Delectable Dime

meal planning on a budget

Spring Forward

Delectable Dime

by Faith Escher

Spring has sprung! The trees are bursting with buds, the hills are covered with wild flowers, and the waterfalls are celebrating a winter of precipitation. Nature though, is not the only thing that is in full bloom–my calendar is full of events, deadlines, midterms, weddings, baby showers, retreats, birthday parties, graduations, and spring break plans. But, there is one very important date that I have circled, it is Sunday, March 12, 2:00 am. This day is no one’s (that I know of) favorite holiday, but it is one that we all must observe regardless of our choice: Spring Forward.

So in a season that is already full, in which we must spring forward and lose an hour of sleep, what do we let go of? Do we skip one hour at the gym? Do we show up an hour late for class? Do we get excused from a mandatory meeting? Or do we miss our friend’s wedding? Hopefully not…so where does our spring forward hour go, and how to we prepare for it? Maybe we can spend less time cooking! But how? How do we save time cooking and keep eating healthfully so that when it comes down to crunch time, we don’t find ourselves crunching on a bag of chips rather than a healthy carrot…

This week I am going to help you save time, so that you can maybe find that hour that you’ll be missing out on due to the time change, and maybe it will give you the renewed energy to spring forward with the clock! This week I have selected all five of the recipes to have a cook time of 10-30 minutes, so that you can win back that extra hour.

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 cents each (2)
  • Small stub of ginger root – $0.50 cents worth at $3.99/lb (1)
  • 2 Lemons – $0.39 cents each (2)
  • 1 Bunch of fresh cilantro – $1 per bunch (1-2)
  • 1 Can of navy or white beans – $0.99 (1)
  • 1 Red onion – $1 each (1)
  • 1 Yellow onion – $1 each (2)
  • 1 Bag of quinoa – $6.99 – $7.99 (3-4)
  • 1 Bunch of green onions – $1 per bunch (3)
  • 1 Bag of cashews – $4.00 (2)
  • 1 Jar of salsa – $2.50 (1)
  • 1 Cucumber – $0.89  (1)
  • 1 Bag of avocados – $5.00 (2)
  • 2 Green bell peppers – $2 at $0.99 each (2)
  • 4 Tomatoes – $3.50 (1)
  • 16 oz. Cherry tomatoes – $2.29  (1)
  • 2 Cups of corn (4 ears or 1 bag of frozen) – $4
  • 1 Bag of tortillas (4-6) – $2.38
  • 1 Bin of arugula – $2.50 (1)
  • Your favorite loaf of bread – $2.49 (1)
  • Paprika – $2.59 (1)
  • Chipotle powder – $2.19 (1)
  • 1 Bunch fresh basil – $2.50 (1)
  • 1 Jar of capers – $1.69 (1)
  • 1 Box/bag of linguine – $1.70 (1)
  • Kalamata olives – $3.99 (2)
  • 2 Carrots – $1.70 (1)
  • Head of broccoli – $2.29 (1)
  • 10 oz. Snap peas – $2.48 (1)
  • 8 oz. Edamame – $1.19 (1)
  • Dried oregano – $1.83 (1)
  • 1 Can of pineapple – $1.00 (1)

$70.47-72.50  *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $70.89 this week.

If you followed us last week however, if this is your first week you will need to make these additional purchases (appx $22.03) or substitute with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

  • Salt and Pepper shakers – $3.49 (2)
  • Sriracha – $3.59 (1)
  • Agave – $3.99 for small bottle (1)
  • Soy sauce or Tamari – $1.99 *GF version is usually more expensive (3)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – $2.99 for spice container (1)
  • Olive oil – $3.99 for 12 oz container (3)
  • Rice vinegar – $1.99 per bottle (2)

Recipe No. 1

Vegan Greek Salad | Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Source: Minimal Eats | Link to Instructions

  • ½ red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Vegan tofu Feta cheese (*See note)
  • 40 black olives
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Note: The recipe above has an additional link to a recipe for “Vegan tofu Feta Cheese” that has amazing reviews, however, if you decide to do this, know that tofu would need to be added to the shopping list as well as apple cider vinegar. The reason that I have not added these items to the list is because without the tofu the recipe is a 10 minute meal, whereas with the tofu, it requires preparation the night before. 

