Delectable Dime

meal planning on a budget

Perfectly Pasta

Delectable Dime

Perfectly Pasta by Faith Escher

Its April fools day, and that is no joke…while some people take the opportunity to creatively prank their friends, more often than not, April 1st is often a day in which someone gives another person great news and then retracts it with a quick, “April fools!” So it is easy to have your guard up on April 1st, but I want to brighten up your day by giving you some good news that is not an April fools joke…and that is all of your favorite noodle dishes can be made, deliciously, healthfully and on a budget!

Noodles are my favorite! I love all the different kinds of noodles you can make and all the various sauces that you can put on them. I love that most cultures recognize the amazing potential of the noodle…Pad Thai is my favorite Thai dish, spaghetti is my favorite Italian dish, and chow mien is a timeless classic.

I love that noodles can be dressed up or down depending on whether it is a casual event or an elegant occasion. And noodles are the best because they can be the fastest and easiest things to prepare, or they can take hours and be made from scratch in a gourmet kitchen by the top chefs. The following are some of my favorite noodle dishes, and I hope they are a hit in your home as well.

Perfectly Pasta

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

  • Cooking sherry – $3.99 (2)
  • Real maple syrup or agave – $3.99 for small bottle (2)
  • Fermented black bean sauce 8 oz – $3.39-$8.84 (1) *Purchased week 4
  • Chow fun noodles – $2.50 (1)
  • 1 Package of firm tofu – $2.49 (1)
  • 6.3 oz bok choy – $2.29 (2)
  • 3-4 Chinese chives or scallions – $1.50 (2)
  • 1 leek – $0.99 (1)
  • 4 cups mung bean sprouts – $1.69 (2)
  • 1 package (9 – 12 oz.) udon noodles – $2.57 (1)
  • 2 White or yellow onions – $2 ($0.99 cents each) (2)
  • 1 Box of button or baby bella mushrooms – $3.99 (1)
  • 6-7 zucchini – $5.00-$7.00  (2)
  • Fresh basil leaves – $3-$4 per large value pack or 2 small boxes (4)
  • Soy sauce or Tamari – $1.99 *GF version is usually more expensive (3)
  • 1 Large or 2 small garlic bulbs – $1 at $0.50 cents each (3)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – $2.99-$3.79 for one spice container (2)
  • 1 Can of coconut milk – $1.00-1.49 per 12-15 oz. can (1)
  • Smooth natural peanut butter – $2.49 (1)
  • Ground coriander spice -$3.99 (1) *Purchased week 2
  • Small stub of ginger root – $0.50 cents at $3.99/lb (1)
  • 2 Limes – $0.39 cents each $0.78 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of green onions – $1.00 per bunch (2)
  • 1 Package of kelp noodles – $3.99 (1)
  • 2 Carrots – $0.50 cents at $1.00 / lb (1)
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage – $1.50 (1)
  • 1 small bag of pumpkin seeds (½ cup needed) – $1-2.99 (1)
  • 16 oz. Cherry tomatoes – $2.29  (1)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus – $2.29 (1)
  • 2 Lemons – $0.39 cents each $0.78 (2)
  • 10 oz of bowtie pasta – $1.75 (1)
  • 1 Carton almond milk – $2.50 (1)
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts – $0.99-$1.69 a bag (2)
  •  1 Jalapeño pepper – $0.39 – $0.99 (1)

$80-90  *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $82.69 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 $22.15) 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)
  • 1 Bag all purpose flour – $4.29 (3)
  • 1 Package of vegetable bullion cubes – $2.39 (4)
  • 1 12 oz. shaker of nutritional yeast – $7.99 (2)

Recipe No. 1

Bok Choy With Chives, Black Bean Sauce, and Chow Fun Recipe | Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Source: Serious Eats | Link to instructions

  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry *I used sherry
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce *I used GF tamari
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black bean sauce
  • 1/2 pound fresh chow fun noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (about 1 medium head), cut into rough 2-inch lengths
  • 1/4 pound Chinese chives or scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 large leek, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts

Note: If you are unable to find chow fun noodles at your local grocery market, I would suggest going to a specialty food store, such as an Asian market. Also, for you tech savvy online shoppers, amazon is a great first stop, as they will likely have a great deal! If you are still unable to find these noodles, you could substitute them for any other kind of noodle that you enjoy.  

Recipe No. 2

Simple Udon Noodle Bowl | Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

Source: The Simple Veganista | Link to instructions

  • 1 package (9 –12 oz.) udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large or 3 small zucchini, cut in half and sliced
  • 3 – 4 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • large handful bean sprouts
  • handful of basil, whole leaf or roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce *I used tamari
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish *This is optional and is not on the shopping list.

Note: The recipe suggests that you can add tofu for protein, I have included tofu in the ingredients list because this recipe is designed for 3 people, so to make it suitable for 4 people I would encourage the addition of tofu to the recipe.

Recipe No. 3

Peanut Pad Thai with Kelp Noodles | Cook Time: 15 minutes

Source: One Ingredient Chef, Andrew Olson | Link to instructions

  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 package noodles (kelp, rice, whole wheat)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons basil, thinly-sliced

Note: This dish is designed for 2-3 people, so the recipe should be doubled. I highly recommend using kelp noodles for this dish as they are extremely delicious and happen to be very healthy…if however, you cannot find kelp noodles, I would suggest using a rice based noodle.

Recipe No. 4

Heather’s Zucchini Noodles with Basil-Pumpkin Seed Pesto | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Source: Cookie and Kate | Link to instructions

  • Basil-pumpkin seed pesto
  • ½ small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (arugula works, too)
  • ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, to taste (or lemon juice) *I used the sherry
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Zucchini noodles
  • 3 large zucchini
  • Salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (Heather served her tomatoes whole; I halved mine vertically)
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnishing

Note: There are several different ways to spiralize your zucchini. The recipe contains information in regard to the various ways you can prepare your noodles. My spiralizer is a handheld kitchen device from a nearby department store, and it was under $15 dollars.

Recipe No. 5

Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta | Cook Time: 30 minutes  

Source: The Minimalist Baker | Link to instructions

  • 1 bunch asparagus (12 ounces), trimmed and washed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces bow tie pasta
  • 2.5 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3-4 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

These amazing vegan noodles are healthy, delicious and easy to make! The best part about these noodle dishes is that you can feel free to have a second helping, knowing that the vegetables will benefit your body while you enjoy them!

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Cookie and Kate. (2016, June 6). Heather’s Zucchini Noodles with Basil-Pumpkin Seed Pesto.

Retrieved March 16, 2017, from www.cookieandkate.com website:

Heather’s Zucchini Noodles with Basil-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Dana, S. (N.D.). Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta. Retrieved March 16, 2017, from

theminimalistbaker.com website: http://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-vegan-lemon-asparagus-pasta/

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. (N.D.). www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved March 16, 2017, from Bok Choy With

Chives, Black Bean Sauce, and Chow Fun Recipe website:



Olson, A. (2013, April 12). Peanut Pad Thai with Kelp Noodles. Retrieved March 16, 2017, from

www.oneingredientchef.com website: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/kelp-noodle-pad-thai/

West, J. (2012, August). Simple Udon Noodle Bowl. Retrieved March 16, 2017, from

http://www.simple-veganista.com website: http://www.simple-veganista.com/2015/06/simple-udon-noodle-bow.html



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