Celebrate July

Delectable Dime

by Faith Escher

Pack your picnic basket, grab your friends, and get ready for the fireworks--Independence day is just a few short days away! The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays, because it's all about celebrating. For me the day has been marked by parades, picnics, fireworks, family photos, visits to a water park, camping trips and cookouts with friends. It's a joyful occasion because we can celebrate freedom, friends, family and even food!

Along with the dazzling fireworks and coordinated outfits, I have found it to be a fun activity to design Fourth of July recipes with a red, white and blue color palette in mind. An exciting challenge comes into play when we acknowledge the reality that very few red, white and blue dishes are made from healthful whole foods. Most of the color themed recipes out there are dessert recipes, and most of them are filled with food dyes, white sugar and preservatives.

Other than the classically delicious strawberry, banana and blueberry fruit bowl, what other plant based options do we have that will bring a festive flare to our tables on Independence day? Surprisingly, with a little creativity, a few substitutions and a little research, I was able to gather five meals worth of fabulously healthy and delicious color-conscious recipes! The best part is that they are naturally red, white and blue!

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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 (2)
  • 1 3 Inch piece of fresh ginger - $0.50 (1)
  • 12 oz Container of avocado oil - $6.99 (5)
  • 6 oz Can of tomato paste - $0.62 (1)
  • 2 32 oz Cartons of vegetable broth - $3.96 (2)
  • 2 Large tomatoes - $1.50 (1)
  • 16 oz Bag of frozen corn - $1.29 (1)
  • 1 Yellow squash - $0.75 (1)
  • 2 Zucchinis - $1.25 (2)
  • 1 5 oz Jar of hot sauce - $2.99 (1)
  • 1 Avocado - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Bag organic blue corn tortilla chips - $2.99 (1)
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Green bell pepper - $0.79 (1)
  • 2 Small white onions - $1.00 (2)
  • 1 Yellow onion - $0.79 (1)
  • 1 Lime - $0.19 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of green onions - $1.00 (2)
  • 1 Small bunch of parsley - $1.00 (2)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh cilantro - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 16 oz Can of cannellini beans  - $1.50 (1)
  • 1 Medium sized jalapeño - $0.65 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of ground cinnamon - $1.30 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of ground coriander - $2.36 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of allspice - $2.98 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of cayenne pepper - $2.98 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh thyme sprigs - $1.69 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh basil - $1.00 (1)
  • 2 Large eggplants - $1.75 (2)
  • 1 Serrano or habanero pepper - $0.50 (1)
  • 1 Container of vegan BBQ sauce - $3.99 (1)
  • 1 Bag of tri colored (purple, red and white) potatoes - $2.29 (2)*
  • 1 Can of california ripe olives - $1.77 (2)
  • 1 Small stalk of celery - $1.00 (3)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard - $1.79 (1)
  • 1 4 oz Jar of capers - $1.74 (1)
  • 4 Medium sized baby bella mushrooms - $2.29 (1)
  • 10 oz of cherry tomatoes - $2.79 (2)
  • 1 Ear of sweet corn - $0.75 (1)
  • 8 oz Container of balsamic vinegar - $2.99 (1)
  • 1 Large red beet - $0.75 (1)
  • 1 Large carrot - $0.50 (1)
  • 1 Small red cabbage - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 oz Container of caraway seeds - $3.30 (1)
  • 1 10 oz Can of tomato puree - $0.98 (1)

$75.00 - $85.00  *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $73.96 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 $20.29) or substitute with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

  • Salt and Pepper shakers - $3.49 (5)
  • 1 Container of maple syrup - $7.99 (2)
  • Gluten free tamari - $4.99 (1)
  • 1 0.9 oz Container of ground cumin - $2.28 (1)
  • 12 oz Container of red or white wine vinegar - $1.54 (4)

Recipe No. 1

The Best Vegan Tortilla Soup | Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Source: Vegetarian Gastronomy by Anjali | Link to instructions

  • 1-2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 teasp cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato, chopped
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly*
  • 2/3 cups zucchini or yellow squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1-2 tbsp jalapeno, finely diced
  • hot sauce*

For the Garnish:

  • hot sauce
  • avocado, diced into small cubes
  • corn tortilla, cut into strips and fried or baked (or use tortilla chips)*
  • fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • fresh jalapeno, finely chopped

Note: *To add some festive coloring to the dish, I substituted the black beans with cannellini beans, and used blue corn tortilla chips instead of homemade corn tortilla chips! Also for the hot sauce, my favorite is Tabasco’s chipotle hot sauce. I highly recommend it!

