Hi. Last week, I made the decision to be vegetarian. It wasn't rash and something I am fully committed to. So, no meat. But today I read ALL of The Kind Diet and am now seriously considering going totally vegan. I'm 21 and a college student. Which means very little money and very little time. Also, every time I cook, it's for myself and my boyfriend-- who is very health minded, but a full-fledged southern meat-eater. I need help!! I need some good, staple recipes that are vegan but don't break my bank or make me want to run crying to the barbeque restaurant next door! What are your favorites? Or maybe, what's a good template for meals that I can play around with?
P.S. I read the book at Barnes and Noble, so I can't refer to it any time.. but if there's recipes in there that you absolutely love, I will definitely go back to get it!
Another P.S. I hope this was the right place for this post.. I just joined today!
Get rice and a rice cooker. Rice cookers run about $20 or less, good for the long term and great for making lots of rice with no fuss. You don't even have to check on it, just pop the rice and wate rin the cooker and it beeos when it's done! After you've made rice, you can add all God's nature of things to it. Examples: Throw freshly made rice in pan with sauteed mushrooms and scallions and garlic and olive oil: from the book: make rice, chop up tomatoes and basil and juice a lemon and mix it up with some salt; throw some frozen peas in the pan with lemon juice, garlic, jalapeno and olive oil....you get the picture? You can also buy bulk grains and cook them in the cooker as well!
Get a vegetable steamer too! You can steam any kind of vegetable and have it with rice, quinoa, lentils, ect. It's super easy, fast and healthy. I would recommend getting some vegan cookbooks too, there are some great ones out there with really simple recipes...you can find some online too, one of my favorites is www.fatfreevegan.com..
i definitly think you need the book. cause the entire vegan recipie section was written for your boyfriends belly! but maybe buy it on amazon for cheaper? or get it used? we also will keep poting recipies...but you need to make him all of the protien dishes from vegan section and some desserts too. he will be happy!!!
Hi Laken, I totally identify with you. When I was vegetarian for a week and going to borders looking at cookbooks and found alicia's book I read part of it there and was reading some other things and didn't know how to go about all this new stuff. I ended up thinking about the book and went back again and then I was like wow, I've never done that before so I got up early with all my new vegetarian energy and went to buy the book and read pretty much the whole thing that day at work and I refer to it all the time. That was about a month ago and I have been a vegan for 3 weeks. The feeling of being overwhelmed is completely gone!!! I am so calm, and buying or ordering food used to be extremely stressful. Also I should mention that I was a vegetarian through high school and quit when I lived in dorms because I couldn't get food from the cafeteria. Get healthy in season vegetables. Collard greens are really cheap and dried beans and grains like brown rice. Oatmeal is also really awesome and cheap if you buy the real stuff, make it with almond or rice milk and maple syrup with some apples on top (and get flaxseeds, whole is way cheaper than oil, and grind them u to put on). These kind of staple foods are seriously cheap, serisoulsy healthy real food. cook some of that stuff with some oil or earth balance butter (amazing and im a butter fiend) and soy sauce and vegetable broth and onions and garlic, and add other things when you have time and money. I have been getting some of the more expensive new things over time so that I don't get one grocery bill that is too big. Use recipes (The Kind recipes are really good) when you have time and money and especially in the begining to learn and get excited. Maybe make a big meal with a recipe once a week to share with your boyfreind and get him excited too.
Some good stuff to have on hand is: Beans (all kinds), Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Bread, Peanut Butter, Whole Wheat Pasta & Tomato Sauces (just make sure they didn't sneak any milk in it), Frozen or Canned veggies (if you can't afford fresh ones) and go for the 'green' ones (spinach, green beans, collard greens, kale, etc), Oatmeal and Frozen (or Fresh) Fruits. Mixed Berries are great for smoothies or oatmeal and you can get a big bag at Target for pretty cheap.
I made a cheap and yummy meal the other night that consisted of Brown Rice, Black Beans, Canned Spinach and Hunts Tomato Chili sauce. Mixed it all together, added a few spices and voila. Dinner :)
Grateful for Trader Joe's. I started my vegan way a week ago today. One of my staples this past week was Trader Joe's vegetable fried rice. I added to it, more onion, red bell pepper, zucchini squash, organic foursome, and meatless ground from Yves. it tripled the amount and is healthier because of the added vegetables. My next step is to now try and make the rice myself, brown and not fried.
I am jealous of all the options in the US. I am in northern Canada and things are much more expensive and we don't have stores like Trader joe's and Whole foods. That being said I find great deals in Asian markets. I also just started asking around for cheap prices and discovered an excellent produce store.
Ingredients I like to have on hand have been mentioned - beans, vegetables (Canned, frozen and fresh). I think the best move I did to keep the budget down was to meal plan. I live alone which makes it even trickier.
I pick one recipe or dish that I want for the week, then based on the ingredients from that I build others. Then I also try to find a way to make the left overs into something a little different. This way I get what I want, spend less and waste less.