Delectable Dime

meal planning on a budget

Be Loved

Delectable Dime

by Faith Escher

One of the wonderful things about planning, shopping for and preparing our food at home is that we get to make choices about how to love ourselves and the people that we are cooking for with each step of the process. Options that were not widely available or affordable before are becoming more and more accessible. This allows us to shop, cook and eat with intention.

One powerful way that we can fuel our bodies with intention and love is by using positive language when we talk about ourselves and our food. In a time where we are bombarded with negative messages about our bodies, it may be difficult to remember that we are also in a time where there is so much information and so many options that empower us to take good care of our bodies, especially when it comes to nutrition. At times we work so hard to be “sugar free,” “gluten free” and “dairy free,” but forget to live free.

The language that we use greatly affects what believe about ourselves. What we believe about ourselves will power our perceptions and determine how we fuel our bodies. The relationship we have with food is extremely important, and we have to remember to acknowledge our agency in the process of providing our bodies with nutrients that they need to be efficient and strong.

Lately I have been challenging myself to turn some of my negative statements about food into more positive statements. Here are a few examples of ways that we can adjust our language to rewire our minds and empower ourselves.

  1. If you have a dietary restriction, Instead of saying “I can’t eat that,” try saying something like, “I love that I can eat (enter your favorite food here), so I am going to have that instead.”
  2. If someone offers you food when you are not hungry, instead of saying, “I’m full” or “I ate too much” try saying something like, “Wow, I really enjoyed that meal and now I am satisfied!”
  3. If you are on a diet or have a special eating plan, try to come up with a way to communicate it in a positive way. For example, instead of saying, “I can’t eat any sugar, or animal products.” Try saying, “I’m choosing to eat all plant-based whole foods!”
  4. If you are trying to lose weight, focus your energy on using positive statements like, “I’m spending my time being active,” “I’m strengthening my body,” or “I’m making conscious decisions about loving my body.”

While we may need to use a phrase like, “I can’t eat animal products,” or “please make sure this dish doesn’t contain gluten” when we are ordering at a restaurant, there are still many opportunities in a day where we can describe or think about our food intake as an empowering choice rather than a restriction.

This week I have chosen some of my favorite recipes. As you shop, cook and eat, I hope that you will enjoy fueling your body, knowing that you can enjoy each and every bite and be loved.

Be Loved

Be Loved

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 Large garlic bulb – $0.50 (4)
  • 1 3 Inch piece of fresh ginger – $0.50 (2)
  • Any size Container of soy sauce or tamari – $1.99 (1)
  • 1 8 oz of box of pad thai or buckwheat noodles – $2.59 (1)
  • 5 Red bell peppers – $4.50 (2)
  • 2 Carrots – $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Large sweet potato – $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Large white onion – $0.79 (1)
  • 2 12 oz Containers of firm tofu – $4.00 (2)
  • 2 Eggplants – $2.00 (1)
  • 2 Red onions – $1.58 (1)
  • 6 Ripe tomatoes – $4.50 (1)
  • 16 oz Container of balsamic vinegar – $1.99 (1)
  • 1 Lemon – $0.39 (1)
  • 2 limes – $0.38 (2)
  • 1 Purple cabbage – $0.99 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of kale – $1.50 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of basil – $1.00 (1)
  • 4-5 Small zucchinis – $4.00 (2)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh cilantro – $1.00 (1)
  • 1 32 oz Container of vegetable broth – $1.98 (2)
  • 14 oz Bag of cashews – $4.99 (3)
  • 1 14 oz Can of coconut milk – $1.00 (1)
  • 4 oz Jar of thai red curry paste – $2.42 (1)
  • 14.5 oz Can of whole plum tomatoes – $0.98 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of parsley – $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Small bunch of thyme – $1.00 (1)
  • 1.5 oz Container of cayenne pepper – $1.84 (1)
  • 16 oz Container of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar – $4.99 (1)
  • 8 oz Container of bella or crimini mushrooms – $3.49 (1)
  • 16 oz of of Arborio rice – $3.98 (2)
  • 4.5 oz Container or less of nutritional yeast – $6.99 (1)
  • 3 oz Container of garlic powder – $1.48 (1)
  • 4-5 Shallots – $1.98 (1)
  • 16 oz Jar of peanut butter – $1.99 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of turmeric – $1.74 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of ground cumin – $2.17 (1)
  • 1 20 oz Can of pineapple rings – $1.00 (1)
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms – $3.49 (1)
  • 5 oz Container of sesame oil – $1.99 (1)
  • 1 16 oz Container of cornstarch – $0.98 (1)
  • 4 Vegan whole wheat hamburger buns – $2.99 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of romaine lettuce – $1.00 (1)

