix + artichoke hearts + vinaigrette + Parmesan
  • Spring mix + cucumber + vinaigrette + flakey salt
  • Spring mix + red onion + vinaigrette + feta

What is Your Favorite Side Salad?

Let’s crowdsource some more easy side salad ideas! Leave a comment below with your favorite side salad ingredient or combination so we can all have new side salads to try every night of the week!

The post How to Make a Simple Side Salad and Why You Should Make One with Dinner Tonight appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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!

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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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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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Cumin Lime Coleslaw

I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy […]

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I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy cumin (which has always smelled kind of lemony to me), and a small pinch of cayenne. Green onions and shredded carrots add color and flavor to the crunchy cabbage and round out this easy, breezy coleslaw.

Originally posted 3-25-2015, updated 2-17-2021.

side view of a bowl of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

How to Serve Cumin Lime Coleslaw

As with any coleslaw, this one makes a great side dish for things like Cilantro Lime Chicken, Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, or Turkey Taco Skillet. But you can also pile it onto a sandwich, use it to top tacos, or even use it as a base for a bowl meal! And last week, I served it as a side to some tacos made with my Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork and Pickled Red Onions. That combo was to die for!

Take a Short Cut

If you’re short on time, you can skip shredding your own cabbage and carrots and use a bag of coleslaw mix (pre-shredded cabbage and carrots). You’ll want one bag (14-16oz.) for this recipe.

How Long Does it Stay Fresh?

This cumin lime coleslaw stays good in the fridge for about 2-3 days. It does soften a bit as it refrigerates, but it’s still quite tasty. You’ll want to give it a good stir before serving each time to redistribute the dressing.

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

Fresh lime juice and earthy cumin give this Cumin Lime Coleslaw a light, fresh, and summery flavor. Perfect for summer BBQ or any southwest inspired meal.
Total Cost $2.51 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 3/4 cup each
Calories 170.48kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.80
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) $0.50
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.01
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (about 6 cups shredded) $0.68
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 4 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • Prepare the coleslaw dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salt, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Remove the core from the cabbage and then finely shred. Peel the carrots, then use a large holed cheese grater to shred the carrots. Thinly slice the green onions.
  • Combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top, then stir until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. After refrigerating, make sure to stir the slaw well before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 170.48kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.65g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13.97g | Sodium: 349.73mg | Fiber: 3.72g

Closeup of a forkful of cumin lime coleslaw with the bowl in the background

How to Make Cumin Lime Coleslaw – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of the cumin lime coleslaw dressing in a bowl with a spoon, cut limes on the side

Begin by making the dressing so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Shredded cabbage, carrots, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Finely shred 1/2 of a head of cabbage (about 6 cups), shred one carrot using a cheese grater, and slice four green onions. Add the cabbage, carrot, and onions to a large bowl.

coleslaw dressing being poured over the vegetables in the bowl

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and then stir until everything is well coated. Serve the Cumin Lime Coleslaw immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. As will all slaws, the salt in the dressing will cause the cabbage to slowly soften and let off a little water, so be sure to stir the slaw before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Finished cumin lime coleslaw from above

But if you need to prepare it ahead of time, go ahead and make the dressing and prep the vegetables, but combine the two just before serving for the crunchiest coleslaw possible.

Side view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek. Tons of ideas for add-ins and substitutions included!

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I had a request for more tuna recipes lately but instead of heavy casseroles, I was in the mood for something lighter and more fresh (I’m soooo ready for Spring). So I made this Mediterranean Tuna Salad, which is sort of a hybrid of two of my other favorite recipes. And guess what? It holds up great in the fridge, so it’s another meal prep ready salad! 🙌

Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean Tuna Salad with a fork in the side

What’s in Mediterranean Tuna Salad?

As I mentioned in the intro, this salad is a hybrid of two of my other favorite recipes: Super Fresh Cucumber Salad and Tuna and White Bean Salad. The salad starts with a base of fresh vegetables, like cucumber, tomato, red onion, and parsley, then gets a dose of protein from tuna and white beans, and is finished off with a tangy homemade vinaigrette and just the right amount of crumbled feta. The combo is absolutely perfect!

What Else Can I Add?

