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Old 01-28-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
Parkerpirates
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Eating vegan (or vegetarian) cheaply

Any suggestions? We are doing a 30 day vegan "fast" then will probably incorporate meat/vegetarian dishes to 1-2 night a week.

How do you eat vegan or vegetarian cheaply with so much fresh produce?!? We have tons of deer meat in the freezer so buying meat wasn't a major expense of ours. I bought dried beans but that was about as cheap as it got on my first grocery run as a vegan!
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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Just curious as to why you would do a 30 day Vegan diet? Anyway, here's some recipe links for Vegan goodies:

http://veganmiam.com/recipes

http://healthybodybudget.com/category/health/

http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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I'm not vegan nor vegetarian but I do enjoy meals like that.

Even when buying so much more produce you will probably find your grocery budget doesn't budge too much unless you never typically bought seafood, nicer cuts of beef, lamb, etc. for instance, shrimp or salmon may cost $10/lb but you can get a lot more than 1lb of produce for $10.

I buy almost all organic produce which is of course more expensive than conventional produce, but consider buying certain produce frozen...especially berries (except when you want fresh berries like strawberries). You will save a lot buying frozen berries. Also, while broccoli isn't overly expensive, we eat a lot of it so I buy most of it frozen.

Try making various soups such as butternut squash or mushroom & wild rice soup or vegetable soup. Just make sure you're using vegetable broth in recipes that require a broth...or make your own with veggie scraps/peels from other meal prep.

Beans & lentils are of course inexpensive and filling as are potatoes/sweet potatoes and pasta.

If you decide you want a cheesy meal, I've heard Daiya vegan cheese substitute is hands down the best.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayan View Post
Just curious as to why you would do a 30 day Vegan diet? Anyway, here's some recipe links for Vegan goodies: http://veganmiam.com/recipes http://healthybodybudget.com/category/health/ http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/
Thanks for the recipes! To answer your question, our church is doing the Daniel fast which is normally 21 days but we extended it to 30 as a challenge. I think overall we want to become more healthy, fit and animal friendly so doing 30 days would give us a good jump start to staying vegetarian/vegan with just an occasional meal with meat or dairy. I've heard it takes 21 or is it 27 days to form a habit!?!
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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We have been eating more veggies and less meat here as well. I don't cook vegan because we like cheese and dairy too much, but a couple meatless dishes I make are:

Spaghetti Squash Bake....I roast a spaghetti sauce along with a large pan of fresh veggies sprinkled with some olive oil and salt and pepper. I use carrots, asparagus, broccoli, onions, red peppers, mishrooms, etc. I cook them all for about an hour at 400 degrees. Then I basically scoop out the spaghetti squash and put in 19x13 casserole dish. I mixin the veggies with some pastasauce and mozzarella cheese. I top it with more sauce and sprinkle some parmesan on top amd bake for about 20 minutes. So yummy and very healthy.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup....made this today for dinner. I make a roux with butter and flour....add milk, chopped fresh broccoli, chicken or vegetable beoth and sharp cheddar.

Mashed Cauliflower...I boil cauliflower(chopped) until softened. Then basically drain and mash likeyou are making baked potatoes....add some milk and butter till it is the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Vegetarian Chili....I use McCormicks chili Seasoning Mix. I add beans, tomato sauce and a ton of fresh chopped veggies. I throw in crocpot and simmer it all day.

Jambalaya...I use Zatarains Mix and add veggies and some shrimp.

If you are doing strictly vegan mostof these won't work. But they may give you some ideas.....at least I hope they will.
Veggie and RiceSoup....I basically dump everything together and let it cook all day. Vegetable broth, tomato sauce, large can diced tomatoes, one can Great Northern Beans, celery, onions, carrots, corn and one large can diced tomatoes along with garlic powder and italian seasoning. Add rice half hour before you serve.

Vegetable Omelet or Scramble....eggs and sauteed veggies.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:47 PM   #6
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Sorry my post got all mixed up...typing on an IPAD and not sure what happened!
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:21 PM   #7
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I've been vegan for seven years now so here are some tips I've learned.

There are two main areas to be thinking about in buying food. The first is protein sources. Dried beans are generally the cheapest in this area, but preparing them does take some time, so we like to have canned beans on hand as well. We watch for sales and then stock up (77 cents a can is the best deal we usually find here). Tofu was also on sale here recently because of Chinese New Year so we stocked up on that too (it freezes well). You can make your own seitan from "vital wheat gluten" or (although it takes more time) from whole wheat flour. You can also buy it prepared - again, watch for sales and freeze. I still have vegan "ground meat" in my freezer from the last good sale on Yves products.

