Back to School

Delectable Dime

by Faith Escher

Whether you are a teacher, a student or a parent packing your child’s lunch, the getting back to the school routine can be a transition. After a long and fun summer it feels challenging to go back to our busy schedules that require after school and weekend shopping, meal planning and morning prep.

When thinking about what dishes are easy to pack and take to school, I find three qualities to be paramount. The meal should be something that doesn’t get wilted or soggy, it should be just as delicious when you eat it as when you pack it, and it should be easy to pack in the morning! Hopefully these recipes, which have those things in common, will make your getting back to school routine just a little bit more convenient.

This week’s blog is designed to provide you with a back to school meal plan that is made with minimal ingredients, and can be prepared quickly and easily in 30 minutes or less. All the recipes are low maintenance in preparation and are easy to pack and bring to school or work!

recipes sdf.png

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

  • 8 oz Bunch kale - $2.50 (2)
  • 1 Small garlic bulb - $0.50 (1)
  • 16 oz of your favorite pasta - $2.50 (1)
  • 2 7 oz blocks of tempeh - $7.46 (1)
  • 4 Carrots - $2.50 (2)
  • 1 Purple cabbage - $1.00 (1)
  • 2 Lemons - $0.79 (1)
  • 5 oz Container of sesame oil - $1.99 (1)  
  • 4-6 Buns - $2.48 (1)
  • 1 Bag of quinoa, any size - $5.00 (2)
  • 1 16 oz Bin of cherry tomatoes - $2.79 (2)
  • 2 Medium red onions - $1.58 (2)
  • 1 Fresh bulb of fennel - $1.99 (1)
  • 1 Box of mixed greens or spinach - $2.50 (2)
  • 4 or More tortillas - $1.79 (1)
  • 1 Container of hummus - $2.50 (2)
  • 1 Can of black beans - $1.00 (1)
  • 2 Green bell peppers- $1.50 (2)
  • 1 Cucumber - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Avocado - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 3-6 oz Can of sliced black olives - $1.19 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh cilantro - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Small bunch of fresh basil - $1.29 (1)
  • 1 8 oz Container of white balsamic vinegar - $2.69 (2)
  • 1 .75 oz Jar of oregano leaves - $1.89 (1)
  • 1 3.25 oz Jar of onion powder - $0.98 (1)
  • 1 1.5 oz Container of crushed red pepper flakes - $1.98 (1)
  • 1 Carton of strawberries - $2.29 (1)
  • 8. 5 oz Bag of brown rice cakes - $2.54 (1)
  • 2 oz Bag of pine nuts - $3.48 (1)
  • 1 Jar of white wine vinegar - $1.99 (1)
  • 16 oz Jar of honey - $5.99 (1)
  • 1 Shallot - $0.75 (1)

$70.00 - $80.00  *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $72.52 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 $17.74) or substitute with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

  • Salt and Pepper shakers - $3.49 (5)
  • Olive oil or EVOO -  $3.99 (4)
  • 3 oz Container of garlic powder - $1.48 (1)
  • 1 Container of maple syrup - $5.99 (3)
  • 1 Container of dijon mustard - $2.79 (1)

Recipe No. 1

Grilled Barbecue Tempeh Slider with Kale Slaw | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: Onegreenplanet.org by Margaret Chapman | Link to instructions

  • 2 7-ounce blocks tempeh, cut into bun-size squares
  • 4 cups kale, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Liquid sweetener, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 Slider buns

Note: This dish is fun and delicious! It has the essence of bbq without taking a lot of time so that you can enjoy your evening off! If you are gluten free, you may need to be very careful in finding substitutes for this recipe as many of the ingredients are typically sold with gluten.  

Recipe No. 2

Tomato Quinoa Salad with Basil Vinaigrette | Cook Time: Under 30 Minutes

Source: Trendeing.com by Jenna Garcia | Link to instructions

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3-4 medium to large sized tomatoes, sliced or cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup basil vinaigrette + more for serving (recipe below)
  • Mixed greens
  • 20-25 basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 cup EVOO (or olive oil)
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: This recipe is from one of our very own writers and chefs, Jenna Garcia! Make sure to check out all of her wonderful recipes!

Recipe No. 3

Hummus Vegetable Wrap | Cook Time: 25 Minutes

Source: emilieeats.com by Emilie | Link to Instructions

  • 1 package VeeTee Dine In Microwaveable Brown Rice*
  • 1 whole-wheat or gluten-free tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ¼ avocado, sliced

Note: This recipe serves one, but the shopping list will accommodate four servings. *Also note the author used a specific brand of microwavable rice, but I used quinoa instead because it was already on the shopping list.

Recipe No. 4

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad | Cook Time: 20-30 Minutes

Source: bbritnell.com | Link to instructions

  • 1 pound of pasta
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • Good pinch of sugar*

Note: *Instead of using sugar, I used maple syrup.

Recipe No. 5

White Balsamic & Strawberry Kale Salad | Cook Time: Under 30 Minutes

Source: http://iheartvegetables.com by liz | Link to instructions

  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp agave*
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 6 large curly kale leaves
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

Note: This recipe serves two, but there is enough produce on the shopping list to double the recipe. Since this is a lighter dish, I ate it with hummus and rice cakes on the side--these are also on the shopping list! *I used maple syrup.


References

Britnell, B. (2016, June 6). Quick and Easy Pasta Salad. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from

           http://bbritnell.com website: http://bbritnell.com/vegan-pasta-salad-easy/

Chapman, M. (2016, July 8). Grilled Barbecue Tempeh Slider With Kale Slaw [Vegan]. Retrieved

           August 26, 2017, from http://www.onegreenplanet.org website:

           http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/grilled-barbecue-tempeh-slider-with-kale-

           slaw/

Emilie & Emilieeats.com. (N.D.). Hummus Vegetable Wrap. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from

           http://www.emilieeats.com website: http://www.emilieeats.com/hummus-vegetable-

           wrap/

Garcia, J. (N.D.). Tomato Quinoa Salad with Basil Vinaigrette. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from

           Trendeing.com website: https://www.trendeing.com/foodie-blog/2017/3/21/tomato-

           quinoa-salad-with-basil-vinaigrette

Liz & iheartvegetables.com. (2016, May 13). White Balsamic & Strawberry Kale Salad. Retrieved

           from iheartvegetables.com website: http://iheartvegetables.com/2016/05/13/white-

           balsamic-kale-salad/