Recipe No. 2

Chipotle Roasted Corn Avocado Toast | Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Source: Vegan Richa | Link to instructions 

Roasted Corn:

  • 2 small/medium ears of corn or 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • ½ tsp or more smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp or more black pepper
  • ¼ tsp or more salt


  • Multigrain bread or ciabatta slices
  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • lime juice or lemon juice to taste

Note: This recipe serves two so you will need to double the recipe and have included enough ingredients in the shopping list to serve four. Avocado toast it amazing, and much cheaper when you make it at home! You can be creative with the bread! If you are gluten free, get a gluten free brand, if you have a favorite bakery, you could pick up your favorite loaf! 

Recipe No. 3

Avocado and White Bean Burritos | Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Source: Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook | Link to cookbook

  • ½ ripe Haas avocado (dark, knobby skin)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup canned white or navy beans, rinsed and drained (about half of a 15-ounce can)
  • 2 large whole-wheat flour tortillas (7-8 inches)
  • Store bought salsa
  • Tabasco (optional)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh arugula or fresh cilantro

In a bowl, “Add the lemon juice and mash the avocado with the back of a large spoon or fork. Add the beans; mash the mixture some more, and stir to combine. Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet for 20 to 30 seconds on each side. Spoon have the avocado into each tortilla, and add the salsa. Sprinkle on the tabasco if you desire. Garnish with a generous amount of arugula” (76).

Note: Recipe made for two but ingredients list for shopping serves 4. Additionally, Note that I didn’t add the optional tabasco to the list, but feel free to add it to the list if you like to spice up your food. 

Recipe No. 4

Puttanesca Sauce with Fried Capers over Linguine | Cook Time: 25-30 Minutes

Source: The Vegetarian Times | Link to instructions

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. capers, drained and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 red onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved (3½ cups)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, divided
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz. linguine

Note: If you are gluten free, I suggest using quinoa grain noodles instead of the linguine.

Recipe No. 5

Easy Vegetable Teriyaki Stir Fry | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Source: Hummusapian | Link to instructions

For the stir fry:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 heaping cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1½ cups sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • ¾ cup roasted salted cashews
  • 1 cup edamame
  • Sliced green onions, optional for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 1-8oz can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, not drained
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (sub tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional, for thickness)
  • 2 tsp sriracha

Note: Since the chia seeds were optional, and the recipe used only a small tbsp, I left the chia seeds off the shopping list. 

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I hope that this week’s blog has provided you with the tools that you need to save time, so that you can wake up feeling encouraged that you didn’t ground due to the time change, and maybe it will give you the renewed energy to spring forward with the clock!


Hingle, R. (2016, September 2). Chipotle Roasted Corn Avocado Toast. Retrieved February

16, 2017, from VeganRicha.com website:

Chipotle Roasted Corn Avocado Toast

Joseph, A. (2016, February 22). Easy Vegetable Teriyaki Stir Fry. Retrieved February 16,

2017, from hummusapien.com website: http://www.hummusapien.com/easy-vegetable-


Raymond, C. (2006). Avocado and White Bean Burritos. In C. Raymond (Author), Student’s

Go Vegan Cookbook (p. 76). New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Robles, I. (2014). Vega Greek Salad. Retrieved February 16, 2017, from

SimpleVeganBlog.com website: http://simpleveganblog.com/vegan-greek-salad/

The Vegetarian Times. (2016, March). Puttanesca Sauce with Fried Capers over Linguine.

Retrieved February 16, 2017, from The Vegetarian Times website:




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