Pasta Salad – Easy, Healthy, and Cheap

My goals over the last few years have included two things: becoming my healthiest self and making more time (and money) for the things that matter.  As part of that process, I seek out recipes that are quick, healthy, and inexpensive.  We’ve been making our own condiments or seeking out all natural and vegan alternatives for popular brands.  Most of our food is locally grown/raised.  My husband, being a retired engineer, has turned our dining room into a hydroponics project to start growing our own tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, etc.
Since eating is essential, saving time and money in the kitchen is great.  Nothing is better than a meal that’s easy to make, healthy, delicious, and inexpensive… Except a meal that does all that AND allows for options AND leaves leftovers.  One of the best things about pasta salad is that it’s all those things.
Having high cholesterol, my meals are usually vegan.  I will occasionally have grilled fish or hard boiled eggs, but most of what I put it my body is free of animal products.  My husband and daughter still partake in things like mayonnaise, so it’s nice to have a meal that can be finished both vegan and non-vegan.  The pasta salads pictured are just that. Vegan to left and non-vegan to right.
Pasta Salad:
1/2 whole grain pasta
2 cups steamed mix vegetables
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons creamy horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Vegan Pasta Salad:
1/2 whole grain pasta
2 cups steamed mix vegetables
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup sweet relish
2 tablespoons vegan honey mustard
2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese
For either salad, mix ingredients.  Season to taste.  Refrigerate.
The total cost? $1.29 for whole grain pasta.  $0.75 for the tomatoes.  We had all the condiments on hand.  You can easily mix it up by swapping things out for your favorite flavors.  For a little protein you could add hard boiled eggs or tuna.
Total prep time was about 20 minutes.  We had enough to feed a family of 3 for two meals.

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