What I love about “refrigerator salads” (besides the fact that they hold up for days in the fridge) is that they are always quite flexible. You can add, substitute, or skip ingredients based on your needs. Here are some other ingredients that you can add into this Mediterranean Tuna Salad:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Bell peppers
  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Cooked orzo, penne, or bowtie pasta
  • Spinach or Romaine (keep separate if meal prepping)
  • Roasted red peppers

How to Serve Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This well rounded salad could be served on its own in a larger portion as a stand alone meal, but you could also round it out by adding some pita and hummus on the side, stuffing the salad itself into a pita or wrap, or adding some cooked pasta to make it into a pasta salad. However you eat it, it’s going to be filling, fresh, and flavorful!

What Kind of Tuna Should I Use?

I definitely suggest chunk light tuna for this recipe because I think it’s the happy medium between good texture (large pieces instead of tiny flakes) and price. You can use tuna packed in either water or oil, whichever you prefer. The nutritional stats below are calculated using tuna packed in water.

How Long Does it Last?

My salad stayed fresh for about 3-4 days. The ingredients hold up extremely well in the refrigerator. You do want to give it a good stir before serving, though, to redistribute the dressing and make sure everything is as flavorful as possible.

Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl
Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek.
Total Cost $7.89 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 283.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 1 English cucumber* $1.29
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes* $1.49
  • 1/2 red onion $0.16
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about ½ cup) $0.35
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans $0.69
  • 1 12oz. can chunk light tuna $1.89
  • 2 oz. feta $1.10

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first, so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a bowl or jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • If you want to soften the flavor of the red onion a bit, slice it then soak the slices in ice water for about five minutes before dicing. Otherwise, finely dice the red onion, cut the cucumber into quarter rounds, slice the tomatoes in half, and roughly chop the parsley.
  • Combine the cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir until the vegetables are coated.
  • Rinse and drain the beans, and drain the tuna. Add the beans, tuna, and feta to the salad, then gently stir to combine. These three are added last and only gently stirred to make sure the tuna remains in larger flakes instead of falling apart into tiny pieces.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to four days. Give it a quick stir after refrigerating and before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Notes

*You can use a conventional cucumber and diced Roma tomatoes in place of English cucumber and grape tomatoes if needed. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 283.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.75g | Protein: 22.48g | Fat: 11.98g | Sodium: 691.93mg | Fiber: 5.18g

How to Make Mediterranean Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Homemade vinaigrette in a bowl with a fork

Start with the vinaigrette, so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

red onion slices soaking in a bowl of water

If you want to soften the flavor of the red onions, soaking them for five minutes or so in ice water really helps! I slice them first to give more surface area to water contact, then finely dice them after soaking. For this recipe I used about ½ of a red onion.

Chopped vegetables in a bowl

You also want to cut one cucumber into quarter rounds, slice a pint of grape tomatoes in half, and roughly chop about ¼ bunch of parsley (about ½ cup chopped). Add them all to a bowl with the finely diced red onion.

Vinaigrette being poured over vegetables in the bowl

Pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir until everything is coated. We’ll add the tuna and feta last so they don’t break apart too much when stirring.

beans, tuna, and feta added to the salad

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of cannellini beans, and drain one 12oz. can of chunk light tuna. Add the beans, tuna, and 2oz. feta to the salad, then fold to combine.

Finished Mediterranean Tuna Salad in the bowl with a spatula

And that’s a wrap! Your Mediterranean Tuna Salad is ready to go. You can either serve it immediately or refrigerate for up to four days. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a white serving dish from above

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Creamy Avocado Dressing

This tangy and creamy avocado dressing is great drizzled over salads, sandwiches, wraps, bowl meals, nachos, tacos, fresh vegetables, and more.

The post Creamy Avocado Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re a fan of my Lime Crema, I think you’re going to also love this Creamy Avocado Dressing. It has the same bones as the Lime Crema, but is dressed up with a few more flavors to really make it a flavor bomb. This dressing comes together super fast, so you can make it fresh on the spot whenever needed.

P.S. It’s great on a lot more than just salads!

Creamy avocado dressing in a mason jar with a black spoon in the center

What’s in Creamy Avocado Dressing

This recipe is SO simple. It starts with the same ingredients as my Lime Crema: sour cream, garlic, lime, and salt. Then I added an avocado and fresh cilantro to freshen it up and make it a total flavor bomb. It’s so simple, but SO good.

Do I Need a Food Processor?

I found my food processor to be the easiest tool in my kitchen to make this dressing, but it is definitely soft and fluid enough to use a good blender if you have one. This recipe makes about one cup, so you’ll need something with at least a 1.5 cup capacity to allow for movement.

