Delectable Dime

meal planning on a budget

Cook Out

Delectable Dime

Cook Out by Faith Escher

June is here and so is the promise of a school year ending, summer holiday beginning and celebrations and vacations for all! The sun is shining brightly upon us, and with the sun comes new warmth that draws us out of our homes and invites us under the beaming rays of light into our back yards, patios, balconies, parks and beaches. The sun offers us vitamin D, new vibrant energy, extended hours of daylight and beautiful sunsets! It also gives us that tan we’ve been waiting for all winter, but best of all an opportunity for a cook out with friends and family!

If an invitation from the sun and a three day weekend is not enough to encourage you to go outside and have a cookout then your warm kitchen might do the trick! Likely, you will find yourself inspired to leave the confines of your home when at 5pm you go to preheat the oven and find yourself dehydrated by a short walk across the kitchen after a long day of letting the sun through your windows. If your house gets as toasty as mine, you might have a cookout in mind also!

The question is this: are eating healthfully and cooking out mutually exclusive? The great news is that in my experience my cookout meals are just as delightful to taste as they are for my body. This week’s meals are grill friendly and or grill inspired dishes that are meant to support you as you transition from oven-based meals to outdoor and summer fresh foods.

Cook Out

Cook Out

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)
  • 32 oz Brown rice – $2.29 (1)
  • 1 Small stub of ginger root – $0.50 at $3.99/lb (1)
  • Soy sauce or Tamari – $1.99 *GF version is usually more expensive (3)
  • 1 Jar of vegan BBQ sauce – $2.69 (1)
  • 17 oz Sriracha – $1.89 (2)
  • 1 lb Little Potato Company’s Oven/BBQ Ready Kits in Garlic or BBQ Blend (https://www.littlepotatoes.com/en/products/?id=22) – $5.99 (1)
  • 1 Package of extra-firm tofu – $2.50 (1)
  • 1 Package of all tri-color bell peppers – $3.29 (2)
  • 1 20 oz Can of pineapple rings with juice – $1.60 (1)
  • 1 lb Cashews – $5.99 (1 + Snacks)
  • 3 Red bell peppers – $3.29 (1)
  • Container of garlic powder – $1.74 (3)
  • 1 0.9 oz Container of ground cumin – $2.28 (1)
  • 1 0.9 oz Container of paprika – $1.99 (1)
  • 1 0.9 oz Container of chili powder – $1.99 (2)
  • 2 Cartons of mushrooms – $6.99 (2)
  • 1 Red onion – $0.79 (1)
  • 1 White onion – $0.89 (1)
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms – $4.29 (1)
  • 1 Container of balsamic vinegar  – $3.99 (1)
  • 1 Zucchini – $1.00 (1)
  • 2 20 oz Cans of young green jackfruit in water – $1.65 (1)
  • 1 Bag of trader joe’s shredded cabbage and carrots – $1.99 (1)
  • 1 Avocado – $1.29 (1)
  • 1 Lemon – $0.39 (1)
  • 12 Whole grain vegan buns – $6.00 (2)
  • 1 12 oz Bag of chia seeds – $4.99 (1)
  • 1 Can of chickpeas – $0.99 (1)
  • 3 Yellow squash sliced – $2.52 (1)
  • 3 Japanese eggplants – $2.50 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of asparagus – $2.20 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of green onions – $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh italian parsley leaves – $1.50 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh basil – $1.50 (1)
  • 1 Small bunch of fresh rosemary leaves – $1.00
  • 5 oz Container of toasted sesame oil – $2.29
  • Green or red leaf lettuce – $1.50

$95.00 – $100.00  *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $96.27 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 $21.46) or substitute with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

  • Salt and Pepper shakers – $3.49 (2)
  • 1 Container of maple syrup – $7.99 (2)
  • Olive oil –  $3.99 (2)

