2 Weeks of Meals under $99

After writing the meal planning post earlier this month, the c-virus ramped-up and the closings, cancellations and run on toilet paper are now in full swing. As everyone is getting creative while in quarantine, with kids who are now off from school for at least a month, and adjusting to the different work environment, I thought I’d share some recipes you might like to add to your list of creative activities because you’ll actually be home and have a little more time to cook. These recipes really don’t take much time, just a little planning.

I planned a two week menu. I chose 8 meals because I like flexibility and sometimes just having a salad is enough and allowing for a take out meal to support the local restaurants is important to me. I did have a couple things in my pantry or freezer already, but most of the ingredients were purchased for a total of less than $70. That’s pretty good for 8 dinner meals and some leftovers for lunch. I typically cook for two people now, but most of these recipes are for four servings, some serving six.  Follow the links to the actual recipes.

BBQ Shrimp & Tahini Greens is a quick meal that comes together in under 30 minutes, if your shrimp is thawed.  (I eat an occasional meal with clean/wild caught animal protein, maybe once or twice a month.)

Chickpea Hot Pot and the Ginger Carrot Soup are recipes that are quick to put together because everything can go into one pot and allow time to cook. These two recipes hold well when frozen and can be made in larger batches to have one for the week and another to freeze for a later time.

Peanut Soba & Broccoli and Pad Thai take a bit of chopping and preparing vegetables, but once that’s done the cook time is minimal.

Veggie Enchilada Bake, Curry Red Lentils and Walnut Falafels take a little time but not difficult and definitely worth the time. These are great dishes to make a head and freeze as well, or double the recipes and make one meal for you and another to bless a neighbor.

If you want to limit your trips to the store during this time, pick up enough greens and salad veggies that you can eat in a week, kale lasts for more than a week if wrapped well and kept cold. Then rely on frozen vegetables: chopped spinach and kale, broccoli and cauliflower for sauteed sides or in the above recipes. Root vegetables and cabbage will last well and can be made into soups, roasted and served over boiled grains. Think about having canned tomatoes and beans on hand as well as dried lentils, rice and quinoa. Those things could carry you for two weeks at least, before having to shop again.

For breakfast, having oats and fruit combined with plant milk is delicious, or freeze or buy frozen berries and spinach to make green smoothies. If green is a turnoff, be sure to blend any greens with blueberries or cherries, for a beautiful purple shake. Check out the recipe page for more ideas.

For lunches, eat any leftovers from dinner, try different kinds of toasts, salads or even smoothies.

I know you don’t want to be spending more time in the kitchen than you need to. But I hope while you have some extra time at home, you’ll take a look at the recipes and try a few. They don’t take long, just a little planning. If you want more info about meal planning, check out THIS post.

Let me know how you like the recipes!



Sprouts – Two Salads

Sprouts are filled with vitamins, minerals and proteins and chlorophyll all necessary nutrients for building our red and white blood cells and easing inflammation.

Activated Almond Salad

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked 4-8 hours (sub sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup fermented pickle, diced
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 T fresh dill weed or 1/2 T dry
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Lettuce or cabbage leaves

Add almonds or seeds to a food processor and pulse to break up into a flaky texture. Add chopped zucchini and pulse a couple times to chop and mix with the almonds.  Place this mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped celery, diced onion, shredded carrot and chopped pickle. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey or maple syrup and mustard. Stir in the dill and sea salt. Pour this dressing over the nut and vegetable mixture and stir well to incorporate and coat everything with dressing, Scoop this mixture onto lettuce or cabbage leaves or onto a slice of your favorite bread.

Crunchy Super Sprout Salad

  • 3 cups pea shoots or sunflower microgreens, chopped
  • 2 cups leafy green sprouts (salad mix, clover, alfalfa)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • oranges
  • 1 cup crunchy sprouts (mung bean, lentils, adzuki bean)

Combine all salad ingredients and toss with your favorite dressing or drizzle with the citrus vinaigrette below :

  • ¼ c orange or lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/2 tsp dijon
  • 1 tsp dried dill, oregano, basil or your favorite herb blend

Creamy Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

This mushroom and wild rice soup is super creamy without the dairy found in traditional creamy soups. Oats and cashews are blended into a cream and added at the end of the cooking time.

This soup does not take much prep time, just enough to slice the mushrooms or you can purchase pre-sliced mushrooms and just dump them in.

I love a warm bowl of this soup when the temperature starts to drop, but it’s delicious enough for the holiday table.

Let me know if you give it a try.

Creamy Mushroom& Wild Rice Soup

This mushroom and wild rice soup is perfectly creamy without any dairy.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mushrooms, wild rice
Servings: 6
Author: Chef Kim


  • 1 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup Wild Rice
  • 3 cup water
  • 4 cup veg broth
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup gf rolled oats
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds optional for topping


  • In a 4 qt saucepan, over medium heat, sauté the onion in a tsp of olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute so the garlic does not burn.
  • Then add the mushrooms. Stir to combine and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. When the mushrooms have released their moisture and the pan is almost dry, transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  • Into the same pan, add the wild rice and water and a tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer, cover pan. Cook for 30 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, in a blender, combine cashews, oats and 2 cups of broth. Blend until smooth and creamy, about a minute.
  • When the rice is tender, add the remaining 2cups of broth, the mushroom mixture, herbs and the cashew blend to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for another ten minutes. The soup is ready when thickened.
  • Garnish with more fresh herbs and a sprinkling of sliced almonds, if desired.

