CREAMY LEMON DILL GREEK PASTA SALAD
A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends, Jenni, sent me an email with this recipe of Tzatziki Pasta Salad with the remark that “it isn’t too Budget Bytes friendly (too many splurgy ingredients), but it’s really good!” I read the recipe and determined: A) I had to try it since it looked delicious, and A) I had to budget for it! This version that I’m noting is Creamy Lemon Dill Greek Pasta Salad. It’s a bit more affordable, yet amazingly delicious! It was so good I almost ate some forkfuls for breakfast today!
BUDGET SWAPS FOR CREAMY LEMON DILL PASTA SALAD
For this salad to be affordable, I must identify the ingredients that aren’t budget-friendly, and there are lots on the list: Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta onions, Greek yogurt, artichoke heart, and fresh Dill.
To limit the cost-cutting effect of these ingredients, I needed to cut down or substitute the elements where I could while keeping the “feel” of the recipe. Here’s how I went about it:
I cut back on the quantity of feta used in the salad to 2oz. Since feta is quite potent, I was confident I could use it less.
I used dried dill instead of fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes (funny that one ingredient can cost less when dried, and it is the opposite for another element).
Although I would love to have reduced the number of kalamata olives in my diet, I couldn’t find a reasonable price on the day I was looking, and they ended up on the cutting list.
As I chopped the olives, I opted to keep the artichoke heart. The elimination of both would have veered somewhat from the Greek salad vibe I wanted to achieve.
I saved the onion in its red form; however, I promised to use the remainder in a new cooking recipe or even by making pickles.
Finally, I kept Greek yogurt as the main ingredient in my flavor profiles and made sure to purchase one of the small cups available for sale.
Creamy Lemon Dill Greek Pasta Salad could be higher priced than many pasta salads; however, at $1.73 per large portion (1.5 cups for each serving minus certain pieces), it’s still quite affordable enough to serve as an ideal light lunch.
One more thing! I know that dried Dill isn’t that commonly used ingredient, and if you cannot buy it or don’t wish to buy it solely for this recipe, you can use oregano. It is also a great choice when combined with the flavors. This dressing is similar to the marinade used in the recipe I used for my Greek Marinated Chicken.