Ms Betterhome


Thrifty vegan musings pt 1
January 8, 2010, 5:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized, vegan eating | Tags: , ,

I eat vegan 97% of the time, and find it a really easy, inexpensive way to eat… but I’m aware that’s not the case for everyone. Here are some of my thoughts/tips, in no particular order:

*Beans/lentils & grains are cheap cheap cheap, even cheaper when bought in bulk. The best prices are found at Indian & Asian markets, although some health food shops have reasonable discounts, too. I recently bought 5 kilos of black beans (aka black turtle beans) for $15 from my local Indian market. Five kilos of basmati rice is about $14.

*Soymilk & ricemilk are fairly cheap at Aldi, but I prefer Vitasoy ‘vitality’ soymilk, which is lowfat, high calcium, & sweetened with pear juice. I buy masses when it’s on sale at Coles or Woolies.

*Faux meats & cheeses vary in quality, and are not exactly cheap. That said, I do like a home-made pizza with Cheezly mozzarella, which I buy at my local health food shop… but only on their bi-monthly ‘20% off’ discount days. I keep Sanitarium soy sausages in the freezer too… they’re WAY more processed than my usual diet, but very handy when friends invite us over for bbqs. They’re also handy for veggie paella. Again, I buy at least 6 packets whenever Woolies or Coles has a sale, which generally lasts me til the next time I spot them.

*Creativity is the key to a diverse vegan diet. I don’t often follow recipes to the letter, but I’m inspired by good techniques, especially things I’ve learned from some of the sites in my blogroll, or from vegan cookbooks. As a result, I can make a great ‘quiche’ with vegan pastry, some sauteed veggies, and a tin of cannelini beans blended with some lemon juice, nutritional yeast, kuzu/arrowroot and herbs.

*Beans and grains can get boring yes, but they can become a non-boring burrito when they’re spiced, mixed with veggies and wrapped in a tortilla with salsa. A different bean/grain/veggie combo can be rolled up and made into ‘beanballs’ , or flattened & fried or baked into falafels, or veggie burgers. These dishes are especially easy if you pre-mix your spices into ‘mexican’, ‘middle-eastern’ and ‘italian’ combinations… there are lots of seasoning mix recipes on line, and they are handy for cooking on work-nights. Again, it’s MUCH cheaper to get your spices at Asian or Indian groceries.

*Pre-packaged breakfast cereals are a rip-off (and I find most of them really boring). There are lots of DIY muesli recipes around, all easy to adapt to your tastes. I also like toast with toppings like nut butter and jam, avocado or hummus. In summer I’m a fan of smoothies with frozen fruit & non-dairy protein powder or LSA, and I also like pancakes & muffins. My bulk vegan pancake mix is good for both – I generally add fruit and nuts too. A big batch of both of these freezes well for brekky on the go.

*Finally, I take a packed lunch of leftovers (or a sandwich & salad) to work almost everyday. This means that a)I have something veg-friendly & truly satisfying to eat and b) I don’t pay cafe prices for lunch. I sometime purpose-cook a casserole or roast a batch of veggies on a Sunday, & use them for lunches through the week. MrB also takes lunches, so we have a habit of asking each other “what have you got for lunches?” after dinner on Sundays. It keeps us honest 🙂

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