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Topic: in need of INEXPENSIVE vegetarian recipes!  (Read 3141 times)
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« on: April 22, 2006 12:21:12 PM »

so right now my boyfriend and i are going through a serious slump of being POOORRRR.  we used to go out to eat a lot, but now we have to cook at home because it's cheaper.  i'm trying to find some inexpensive, satisfying vegetarian recipes.  he likes to make sandwiches.. i make a lot of pasta and soup, but what we've been doing is starting to get a little boring.  anyone have any recipes to share?
also... does anyone have any idea how to make deli slices (like the fake meat slices they sell at the grocery store)?  they are sooo freaking expensive... but they make a mean ruben!  thanks!

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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006 10:23:10 AM »

The only "deli slice" recipe I know involves sliced extra-firm tofu, cooked, and topped with Braggs aminos, or otherwise marinated in shoyu, Worcestershire, beer, and garlic powder.

Vegetarian cooking is on average cheaper than carnivorous. Vegweb.com is just full of recipes - take a look and just pull a couple things out and start eating!

Cocoa Kitten
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2006 10:54:47 AM »

Processed foods (like those deli slices) will always be more expensive, because the extra labor involved means extra machinery and energy expended to create their product, and thus they have to charge more to compensate for their expenses.  Simple staples like rice and beans make a great, satistying dish, and are probably some of the cheapest things you can find in the grocery store.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally inexpensive, but don't waste your money on "convienence" items like pre-cut salads - You can save a whole lot of money by just buying a head of lettuce.

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2006 02:25:04 PM »

This is one of my favorites- really quick and easy.

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans drained
1 can tomato soup
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
1 cup quick cooking (not  minute) rice- I use brown rice
Mix up bring to a boil, cover let cook for about 25 minutes till rice is cooked, sprinkle with cheese.

Avian Flight
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2006 03:06:23 PM »

Try allrecipes.com. The recipes are rated by people who have tried it in their own kitchens. I love tofu burrito but I never made it myself. It's basically chunks of firm tofu with other veggies (bell pepper, onions, mushrooms) cooked in some Spanish/Mexican flavoring, wrapped in a burrito wrapper. Great with cheese and other toppings like salsa, olives, guacamole, you get the jist.

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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2006 08:07:06 PM »

fried rice
1. eggs -- scramble and season with some soy sauce/ sesame oil if you have it .. cook up and set aside
2. various veggies -- chop up small and cook, set aside (broccoli, carrots, peas, bean sprouts) even better is frozen veggies that pea+carrot duo
3. it's better to do it with cold rice.. if it's hot rice.. let it cool a little so it doesn't mush up.. add everything to the rice.. a couple rounds around with soy sauce (the soy sauce is really for color, the flavor should come from salt)
4. season with chopped green onions .. pepper..

veg chili
can of diced tomatoes w/ jalapeno
can of beans (i use black beans)
onions and garlic
various veggies (peppers, corn, zuccini, carrots really whatever is around)
packet of seasoning

1. chop up onions and garlic ... cook first .. when they're soft add the veggies
2. add cans of stuff
3. add seasonings (i use the individual seasonings.. but the packets taste great too.. mccormick or whatever)
4. if you feel like giving it something extra --> green onions, cheddar, sour cream

serve with tortilla chips or bake up some corn bread (those box ones are pretty cheap)

hope this helps! if i think of some later i'll post..
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2006 04:39:46 PM »

Take a look at this livejournal community.

Also try this one:
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2006 09:56:07 PM »

dead cheap pasta sauce:
fry 1 chopped onion and two cloves of garlic in a little oil until onion is colourless. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10-20 min. That'll serve two easily.

I add zucchini or carrot chopped into little bits (fry it with the onion), frozen peas (tip them in at the end), bacon (i'm no vego). Whatever is lying around and needs eating.

Lentil salad is very cheap. Google a recipe.

My housemate and i make a pasta bake (okaaay... we buy a jar of pasta bake sauce, then add some veges and pasta) on sunday night and it feeds us both at uni until about wednesday/ thursday. And despite buying the sauce it's quite cheap.

Pancakes are very cheap.
Make your own pizza with pita bread, tomato paste as the base; and whatever veges you have. I like zucchini, mushroom and pumpkin and olives on mine.

Curries with chickpeas and veges are a good way to stretch food also.

« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2006 11:57:14 AM »

If you like it, Mexican food can be super cheap.  I make tostadas, with flat taco shells topped with refried beans, lettuce, cheese, and salsa.  You can use beans, vegetables, or soy crumbles with regular taco seasoning to make tacos and fajitas.  I make a salsa that's really easy with just tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon juice, and a bit of chile. 

