Delectable Dime

meal planning on a budget

A Pinch of Thyme

Delectable Dime

A Pinch of Thyme by Faith Escher

Thyme is one of my very favorite spices of all time…I love the the smell of thyme cooking, I love the way it looks sprinkled on slow roasted roots and vegetables after they are cooked, or even how a spring looks resting on the top of a bowl of soup. I love that thyme adds something special to a meal and brings out all the intricacies of the nuanced and layered flavors in vegetables. This week the dishes are a little bit more time consuming, but when you are consuming thyme a little extra preparation is worth the reward!

The dishes below are a collection of my favorite warm, cozy comfort foods…soups, mushroom risotto, and other savory delights. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

A Pinch of Thyme

Total Budget: $100 or less
All recipes serve 4

NOTE: Garlic (2) = how many recipes the ingredient garlic is used in. For example, “Garlic (2)” means we will be using garlic in two of our recipes for this week.

The Shopping List For All 5 Dinners

  • 1 Tub of vegan butter – $4.99 (2)
  • 1 Small bag of 5-6 shallots – $3.50 (1)
  • 1 lb bag of carrots – $2.50 (2)
  • 1 Garlic clove – $0.50 (5)
  • 1 tsp tomato purée – $0.99 (1)
  • 1 Bag all purpose flour – $4.29 (3)
  • 1 Bottle of fruity red wine – $6.99 (1-2) *Feel free to buy a higher quality bottle of wine if the budget allows.
  • 1 Package of vegetable bullion cubes – $2.39 (4)
  • 1 Bunch of thyme sprigs – $1.69 (3)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh oregano – $1.69 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of rosemary springs – $1.69 (1)
  • 1 Carton of a mixture of mushrooms – $4.99 (1)
  • 1 Carton of fresh button mushrooms – $4.99 (1)
  • 1 Carton of cremini mushrooms – $4.99 (1)
  • 2 large or 3-4 small leeks – $2.90 (1)
  • 2 Stalks of celery – $1.69 (1)
  • 3 Large yukon gold or yellow potatoes – $2.75 (1)
  • 1 12 oz. shaker of nutritional yeast – $7.99 (2)
  • 2 15 oz cans white beans – $3.58 (2)
  • 2 Large white onions – $1.90 (2)
  • 1 Yellow onion – $0.85 (1)
  • 1 16 oz bag brown arborio or short-grain brown rice – $5.99 (1-3)
  • 1-2 Bunches of dark leafy greens – $1.99 (1)

$80-90 *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $85.25 this week.

If you followed us last week you already have the following; however, if this is your first week you will need to make these additional purchases (appx $7.48) or substitute with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

  • Salt and Pepper shakers – $3.49 (2)
  • Olive oil – $3.99 for 12 oz container (3)

(A Pinch of Thyme) Recipe No. 1

Mushroom bourguignon | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: Tesco Real Food | Link to Instructions

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ oz vegan butter
  • 4 oz shallots or pearl onions, halved
  • 1 carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 4 fl oz fruity red wine
  • 5 fl oz vegetarian stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/4 lb mixture of mushroom

Note: This is my favorite recipe on this week’s list! For the wine, you can select any kind of red wine that you enjoy! If you prefer not to use wine in your cooking, that is totally fine as well. You can just omit the wine from the recipe and add more vegetarian stock. Also if you are gluten free, purchase any all purpose gluten free flour for this meal.

(A Pinch of Thyme) Recipe No. 2

Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup | Cook Time: 45 minutes

Source: The Full Helping | Link to instructions

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large or 3-4 small leeks, dark green stems removed, washed thoroughly and sliced thinly
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large Yukon gold or yellow potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast

Note: For this recipe, and the others, instead of buying vegetable broth, I purchased vegetable bullion cubes, but you can use vegetable broth if you prefer…just be careful to note that you are not purchasing the vegetable broth with a tomato base or your soup will have a very different flavor.

Recipe No. 3

Thyme and White Bean Pot Pies | Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Source: The Minimalist Baker | Link to cookbook


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • optional: 1/2 cup dry white wine (or sub more vegetable broth)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 10 Tbsp cold vegan butter (or sub room temperature coconut oil*)
  • 4-7 Tbsp cold water

Note: This dish can be made in small baking vessels or larger ones. If you don’t have small baking dishes, feel free to use a cupcake tray!

Recipe No. 4

Greens, Mushrooms, and White Bean Ragout | Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Source: Whole Foods | Link to instructions

  • 2 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Marsala or red wine
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 12 ounces fresh mushrooms, button or wild or a mixture of both, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added Great Northern or other white beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound (1 to 2 bunches) dark leafy greens, such as collards, kale or mustard greens, tough stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Note: This recipe calls for red wine, I used the same bottle for this as I used for recipe No. 1. Also this recipe calls for spelt flour, but I used the gluten free all purpose flour.

Recipe No. 5

Easy Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano | Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Source: Cookie and Kate | Link to instructions

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1½ cups brown arborio/short-grain brown rice
  • 12 to 14 ounces sliced Cremini mushrooms, debris rinsed from mushrooms and drained
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese *I omitted this from the recipe
  • ½ cup dry white wine, optional
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted *vegan butter, diced
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (for extra flavor, optional)*
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed from stems and larger leaves torn into small pieces

Note: **This recipe calls for parmesan, but I omitted it from my cooking and from the shopping list. Also I used vegan butter…the instructions in the link have a special note about how this recipe still tastes delicious modified for vegans, and I can concur!

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I hope you enjoy this week’s recipes! I hope they bring comfort to your kitchen and your heart as you cook with a pinch of thyme.


Cookie and Kate. (2014, November 7). Easy Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh

Oregano. Retrieved March 9, 2017, from CookieandKate.com website:


Hamshaw, G. (2016, March 1). Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup. Retrieved March 9, 2017,

       from thefullhelping.com website: https://www.thefullhelping.com/creamy-vegan-potato-leek soup/

Shulz, D. (2015, December). Thyme & White Bean Pot Pies. Retrieved March 9, 2017,

       from Theminimalistbaker.com website: http://minimalistbaker.com/thyme-white-bean-pot-pies/

Tesco Real Food. (n.d.). Mushroom Bourguignon recipe. Retrieved March 9, 2017,

       from realfood.tesco.com website: https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/mushroom-bourguignon.html

Whole Foods. (n.d.). Greens, Mushrooms, and White Beans Ragout. Retrieved March 9, 2017,

from www.wholefoodsmarket.com website:




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