$80.00 – $95.00  *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $91.67 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 $13.97) or substitute with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

  • Salt – $1.99 (3)
  • Olive oil –  $3.99 (4)
  • 1 Container of maple syrup – $7.99 (3)

Recipe No. 1

Vegan Pad Thai | Cook Time: 35 Minutes

Source: Simple Vegan Blog | Link to instructions

  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • 5 oz firm tofu, thinly sliced and patted dry
  • 2.6 oz buckwheat noodles
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, julienned
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, spiralized
  • 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water or vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • For garnish: red cabbage sprouts, raw cashews (chopped), fresh cilantro and lime

Note: If you don’t own a spiralizer, you can still make this dish! To make this recipe without a veggie spiralizer, you can cut the veggies as fine as possible, or you can even grate or shred them. *Note this recipe serves two, but the shopping list can accommodate doubling the recipe.

Recipe No. 2

Mushroom and Leek Risotto | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: The Minimalist Baker | Link to instructions

  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups vegetable broth, warmed on the stove top
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces bella or crimini mushrooms (sub up to half with shiitake), brushed clean, sliced
  • Sea salt + black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks, well rinsed and dried*
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or sub more vegetable broth)
  • optional: 1 Tbsp vegan butter
  • Fresh chopped parsley to garnish
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving* see below
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Note: You can buy purchase vegan parmesan cheese at most vegan friendly stores like whole foods, but I recommend using the recipe from Minimalist Baker here for a delicious and easy homemade version that uses ingredients from our shopping list.

Recipe No. 3

Panang Curry | Cook Time: Under 45 Minutes

Source: Chef Chloe | Link to instructions

  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil*
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ -inch cubes
  • 1 bunch kale, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup roasted cashews

Note: Since rice is already on the shopping list, I went ahead and made some rice to put the panang over! Also I used olive oil instead of canola oil.

Recipe No. 4

Classic Ratatouille | Cook Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes

Source: Jamie Oliver | Link to Instructions

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 eggplants
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 red or yellow peppers
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 14.5 oz tin of quality plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ a lemon  

Note: I love ratatouille! It’s one of my all time favorite dishes. I usually just eat it as an entree by itself, but you can put it on rice or over a loaf of bread as well.

Recipe No. 5

Portobello and Pineapple Teriyaki Veggie Burgers | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: Whole Foods Market | Link to instructions

  • 1 20 oz Can of pineapple rings, juice reserved
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • Green or red leaf lettuce


Coscarelli, C. (N.D.). Penang Curry. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from www.chefchloe.com

website: http://chefchloe.com/recipes/entrees/panang-curry.html

Iosune and Alberto. (N.D.). Vegan Pad Thai. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from

http://simpleveganblog.com/ website: http://simpleveganblog.com/vegan-pad-thai/

The Minimalist Baker. (N.D.). Mushroom and Leek Risotto. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from

https://minimalistbaker.com website: https://minimalistbaker.com/mushroom-and-leek-risotto/

Oliver, J. (N.D.). Classic Ratatouille. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from www.jamieoliver.com

website: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/classic-ratatouille/

Whole Foods Market. (N.D.). Portobello and Pineapple Teriyaki Veggie Burgers. Retrieved

August 4, 2017, from www.wholefoodsmarket.com website:




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