Ms Betterhome

Vegan on the Cheap – review
February 10, 2011, 12:21 am
Filed under: budgeting, food, learning | Tags: , ,

I have enjoyed Robin Robertson’s books in the past, and was quite intrigued by the Vegan on the Cheap concept. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone beyond curiousity (I’m too cheap!) – but I had a gift card to spend over the holidays, so decided to buy the book.

I think the book would be exceptionally useful for someone who is new to vegan cooking, particularly a North American (since Robertson includes lots of US ‘comfort food’ that is not necessarily comforting to Australians). There’s lots of useful advice on shopping, meal planning, and establishing a vegan pantry. But even as an experienced vegan ‘cheap eats’ specialist, I learned from it, and I recommend taking a look at the googlebooks sample chapter (linked above).

I made Robertson’s vegan cheese sauce last night, and used it in a layered bean & tortilla dish. I wasn’t sure how MrB would respond, as he’s far from vegan, and certainly hasn’t developed a taste for nutritional yeast. BUT the sauce added a lovely creamy taste & texture to the dish, which we both enjoyed. It was super-easy, and yes, super-cheap in comparison to using commercial vegan cheeses. Once you’ve made the initial purchase of nutritional yeast, that is. It’s pricey, (I paid around $11 for 200 grams last time I bought it) but very nutritious, especially considering how far it goes in a recipe. All the ingredients are fridge/pantry staples for me, and I’ll certainly make it again.

Robin Robertson’s Cheezee Sauce (slightly modified)

2/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons cornstarch
11/4 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced (she uses a teaspoon garlic powder)
2 cups plain soy milk, or water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1) Combine yeast, cornstarch, salt & garlic in a saucepan. Whisk in soy milk or water. Cook on medium heat (stirring constantly) til sauce thickens.

2) Remove from heat, stir in other ingredients. Use right away, or stir in a tightly covered container in the fridge for 4-5 days.


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