Recipe No. 2

Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: Minimalist Baker | Link to instructions

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil plus more for grilling
  • 3 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 thinly sliced serrano or habanero pepper, seeds removed
  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil*
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  •  Pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  •   Pinch cayenne pepper

Note: *Instead of using olive oil I used avocado oil since it was already on the list. This recipe is deliciously spicy and wonderful! If you are not a fan of spicy or if your diet requires less spice, go ahead and leave off the sauce or omit any ingredients.

Recipe No. 3

Red, White & Blue Vegan Potato Salad Served with Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Skewers

Part 1: Red, White and Blue Vegan Potato Salad | Cook Time: 35 Minutes

Source: Godairyfree.org by California Olive Committee posted & Alisa Fleming | Link to instructions

  • ½ pound red potatoes, diced*
  • ½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced*
  • ¼ pound purple potatoes, diced*
  • ⅔ cup California Ripe Olives, halved
  • ⅓ cup green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar*
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Part 2: Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Skewers | Cook Time: 25 Minutes

Source: Godairyfree.org by Chef Alyssa & the ALDI Test Kitchen | Link to instructions

  • 1 zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, halved*
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ear sweet corn, cut into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Note: *For the potato salad you can use red or white vinegar depending on what you have on hand. I used avocado oil for all of the recipes this week, but if you have olive oil it would highlight the flavor of the capers and olives in the dish. Also trader joe’s has the perfect bag of potatoes for this dish called the TJ’s Potato Medley, and its only $1.29!

Recipe No. 4

Moosewood Cookbook Borscht | Cook Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes

Source: Moosewood Cookbook and Erica | Link to instructions

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup diced beets
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potato
  • 2 Tbs butter or Earth Balance*
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 onion)
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 3 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar*
  • 1 Tbsp honey*
  • 1/4 tsp chopped fresh dill*
  • black pepper to taste

Note: Maybe you’ve never tried borscht before, and you may be hesitant to give it a try. I used this recipe the first time I made borscht and I honestly fell in love with it! It's a rich and hearty soup filled with nutrients and complex flavors--go ahead and give it a try! I hope you love it as much as I do! *Also note that I made a few minor substitutions to keep the cost down and to keep it vegan. I used red or white vinegar, avocado oil, and maple, instead of cider vinegar, butter, and honey. I also used parsley instead of dill because it was on the shopping list already, but feel free to add dill because it adds a nice kick.

Recipe No. 5

Polenta Rounds with Eggplant Caponata | Cook Time: Under 30 Minutes

Source: blog.freepeople.com | Link to instructions

  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, diced *Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup black olives, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 small stalks celery, diced
  • 1 Green bell pepper, diced Pinch or two red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil*
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped


Note: For the tomatoes I used cherry tomatoes and used avocado oil instead of olive oil.

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References

ALDI Test Kitchen, & Chef Alyssa. (2017, June 22). Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Skewers.

           Retrieved June 23, 2017, from www.godairyfree.org website:

           http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/grilled-balsamic-vegetable-skewers

Anjali, & Vegetarian Gastronomy. (2017, January 9). The Best Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe.

           Retrieved June 23, 2017, from vegetariangastronomy.com website:

           https://vegetariangastronomy.com/vegan-tortilla-soup/

California Olive Committee, & Fleming, A. (2012, July 28). Red, White and Blue Vegan

           Potato Salad. Retrieved June 23, 2017, from www.godairyfree.com website:

           http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/patriotic-vegan-potato-salad

Erika, & Moosewood Cookbook. (2013, April 1). Moosewood Cookbook Borscht. Retrieved

           June 26, 2017, from http://www.coffeeandquinoa.com website:

           http://www.coffeeandquinoa.com/2013/04/moosewood-cookbook-borscht/

Minimalist Baker. (N.D.). Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant. Retrieved June 23, 2017, from

           www.minimalistbaker.com website: https://minimalistbaker.com/jamaican-jerk-grilled-

           eggplant-30-minutes/

Polenta Rounds with Eggplant Caponata. (2012, September 9). Retrieved June 26, ` 2017,

           from blog.freepeople.com website: http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/09/polenta-rounds-

           eggplant-caponata-glutenfree-vegan/