In my last post I mentioned about smart meal planning leading to shopping wisely, which equals less money spent on groceries but still allowing the eating of eat wholesome, fresh food. For this week’s series of recipes, I cooked-up a pot of navy beans & measured them into little bags & froze them. I bought some chicken drumsticks & used some to make a flavorful broth (the remaining I froze for other recipes you’ll see later in the week). I took the meat from the broth drumsticks & used it to make this delicious Mediterranean chicken & bean salad with white cheddar dressing.
I used some of the broth & the navy beans in a spinach, bean & white cheddar soup recipe I posted at the beginning of the week. The remaining broth I froze to use in other meals. And I had bought a block of aged white cheddar earlier. A few fresh ingredients, a couple of fridge staples & we ate well & on plan all week for not a lot of money.
If you’ve ever read through a diet meal plan – or several of them like I have, you’d have noticed how each day they require you to eat something different from the day before – & most of the other days too. I understand they’re written like that to give you variety. The problem is when you’re finished writing your shopping list, it’s as long as your arm. Then you spend a small fortune on groceries, of which you don’t use-up so there’s waste & you end up chucking food out. The plan you’ve started on proves to be too much expense & work & you give up. BEEN THERE, DONE THAT! Have the t-shirt.
These days I’m planning better, not spending as much money on groceries – saving time shopping & cooking. Yet I’m still sticking to eating wholesome foods that are on plan with the occasional splurge. This salad is a perfect example of time & cost savings but with no sacrifice of flavor or freshness. And definitely no room for boredom. Planning, shopping & cooking this way is making my life easier, has cut our food bill & I’m still eating on plan. Less waste but less waist. Savvy?
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or about a 14 – 15 oz/400ml can, drained & rinsed)
- 6 small tomatoes, quartered (I use Campari tomatoes)
- 1/2 English (telegraph) cucumber chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
- WHITE CHEDDAR DRESSING
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch salt & freshly ground pepper
- To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth.
- Combine chicken, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion & olives in a medium bowl; gently toss.
- Divide salad between 3 serving plates; drizzle with dressing. Serves 3.