Shop Like You Give a Damn - Healthy Meal Planning on a Budget


Sure, that word is certainly not a part of my every day life, as I seem to have the same kitchen sensibilities as a frat boy…well at least a vegan one. However, I felt compelled to write this post, because some of the reasons I get from others on why they won’t entertain a vegetarian or vegan diet are because:

“It’s too complicated and I don’t have the time to dedicate to that…”


“Eating healthy is too costly.”

I’m here to debunk that myth by sharing one of my favorite healthy recipes and also provide information on an upcoming workshop that will demystify Healthy Meal Planning On A Budget!

Lemon Couscous with Chickpeas, Cilantro, Raisins and Almonds (from Shape magazine)

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes


1 1⁄2   cups water
1   tablespoon olive oil
1   teaspoon salt
1⁄2   teaspoon cumin
1⁄4   teaspoon turmeric
1⁄4   teaspoon cayenne
10   ounces whole-wheat couscous
1⁄4   cup golden raisins
1   cup slivered almonds
2   cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 oz tablespoons shallots, minced
1⁄4 oz cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1⁄2 oz cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 oz lemon, zested and juice



In a small pot or Dutch oven, combine the water, olive oil, salt, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil, stir in the couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff up the grains with a fork. Cover and let stand for another few minutes while you prepare the mix-ins.

In the meantime place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes so the raisins get re-hydrated and plump.

In a small frying pan, toast the almonds over medium heat. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn—this will only take about 3 minutes.

In a medium salad bowl, toss the couscous with the remaining ingredients. Drain the raisins and add them to the bowl, along with the toasted nuts. Taste for seasoning and serve.

As you can see from below, this dish won’t blow your caloric intake budget either!

Nutrition Score per serving

(2.5 oz. couscous

1/4 cup chickpeas) 395 calories

88 g fat

1 g saturated fat

70 g carbs

6 g fiber

12.6 g protein

1.8 mg iron

50 mg calcium

200 mg sodium


Whether your motives are to look smashing in a string bikini this summer, feed your family with thoughtful healthy options, or flirt with a veg lifestye, I have a fun and informational upcoming event that will lead you in the right direction. My friends at The Turnip Truck Urban Fare and I are hosting a FREE Healthy Meal Planning On A Budget workshop that will guide us through the store with ease as we plan and budget for meals that will not only fulfill our tastebuds but also leave our wallets with a higher self-esteem too! All attendees will receive 10% off of their groceries that evening and also enjoy a $5 gift card too. Spaces are limited so RSVP now.


Besides, isn’t it more enjoyable to shop for a dazzling sustainable wardrobe when your body feels strong, healthy, and confidant?

Share some of your favorite healthy, vegan or vegetarian recipes in the comments section! My tastebuds need you.











Photo courtesy of Ashley Hylbert Photography.