Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lunchtime! Greek-ish Pasta Salad

I'm just going to put it out there: I still have $150 in my January Food envelope.
I can't explain it.
Granted, the month's not over, but I'm usually scraping the barrel right about now.

And we've been eating well.
Blackberries, even.
(Doesn't everyone get as excited as I do about blackberries in January?)

One of the things I'm trying to improve upon in my weekly meal-plan is lunch planning. In the past, I have only planned a dinner menu, and while the Smalls are happy with turkey or PB&J every day, I'm not quite as impassioned.

Last week, I made this, using things that I had on hand from previous dinners.

Left-over couscous and chicken from the Basil Orange Chicken meal.
Arti hearts from the homemade pizza.
Green beans from the Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry.
Olives and tomatoes from Taco Night.
Feta because it's cool like that.

I hauled Calvin off to kindergarten, arranged the remaining two into nap-time beds and whipped this together in less than five minutes, and that includes a quick dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.

It was divine.

The lesson here (for you and for me)?
Take a second look at those left-overs and free thyself of remnant, lukewarm chicken nuggets.

Lisa Leonard Giveaway ends tomorrow at noon!
Click here for your last chance to enter.


  1. Huh, $150 still? Did you count it twice? Seriously, nice job shopping.

    I'm still working my way through the blackberries we bought a Costco, a huge container for just $2.99. I think that was cheaper than the summer price, well except for the ones I grew myself.


    ps - thanks for the link to the cooking blog, What's for Dinner. I spent 2 lunch hours this week going through the recipes and have quite a few to try out this weekend.

  2. I really should stop eating hot pockets for lunch. You've inspired me.

    I feel strange being the first to comment. Like I'm a blogstalker or something. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  3. Never mind. Red Gate Farm beat me to the punch. Whew.

  4. $150. Impressive! My husband and I are teachers and we only get paid once a month. This month the pay period lasted 42 days in between paychecks! Blackberries anytime of the year are something to get excited about. Have you ever picked blackberries? It's not for sissies ;) We pick every year and I make blackberry cobbler, my husband's favorite. It's definitely made with love because I have the scratches and scrapes from picking berries to prove it.

  5. Um, that's amazing. I don't even want to tell you what our fam of four spends on food! Granted, we love food and are ok budgeting a lot for it, BUT looking at your stellar list and knowing you too love food and that salad makes me think we could, fo sho, do better.

    Every time I come here I am so behind! Lots to catch up on. Off.

  6. It is 9:45 and I would give anything for a bowl of that pasta salad right now.
    Why don't I have leftover couscous in my refer right now? Because I'm not as cool as you, Farmgirl. That's why.

  7. giosmama26@yahoo.comJanuary 20, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    I could for sure eat something like that all day. Looks like heaven in a bowl!

  8. Your blog is great你的部落格真好!!
    If you like, come back and visit mine:

    Thank you!!Wang Han Pin(王翰彬)
    From Taichung,Taiwan(台灣)

  9. I love pulled together lunches like that; so satisfying. I wish I had the motivation to do it everyday, but when I do, I am so happy :)

  10. It looks delicious! You do come up with some pretty fab recipes yourself.Extra cash in the stash means you did something right.~Cheers Kim

  11. What a great meal from leftovers! I wish I were that creative. I'm not sure my kids would eat it, but the hubby and I would love it. Congratulations on your savings!


  12. Hey Shannon -- Thanks for your nice comment on our article post! Sorry it has taken me so long to say so. LOVE the Valentine hearts, btw. Let's try and have lunch some or e-mail me. xo P.S. Have you read "Crazy Love"? It's my new favorite.

  13. I am seriously impressed with the fat grocery money envelope. I drooled over the lunch. I think I may have missed Siley's capers though. Long live Siley and his capers. Have a great day blog-girl.


  14. Yum! I am so impressed! This post inspired me to to do the envelope/cash thing.

  15. Mouth.


    PS- I love Calvin's raspy little voice! :-)

  16. YUMMY!!!!!!! also, please don't post a garage sale this weekend as I'll be away in Ohio. I'll need it posted by 2pm today or I'll probably miss it! ;)

  17. I'm a big fan of 'lunch for one'-looks great!

  18. YUM! thanks for the suggestion. those lingering "randoms" in the fridge stare me down until they go bad, and then i feel guilty for tossing them out.

  19. Not sure how you get your food pics that pretty, but seriously it's magazine worthy. Oh and you are a Houdini with that $$ envelope. I'm uber impressed by your thrify skills!

  20. Much, much, much better than that lame PB&J I had for lunch! Wanna hang out for lunch? At your house? :)

  21. And sometimes don't leftovers taste even better than the original meal, because all the flavours keep developing? So very satisfactory when they could have been binned.

    And furthermore, check you OUT, budgeting queen!! WISH I could say the same over here, ahem!

  22. Ooh! THat looks so good! I freed myself yesterday and made a quesadilla topped with some fresh pico de gallo using some of your gifted pickled jalapenos. It was yummy.
    I also just have to say I love the phrase "arti hearts." Something one should definitely eat on V-day.

  23. well, that looks divine. olives are my besties. forever.

    oh my gracious, i am so far over budget for this month. but there have been house things. and a certain nose picking cowboy turned three this week. so there's that, too. next month. next month i will own the budget!

  24. This sounds heavenly!!! I too have made changes in my lunch options. I have been making simple green salads with leftovers... I just have to say that my favorite last week was a leftover flank steak salad with warm roasted veggies and feta...simple dressing. It was amazing!!!! I am so glad you have a little wiggle room in your budget with month, always hard to see the money disappear from the envelope!!

  25. Looks delish! Great blog! I'm a new follower.

  26. Can I just say I craved this simple meal for so many days that I decided to BUY the ingredients just to make it, and I will use the leftovers from THAT to make other dinners. HA!