plant based meals
Plant Based,  Recipes

Monday Menu Planning + August Grocery Challenge Update

Hello, friends! I apologize for my virtual silence lately. Life has been busy. I started a menu post last week, but never ended up finishing it. We jumped back into school and that is consuming much of my free time. So far, first grade has been a blast. You can expect to see a post on that (hopefully) some time this week.

Before, I get to this week’s menu, I wanted to share how the grocery challenge has been going. If you didn’t see my explanation of it, check out this post to be filled in.

I did pretty well the first week, but I did go over my $75 goal by $10. This is mostly because it was the week of Claire’s birthday, so there were extra things I got to make sure her birthday was special and fun. But I’m counting that as birthday expenses, rather than a grocery expense.

Last week, I ended the week being a few dollars under budget ($72!), which was very exciting. I have been purposely trying to plan less expensive meals to stay on track better. I have updated with far more details on my instagram, so head on over there to check it out.

vegan grocery haul
$75 for all of this!

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans & Spinach (from Budget Bytes) – I’m fairly certain I have posted this recipe before. It’s one of Peter’s absolute favorites. It’s also a super inexpensive meal filled with protein! You could always add more spinach or other veggies if you desired as well.

Broccoli Cheese Soup (from Pinch of Yum) – Broccoli cheese soup is one of my all time favorite soups. Cutting dairy out of my life meant I couldn’t eat it anymore. Or so I thought. I stumbled across this recipe and decided to give it a whirl. Admittedly, I wasn’t optimistic. But it has become a favorite in our home, especially with Claire. Regular milk is replaced with almond milk and cheese is replaced by nutritional yeast, which tastes surprisingly cheesy when added into dishes. Because I’m incapable of serving soup without bread, I’ll likely make this bread from Budget Bytes to go along with it.

Kung Pao Lentils (from Vegan Richa) – This is a new recipe. I always have lentils on hand and was definitely feeling in the mood for Asian food when I was making my shopping list. I decided to give this a whirl. I’ve actually never order kung pao anything before, so I won’t be able to vouch for its authenticity, but I’ll let you know whether or not it’s good.

Vegan Egg Roll in a Bowl (from My Whole Food Life) – You may remember that I made this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago. Or maybe it was a month ago? I don’t remember for sure. I know it was around the time I was starting the exercise program I’m doing right now (in case you’re curious, it’s called LIIFT 4. You can read more about it here). I just started week 6, so maybe it was a month ago. I’m too lazy to go back and check. Anyway, we all absolutely loved this recipe! I add edamame to throw in some protein.

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai (from Pinch of Yum) – I’ve made this recipe once before and I was the only one who loved it. However, I decided to make it again. The big issue (for everyone else) last time was spiralizing the onion and zucchini. It just ended up being too much for my onion-and-zucchini-disliking family. So, this time I will dice the onion, omit the zucchini and sub in cabbage. I will keep the sauce the same. If you’re vegan, you will have to find some sort of substitute for the fish sauce and omit the egg. Admittedly, I wanted to make pad thai because we went to Noodles & Co yesterday. Have you guys ever been there? I got the pad thai with tofu and it was so GOOD! I wanted more pad thai at some point this week, but didn’t want to eat out again, so this is my solution.

Easy Veggie Pizza with 20 Minute Crust (from Vegan Richa) – We’re definitely doing pizza this week. And when you can make pizza crust that’s this easy, you better believe we make it at home! Sometimes I use a cashew cheese recipe to put on top of the pizza, but since I’m pinching pennies this month, I’m skipping buying raw cashews. I buy mozzarella cheese for Peter and Claire. They get a regular cheese pizza and I make a veggie filled pizza for me. We’re all happy with that arrangement.


That’s it for this week! Hopefully you will be inspired by the plethora of Asian food and not rolling your eyes at my Asian food cravings. Do you like to eat ethnic foods? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

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