The other area is fresh produce. It's obviously harder to stock up on some of these things when there are sales because they just don't keep. (Of course, we do get frozen fruits and vegetables on sale, too.) So plan your meals around what is on sale, but don't buy too much of any one thing because it will go bad. And plan to cook some things that can be frozen. For example, last week broccoli was on sale. I made a broccoli soup with cashew cream and froze half for future meals. Tonight we are having homemade calzone with steamed broccoli on the side. (If any calzone are left, I'll freeze them too!) In two days, we'll have a roasted broccoli and chickpea dish and that will use up all the broccoli.

If you have a farmer's market near you, that can be the cheapest place to get good produce. We live about 20 minutes from a large farmer's market in Mennonite (Amish) country and you can get terrific bargains there in the summer and fall.

I don't do this anymore, but my daughter-in-law saves money by buying large quantities of fruit and veggies from the farmer's market and canning the fruit and freezing the vegetables after blanching them.

TP
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkerpirates View Post
Thanks for the recipes! To answer your question, our church is doing the Daniel fast which is normally 21 days but we extended it to 30 as a challenge. I think overall we want to become more healthy, fit and animal friendly so doing 30 days would give us a good jump start to staying vegetarian/vegan with just an occasional meal with meat or dairy. I've heard it takes 21 or is it 27 days to form a habit!?!
That's awesome! I wasn't trying to pry or anything so I hope you didn't take it that way, but you said you had a freezer full of meat so that spurred my curiosity .
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:05 PM   #9
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Wow! Thanks so much for the recipes and ideas!
I don't mind the prying at all! I enjoy talking about it!
I bought Isa Does It vegan cookbook and have made two of her recipes (Butternut bisque and pad Thai) and they were yummy! I'm not confident in my vegan skills enough to make the seitan but I'll have to try it sometime! Our little east texas town isn't very vegan friendly but I'm trying to the best I can with what I got!
So far we are on day two and I don't miss anything yet. We've also started exercising (I joined a gym and do insanity when the kids are home on Tuesdays and Thursdays) so I'm hoping to get in shape and be able to run a 5K on our January 2015 DCL cruise!!
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:09 PM   #10
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Do you have an Aldi's nearby? Since we started shopping there, we've been getting great prices on fruits and vegetables.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:49 PM   #11
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Love Isa Does It! I have made at least 20 recipes from that book and they are all delicious! I have been vegetarian for 17 years and vegan for the past 2 of those years.

Eating vegan can be very cheap or it can be expensive depending on the meal. I can get a pound of organic tofu or dried beans for way less then meat would cost but almond milk or soy yogurt cost more then the dairy kind. We also spend a good portion (probably close to half) of our food money on produce. We do lots of fresh but also frozen berries, peas, corn and mixed veggies.

If you are looking to save money and eat healthy focus on things like soups, stirfrys, pasta, curries, chili, ect. Have fun with the challenge, one thing I have found since being vegan is that I eat a huge variety of different ethnic foods now that I never did before. I love all the different flavours from other cuisines and trying new things. If you want to invest in something, invest in your spice cabinet. I love having a fully stocked selection of spices
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:33 PM   #12
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Love Isa Does It! I have made at least 20 recipes from that book and they are all delicious! I have been vegetarian for 17 years and vegan for the past 2 of those years.

Eating vegan can be very cheap or it can be expensive depending on the meal. I can get a pound of organic tofu or dried beans for way less then meat would cost but almond milk or soy yogurt cost more then the dairy kind. We also spend a good portion (probably close to half) of our food money on produce. We do lots of fresh but also frozen berries, peas, corn and mixed veggies.

If you are looking to save money and eat healthy focus on things like soups, stirfrys, pasta, curries, chili, ect. Have fun with the challenge, one thing I have found since being vegan is that I eat a huge variety of different ethnic foods now that I never did before. I love all the different flavours from other cuisines and trying new things. If you want to invest in something, invest in your spice cabinet. I love having a fully stocked selection of spices
So glad to hear someone else has her cookbook! I loved all the pictures of her food with the recipes..that stood out above a lot of the other vegan cookbooks! We are already very adventurous eaters so we have a ton of spices and "weird" foods. It makes this much easier to do since we enjoy different flavors!

We don't have an Aldi nearby but we do have The Granary which is a great source for organic, vegan and vegetarian options. It's a small place but it's better than nothing! The next best place is Kroger's.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:09 AM   #13
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I have been meat, egg and dairy free for a couple of weeks now. Thanks for the posting about Isa's cookbook. I am ordering it and plan to try her enchiladas this weekend. They look yummy! I also want to try the pad thai.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:41 AM   #14
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Check out Isa's other books as well. I have Veganomincon and Vegan Brunch both of which are great. I have also heard great things about Appetite for Reduction. Also Chloe's Kitchen is another favourite cookbook of mine (her dessert book is also good).
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:48 AM   #15
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There is also "Vegan on the Cheap" by Robin Robertson - one of our most-used cookbooks. I also find her "Fresh from the Vegan Slow-Cooker" is very good.

If you have children, Dreena Burton's books (her latest is Let them Eat Vegan) are excellent - I have six vegan grandchildren and they all love her recipes.

TP
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