Lunchables for Adults and Kids

Need some variety and easy healthy choices for packing lunches for work and school? Hopefully you’ll find some ideas below that will ensure your kids won’t want to trade their lunches, but all their friends will want to have what they’ve got. If you don’t have kids, these also make great brown bag lunches or snacks for you.

Salads in a jar or in a wrap-layering a salad  in a jar is best done backwards from how you would typically layer it in a bowl. doing this keeps the greens from getting soggy. So in this order add dressing, chopped peppers, cucumbers, celery, carrots, chick peas or chicken, seeds, mixed greens, spinach or romaine. When ready to eat, shake the jar or pour into a bowl.  For a wrap, place salad fixings in a tortilla and roll. Wrap in cling wrap until ready t eat.

Hummus and veggies- Make hummus by blending 1 cup of cooked beans and 1 cup of spinach, broccoli, squash or sweet potato with a spoonful of tahini, a clove of garlic, one tablespoon of lemon juice and olive oil.  Add herbs and salt to taste. Eat as a dip for veggie sticks or gluten free crackers or rolled into lettuce or collard leaves.

Mashed pea puree- Make a pea puree by mixing 1 cup of peas and 1/2 an avocado with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a few leaves of fresh mint chopped or add cumin instead.  This can be stuffed into cherry tomatoes, mini bell peppers or bell pepper halves. Also used as a spread in a tortilla with chopped vegetables or chicken.

Zucchini, apple and root noodles- Use a spiral slicer or a julienne slicer or a peeler to make zucchini, apple and /or root vegetable noodles. Beets, jicama, turnips, and carrots make good noodles. Toss noodles with any salad dressing, pizza or spaghetti sauce, or an Asian sauce made with tahini or nut butter, lemon juice, garlic, tamari, garlic and water. Or try blending an avocado with a handful of spinach and a kiwi to make a sauce (add a little water if needed) and toss with apple or zucchini noodles.

Banana roll-ups- There are several variations with this sweeter treat, but a basic recipe would be a seed or nut butter spread on a tortilla topped with a banana and then rolled. Try replacing seed butter with chocolate avocado pudding, or adding granola, or sliced berries in addition to the banana or adding a berry chia jam, made by blending 1 cup of berries with 1/3 cup of chia seeds and allowing it to jell. Use as a topping, dip or spread. For tortillas try Teff tortillas, or dehydrated vegetable or coconut tortillas.

Chia seed puddings- Chia puddings can be made with pretty much any liquid or fruit puree.  For a vanilla pudding use 1 cup of almond or coconut milk with 1/3 cup chia seeds and 1 tsp of vanilla. To this you can add a scoop of protein powder and/ or 1/4 cup of oats for optional nutrient boost. For a chocolate pudding add 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder and 1 tablespoon of honey or coconut sugar.  Shake or mix thoroughly to prevent chia seeds from clumping.  Let set up for 10 to 30 minutes.   Once you have a pudding texture, transfer to a container and layer with nuts, seeds, dried and/or fresh fruit or berries.

Zucchini pizza boats or minis- For boats, cut zucchini lengthwise and spoon out some of the seeds center to make a trough. fill with some dairy free cheese, chopped veggies and pizza sauce. Or slice zucchini widthwise and make mini pizza bites. These can be baked for a few minutes to melt the cheese, but then wrapped and eaten at room temp.

Asian rolls- Spread almond or sunflower seed butter on a lettuce leaf and place on a sheet of nori. Place chopped peppers or cucumber and two cut cherry tomatoes down center. Roll nori around lettuce and vegetables and wrap in plastic until ready to eat.

Apple stacks – These are a great crispy snack or light lunch. Core an apple and then slice it into 1/4 inch rounds that look like apple doughnuts.  Mix nut-cheese or nut- butter with a tablespoon of ground flax seed and spread over one apple slice and top with another slice to make a sandwich. Try spicing up the nut butter with some curry or cinnamon.  You should be able to get 3 to 4 apple sandwiches from a medium to large apple.

Fruit or veggie crepes – Make vegan crepes by mixing 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, 1/2 cup chickpea flour with 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Allow batter to sit for 10 minutes or refrigerate overnight. Place 1/3 cup batter in a hot non stick pan and spread thin. Cook over medium heat, flip when bubbles appear or cover until set. These are essentially very thin pancakes that can be filled with a sweet or savory filling and either rolled like a tortilla or folded into a triangle. Allow crepes to cool, store in a sealed container layered with wax paper. When ready to eat, fill with nut cheese and fruit, roasted squash or sweet potatoes, nut butters or sautéed vegetables. Or fill with desired filling and pack in a container for lunchbox.

Smoothies or blended soups- These make great take along eats. You can pack a lot of nutrition into an easily blended smoothie or soup.  For a power smoothie: choose an orange, banana or cup of berries, then add a large handful of spinach or kale, and 1/2 cup of nutmilk or coconut water. Blend. Add in any superfood powders: hemp protein, greens, maca, lacuma, tocotrenols, ashwaganda, acai, flax, etc. Spice it up with a little cinnamon and ginger.  For a Soup: Add 2 cups of spinach, 1 zucchini, 1/2 red or yellow pepper, any fresh herb you might have, 1 cup water and 1/2 avocado. Blend. Taste and add salt and pepper. If you want more savoriness add 1/2 garlic clove or powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin or curry powder. Pack these is a jar and carry along for a power snack or lunch.

Try these ideas and recipes for on the go lunches and snacks and let me know how you like them.