Recipe No. 1

Grilled Veggie Kebabs with Creamer Potatoes & Tofu | Cook Time: 1 Hour 5 mins

Source: Brittany at ilovevegan.com | Link to instructions

Marinade & Glaze:

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch garlic powder

Veggie Skewers:

  • ½ package the Little Potato Company’s Oven: BBQ Ready Kits in Garlic or BBQ Blend
  • 1 package of extra-firm pressed tofu
  • 1 small zucchini chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large bell pepper cut into large chunks
  • 4-5 large mushrooms cut into extra-large chunks
  • ¼ red onion cut into large chunks

Note: This recipe makes 4-6 skewers. I would double this recipe if you are feeding four people. Skewers save very well as left-overs and make a wonderful lunch on the go, so don’t be afraid to make extra. Also, I suggest serving with brown rice or a side salad of your liking.

Recipe No. 2

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: Minimalist Baker | Link to instructions

BBQ Jackfruit:

  • 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit in water
  • ¼ cup BBQ seasoning (2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ½ tsp chili powder)
  • 2/4 cup of BBQ sauce

Avocado Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage and carrots
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • 4-6 whole grain vegan buns
  • ½ cup roasted salted cashews

Note: The BBQ seasoning mix calls for brown sugar, in order to substitute this for organic pure maple syrup, you will need to first mix all of the dry ingredients and add the maple syrup to the final product. The author also lends two very helpful tips, “Trader joe’s has a great cruciferous veg mix” and make sure your BBQ sauce is vegan. Also note that this jackfruit mix would be delicious on a salad or quinoa or even on its own if you prefer not to eat flour.

Recipe No. 3

Spicy Chickpea Burgers | Cook Time: Under 1 Hour

Source: Thatwasvegan.com by Barb | Link to instructions

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ red bell pepper cut into large chunks
  • ½ large onion cut into large chunks
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon thai chili sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

Note: I substituted sriracha for the red thai chili sauce. Remember that if you are gluten free you can use gluten free bread crumbs and put these on any kind of bun or in a wrap that matches your dietary choices.

Recipe No. 4

Grilled Vegetables | Cook Time: 40 Minutes

Source: Foodnetwork.com | Link to instructions

  • 3 Red bell peppers, seeded and halved
  • 3 Yellow squash sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick rectangles
  • 3 Japanese eggplants sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick rectangles
  • 12 Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 lb Bunch of asparagus
  • 12 Green onions
  • ¼ Cup of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh italian parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Note: Grilled vegetables are delicious in their own right, so I usually just eat them on their own as an entree; however, if you have a lot of people to feed or if you want something to further substantiate the meal, I would suggest serving it with a side of brown rice and a simple salad.

Recipe No. 5

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

Source: Whole Foods Market | Link to instructions

  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple rings, juice reserved
  • 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

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Life can be so busy, but sometimes a cookout is just what we need to slow down and enjoy the moments and people that are important to us. This weeks challenge is to pick a place, a recipe and a person and cherish a meal together and reflect on what brings you joy! I hope that you find these meals as delicious as I do, and the memories that you make even more special.


Barb, & Thatwasvegan.com. (2012, January 24). Spicy Chickpea Burgers. Retrieved May 25,

2017, from That Was Vegan? website:

Spicy Chickpea Burgers

Brittany, & ilovevegan.com. (N.D.). Grilled Veggie Kebabs with Creamer Potatoes & Tofu.

Retrieved May 25, 2017, from ilovevegan.com website:


Food Network & Giada De Laurentiis. (N.D.). Al fresco dining [Season 1, Episode 3]. Food

network everyday Italian. Retrieved from


Shulz, D. (N.D.). BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from

The Minimalist Baker website: https://minimalistbaker.com/bbq-jackfruit-sandwiches-with-avocado-slaw/

Whole Foods Market. (2017). Portobello and Pineapple Teriyaki Veggie Burgers. Retrieved May

26, 2017, from www.wholefoodsmarket.com website:




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