How to Serve Creamy Avocado Dressing

I used this avocado dressing on a really great taco salad (recipe coming later this week!), but I found myself dipping all sorts of vegetables into the jar throughout the rest of the day. This dressing is so good that I was looking for anything and everything to dip into it!

Try this dressing on your sandwiches, wraps, tacos, salads, nachos, bowl meals, fresh vegetables, and more!

Creamy avocado dressing dripping off a spoon into a bowl
Creamy avocado dressing dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Creamy Avocado Dressing

This tangy and creamy avocado dressing is great for both salads and for dipping your favorite vegetables. Mixes up in minutes!
Total Cost $1.93 recipe / $0.48 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 ¼ cup each
Calories 122.88kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime) $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water (or as needed) $0.00

Instructions

  • Add the avocado, sour cream, minced garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Puré until smooth.
  • Add water, 1-2 Tbsp at a time, and purée again until it reaches your desired consistency (leave thicker for a dip, add more water for a pourable dressing).

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 122.88kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.58g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 11.3g | Sodium: 160.63mg | Fiber: 2.6g

How to Make Creamy Avocado Dressing – Step by Step Photos

Avocado dressing ingredients in a food processor

Add 1 avocado, ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ bunch cilantro to a food processor or blender.

finished avocado dressing in the food processor

Purée until smooth. Add water, 1-2 Tbsp at a time, and purée again until the dressing reaches your desired consistency. To use as a dip, leave it thick and don’t add any water. For a more pourable dressing, add about ¼ cup water.

Creamy avocado dressing in a bowl with a black spoon in the center

Serve over your favorite salad, tacos, nachos, wrap sandwiches, chips, or fresh vegetables!

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Gochujang Tuna Salad

Add some extra umami heat to your lunch with this simple and tasty gochujang tuna salad.

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I’ve been having so much fun working my way through a big tub of gochujang that I bought a while back, adding it to random things I’m eating and discovering how much flavor it can bring to my meals. My latest experiment was gochujang tuna salad. It creates a uniquely savory and spicy tuna salad that is great for sandwiches, wraps, or just stuffing into crunchy vegetables!

a bowl of gochujang tuna salad on a board with vegetables

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor, and because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. You can usually find a tub or tube of gochujang in the international aisle of most major grocery stores (I used this one), or if you’re really adventurous, try making your own homemade gochujang!

Scroll down to the step by step photos section below the recipe to see images of what gochujang looks like.

How to Serve Gochujang Tuna Salad

As with most tuna salad, this tuna salad can be made into a sandwich or wrap, scooped up with crackers or vegetables, or you can even serve it in little lettuce cups (maybe topped with some shredded carrot).

Try These Other Tuna Salad Flavors

Love to jazz up your tuna salad? Try these other tuna salad variations:

gochujang tuna salad stuffed into a celery stick
A bowl of gochujang tuna salad surrounded by vegetables and a celery stick dipped in the center

Gochujang Tuna Salad

Add some extra umami heat to your lunch with this simple and tasty gochujang tuna salad.
Total Cost $2.52 recipe / $0.63 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 ½ cup each
Calories 184.1kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp gochujang $0.23
  • 1 12oz. can chunk light tuna in water $1.99
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • First, stir the mayonnaise and gochujang together until smooth.
  • Drain the tuna well, then add it to the gochujang mayonnaise mixture, along with the sliced green onions. Stir until the tuna is evenly mixed with the mayonnaise. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 184.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.83g | Protein: 17.28g | Fat: 11.18g | Sodium: 498.58mg | Fiber: 0.43g

How to Make Gochujang Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Front view of gochujang container

This is the type of gochujang that I used. It comes in a tub and lasts next to forever in the fridge. I got this at Kroger, which actually had 2-3 different brands available.

Close up view of gochujang paste

And this is what it looks like inside. It’s a thick, red paste. It looks (and tastes) like a spicy version of miso.

mayonnaise and gochujang mixed together in a bowl

Because gochujang is so thick, you’ll want to mix it together with the mayonnaise first. Combine ¼ cup mayonnaise and 1 Tbsp gochujang and stir until smooth.

tuna and green onions added to the bowl

Drain one 12oz. can of chunk light tuna in water and slice two green onions. Add both to the gochujang mayonnaise.

finished gochujang tuna salad

Stir the tuna and green onions into the gochujang mayonnaise until evenly combined.

A bowl of gochujang tuna salad surrounded by vegetables and a celery stick dipped in the center

Enjoy with vegetables, crackers, as a sandwich, or a wrap!

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