Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Black Bean and Feta Pasta Salad (Frugal Food Thursday)

Welcome to Frugal Food Thursday!  If you have a great frugal recipe, please link up below!  

As a mom of three school-aged kids, I spend time each evening packing school lunches for them.  Sometimes it seems like I'm making the same lunches over and over again.  The kids seem to like them, but I wonder if I could take a little more time to make a healthier and more interesting lunch.

This week, I had the opportunity to review a new cookbook that focuses just on lunch!

What Are You Doing for Lunch? by Mona Meighan doesn't just have some great recipes - it also lays out an argument as to why brown-bagging your lunch is so important!

The book has over 70 delicious recipes to prepare in 20 minutes or less. It has cost-savings projections of how much you'll save in a month and in a year. Each recipe includes nutrition facts to help you keep an eye on calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. And there are sample menu of lunches to get you started.

Meighan describes several different lunch styles and gives recipes for each style. Need something quick?  Try the Grab and Go (and Almost Grab and Go) recipes.  Are you someone who likes the same lunches day in and day out, but wants a new twist on them?  Then check the Traditionalist recipes.  Love spending 20-30 minutes per day to make lunch?  Try the Creative recipes.  Willing to spend time on the weekends to make lunch?  Give the Midday Gourmet recipes a try.

The lunch style I found most interesting was the Social Networker style.  For this type of lunch, Meighan suggests that a group of co-workers gets together, and each person brings an ingredient for a recipe.  The ingredients are mixed together at the workplace to make lunch for all the participants.  I thought this was a great idea for a group of people to enjoy making and eating lunch together while saving money and eating healthfully! 

I had another idea for Social Networker lunches - families could make these lunches together as well.  Each child could take on a task that was age-appropriate - older children could cut up vegetables or use the stove to cook items.  Younger children could help with mixing or opening packages.  Then the family could share a delicious, nutritious lunch together!

For Frugal Food Thursday this week, I decided to try one of her Social Networker lunches: Pasta Salad with Cheese and Black Beans.  I made a few changes to the proportions of the ingredients, though.   I had all of the ingredients on hand, purchased on sale with coupons at Publix or at the lowest price available in my area, ALDI. It was fairly easy to make, and very delicious!

I really enjoyed my lunch, and I'm sure you'll find lots of great lunch recipes to try in What Are You Doing for Lunch? as well!

Here's the recipe:

(adapted from What Are You Doing for Lunch? by Mona Meighan)

6 oz dry bowtie pasta
1/2 jar (16 oz) mild salsa
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 cup yellow peppers, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Person 1: Cook the pasta the night before, rinse with cold water, and refrigerate.
Person 2: Combine salsa and black beans in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
Person 3: Crumble feta if not already crumbled.
Person 4: Chop pepper and onions
Person 5: Bring bread, fruit, soup, or other side dishes.

30 minutes before lunch: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, and cover.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

There are lots more cheap recipes posted here at Frugal FolliesClick here for the list!

Got a great frugal recipe?  Link below to your actual post, not your main page.  Please only link up recipes and other food-related posts. I'd appreciate it if you would link back to Frugal Food Thursday as well! If you have a linkup party that you'd like me to know about, please leave a comment below.

Want to find more places to link up your recipe or to find more great recipes? Please go to my Linkup Parties list and scroll down to Food Linkups. There are lots of great recipes on each blog and I'm sure you'll find some new favorites!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Unknown October 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM  

I shared my M&M White Chocolate Candy Corn Cookies today. Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend. :)

Katherines Corner October 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM  

Yummy. I shared my pretzel twists. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo P.S. did you enter my latest giveaway?

Miz Helen October 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Diane Balch October 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM  

Simple, delicious and healthy. The book sound great. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds October 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

This looks super good. I am adding black beans to more and more dishes lately. Thanks for sharing at Must Try Monday.

Kathy October 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

This recipe looks great - I take a lunch each day I work - I'd love to check out this site. I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Run DMT October 26, 2012 at 4:59 AM  

Yum! I love pasta salads and adding beans just makes it even better! Thanks for linking up at Friday Food Fight!

Jessica October 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM  

I love anything with feta! Thank you so much for sharing this on Meatless Monday :)

Judy@Savoring Today October 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM  

Thanks so much for the insightful review of this cookbook -- I like her idea of making lunch a cooperative effort in the office, it's always good to break bread together! Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

Unknown October 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM  

black beans and pasta are always a good idea :) great source of protein and so comforting.

thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! i look forward to seeing you again this week with more seasonal & fresh/real food blog posts :) xo, kristy

Lady Behind The Curtain October 30, 2012 at 2:37 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe at Cast Party Wednesday! Have a GREAT week! ~Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain~

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