Any kind of vegetable stir-fry is cheap and easy, too.  You can use frozen or fresh veggies, noodles or rice, and a few seasonings - I like garlic, ginger, soy sauce, pepper, etc.  Just basic, easy stuff.
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2006 11:34:44 AM »

If you want the deli-type "meats" look into making your own seitan with vital wheat gluten.  I used to make it often before I realized I was allergic to it.  Chili and rice & beans are also quite inexpensive, particularly if you start from dried beans.  The great thing about rice and beans is that you can make a large batch and later in the week sort of mush the leftovers up, add some flour (they might bind better with eggs, but I don't use them, so I can't speak for certain) and fry or bake them up for veggie burgers.

The thing about inexpensive meals, though, is that it really matters where you live.  Seasonal veggies are usually the cheapest.  I tend to buy those and then supplement with whatever grains, beans, etc. are on sale.  It tends to help if you have access to bulk beans, grains and nuts.

Blood orange vinaigrette (can sub traditional oranges):
Olive oil, freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh cilantro, garlic (finely minced), jalapeno (chopped very fine), ginger (also chopped very fine), salt & pepper to taste (no amounts listed because I really don't cook that way, but I would base it all on how much o.j. I get out of my oranges, and personal taste . . . I tend to prefer things tart to fatty, so I would use much less olive oil than others may prefer)

I would then toss the vinaigrette with black beans, rice or millet or barley, corn, peppers, diced onion or scallion.  Let chill (if any of the ingredients, e.g., the rice, were still warm while using).  Serve a mound over some lettuce and you have a meal.

For sandwiches:
Chickpea nicoise sandwich:
2 cups chickpeas, lightly mashed (you do still want this to be chunky)
Add to the mashed chickpeas --
Olives (I prefer black), roughly chopped, maybe 1/2 cup or so
Capers (a couple of tbsp. -- I like to add some of the brine)
Nori, 1-2 sheets  (I cut it into thin strips with scissors) or dulse flakes
Diced red onion, approx. 1/2 c
Roasted red pepper, roughly chopped, approx. 1/2 c (normal people might use tomatoes, here . . . I just can't eat them)

I usually dress it with a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil unless I have soy mayo or tofu around (with which I can make some kind of creamy dressing).  It's as good on bread as on a bed of lettuce.
white trash hero
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2006 11:57:49 AM »

erm well i love egg curry!
we usually have rice and eggs lying about ..get a cheap curry sauce or curry paste mixed with greek yogurt you can feed everyone really cheaply!!
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2006 11:48:04 PM »

OK so I don't know how "poor" you mean but basically i spend $100 every two weeks for food (that is for me, hubby and my 4 year old) We don't hardly eat out so that saves alot. We usually eat lots of Mexican food and we use the soy "meats" the one we use is "the better ground" we also get veggie burgers, eat PB&J etc etc (I just posted earlier about the foods we eat.) Anyhow there is also soyrizo that we really like (and that and the ground can be split into two meals) we usually have like veggies over rice or pasta as well. I have made meatless meatball sandwiches too.....with the frozen meatlessballs and a little baguette and some marinara YUMMY. Also we love veggie quiche too Smiley
This is one of my fave recipes though...

Veggie lasagna

no boil noodles
marinara sauce
can of mixed veggies
can of read beans

you just start out in a casserole with some sauce and put down the noodles and then just layer the ingredients one by one over and over till you reach the top. Finish off with a noodle and sauce (you can add some more cheese on the top if you wish)

Just cook it to the noodle instructions and enjoy!...makes great leftovers too Smiley

But even though you are "poor" don't fear it can be done Smiley....and we only shop at Trader Joe's too...the key is no prepackaged or convenience foods


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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2006 12:13:10 AM »

But even though you are "poor" don't fear it can be done Smiley....and we only shop at Trader Joe's too...the key is no prepackaged or convenience foods

Some of trader Joes items are a lot cheaper (eggs, butter, avacados, tortillas come to mind) then the other grocery stores near me.  I shop there for ~ 50% of my items, minus heavy stuff like flour and gallon jugs of vinegar since I live a bliock from another large grocery store.

Im a fan of sweets, so every week Ill make a crumble or crisp of sorts as its cheap and can be done not too unhealthilly.  It's also really easy to make tortillas, pizza dough, and bread/rolls dependign on the time you have to cook. 

For snacks Ill also make bean sprouts (with lentils), trail mixes with bulk food items, couscous.  Couscous is also dead cheap depending how you buy it.

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