Healthy, Easy, and Inexpensive Quinoa Salad

It’s time for me to confess about another passion I have- making healthy and delicious food but not breaking the bank.

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Josh and I both work full time in corporate jobs. When I first started I was coming from a serving job at a restaurant. Being completely honest with you, it was an adjustment. I gained a ton of weight from sitting at a desk all day and just mindlessly snacking. This culminated in a lot of other health related issues that I plan on sharing in a future post about how I am overcoming them.

Since Josh and I wanted to save money and be debt free, I usually (I’d say 95% of the time) pack my lunch. When I first started, I would get the frozen lunch meals at the grocery store- whatever was the cheapest.

It took me a little bit, but I realized that 1. I could food prep to make lunches for much cheaper and 2. it could be beneficial and adding to my health, not compounding the problem.

I am going to share with you today a lunch that is SO easy and delicious and includes an awesome super food, quinoa. It has so many benefits! You can make it your own as well by adding your favorite herbs or veggies. We have done our own twist on it but this recipe is originally inspired from page 232 of this book:

Here’s what’s included:

  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
    • We get 4.5 pounds of Organic Quinoa from Costco for $9.49.
    • You cook quinoa in a 1 to 3 ratio with water, so for this recipe you use 1 cup uncooked.
    • There are approximately 11 cups Costco’s bag, so for this recipe it cost $0.86.
  • A couple handfuls of grape tomatoes (sliced).
    • We get a two pound pack these from Costco for $4.99.
    • We use probably ¼ of the container, so for this recipe the cost it $1.25
  • A sliced cucumber.
    • We get a three pack of cucumbers from Costco for $3.49.
    • We use one out of the pack so the cost for this recipe is $1.16.
  • A half of an onion (diced)
    • We get this from our local grocery for $0.75.
    • For this recipe, since we only use half, the cost is $0.38.
  • From your pantry:
    • A tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
    • A tablespoon of Lemon juice (or juice of one lemon).
    • A teaspoon of minced garlic
    • Salt and Pepper

The total cost of this salad is $3.65!

Josh and I will easily get at least 3 lunches out of this (3.65 divided by 6 is $0.61!!). We usually will also eat a Greek yogurt that we get from Costco for $12.99. There are 18 individual cups so each is $0.72.

The total for my lunch eating this salad and a Greek yogurt is $1.33!

It is yummy, healthy and inexpensive! What more could you ask for. 🙂 If you try this salad, comment below what changes you made to it to make it your own!

-Haley Klaas

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14 comments

I love quinoa and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate it into our meals. This is a great idea and easy too! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Hi hope, it is really good!!! I hope you enjoy it. Have a great day!!

Krista Price

Hey Haley – this recipe sounds so good! I’m definitely going to add it into my weekly meal prep rotation! Also, I love that you included the costs of the ingredients! $1.33 for a delicious and nutritious lunch?! I’ll take that! 🙂

Hi Krista, thank you!! I appreciate it. I thought it was interesting cause you don’t have to spend a ton to eat healthy sometimes! 😊 have a great day!

You had me at quick and inexpensive! 🙂 I love me some quinoa salad and I love the ingredients you shared for yours. I’m having a Mother’s Day lunch at my place this weekend so I’m totally going to add this to the menu!

Hi Kelly, that’s awesome! I feel honored. 😊 It’s so yummy and fresh! I hope you enjoy! Have a great day!

This looks delicious. I’ve only had quinoa once before, but I would love to start using it regularly. I think this would be a great recipe to try.

Hi Sarah, me too!! It’s so good for us. 😊 I hope you enjoy! Have a great day!

Elizabeth

I love quick, easy, healthy and affordable meal ideas! Im excited to try this quinoa salad next week and know it will be a huge hit with my entire family! Thank you for sharing!

Hi Elizabeth! Happy to share, we love it too!! I hope you enjoy. 😊 have a great day!

This sounds perfect for these warm days. Great excuse to use the quinoa that’s been sitting in my cupboard.

Hi Angela, it really is! A great summer salad. Have a great day!

I love quinoa! I’ve been eating it a lot with sauteed greens but this is one recipe I’ll definitely try! 🙂

Hi Juana, awesome! I hope you enjoy it, have a great day!