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FAB FRUGAL MONDAY MEALS – Quinoa & Yellow Squash with Lemon-Basil Dressing

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quinoa squash budget meal planning



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This week, Tracey Levy brings us Quinoa & Yellow Squash with Lemon-Basil Dressing. Looking to strike a health/life balance? Check out Tracey’s Blog, Kale with a Side of Fries.



Message from Tracey:

Summer quinoa and veggies for the win! This recipe is my go-to in the warmer months because of the burst of flavor, tons of nutrients AND affordable cost – YES! On weekends I generally make a big batch of quinoa for the week which saves a ton of time when putting recipes together days later. A great way to save a few dollars is to buy quinoa in bulk (Costco has so many healthy options these days – such an improvement!) However, if you really love shopping at Whole Foods, there are options to save as well (yes, Whole Foods CAN be affordable!) Try buying Whole Foods’ signature brand, 365 (bonus: it’s always organic).


I love the combination of this dish because it just screams spring/summer to me! You can toss in asparagus or tomatoes to spruce it up but I really love it just the way it is! I’ve made this for family holidays and it’s always a hit! Pro tip: with any leftover ingredients (extra basil & oregano especially), I’ll usually throw it into my breakfast the next day and make an egg scramble!


Quinoa & Yellow Squash with Lemon-Basil Dressing


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1-2 medium sized yellow squash, cut in ½ slices
  • ½ teaspoon pink salt
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, chopped



  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Add the sliced yellow squash to the same pan and season with salt. Cook about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a jar or bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, chopped basil and oregano. Once the quinoa is fully cooked, add to a large bowl.
  • While still hot, pour the lemon dressing over and toss.
  • Add the cooked squash and combine.

Serves 3



Price Breakdown:

  • 1 cup quinoa ($2.16)
  • 1/2 red onion ($0.92)
  • 2 yellow squash ($3.32)
  • 1 lemon ($0.99)
  • 3 tablespoons basil ($1.33)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano ($0.67)

Total recipe cost (3 servings): $9.39 (not including extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper)

Cost per serving: $3.13

*Note: Everything was purchased at Whole Foods and was organic!



quinoa squash budget meal planning

After failed diets and ten years of professional unfulfillment, Tracey Levy left her career in sales and advertising to pursue a healthier, happier lifestyle as a  certified holistic health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Today she is the founder of Kale With a Side of Fries, a private practice that works with individuals, groups, and companies to transform their lives with small,  meaningful steps that make the health-life balance accessible, manageable, and enjoyable.

Her services are as dynamic as her clients’ needs.  Tracey uses health, wellness, and nutrition as pathways for improving overall quality of life. Every individual is supported by a customized program that provides accountability and clarity where they’re needed most. Life is meant to be nutritious and delicious, and Tracey is helping people strike that balance everyday.

Connect with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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