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#1 of 18 Old 10-19-2011, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need to pare our grocery budget down to the bare minimum and need recipe ideas. My boys are pretty picky but they love pasta. We tend to eat too much faux meats so I need to find subs for that too. We do eat tempeh, tofu, and seitan but I can never seem to make them taste as yummy as the unhealthy pre-packed stuff. Italian sausages are going to be the hardest to cut out. I am pretty good at improvising but I tend to lack inspration and don't know how to season things if it isn't spelled out for me, so recipes are REALLY appreciated.

 

Your favorite budgeting tips would also be helpful. Anything to bring the total down. We don't have freezer space to stock things up, but I do make beans from dried and stash those in the freezer.


Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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#2 of 18 Old 10-20-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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Crock pot beans are a favorite budget meal here - white bean soup, black bean chili, tacos, etc.

 

Lentil shepherd's pie, sloppy joes and curries.

 

We eat a lot of cabbage and carrots - stir fried with some crumbled tofu and rice.

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#3 of 18 Old 10-20-2011, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Really, no one has ideas?

 

So far I am thinking:

Seitan (I'd love a new recipe to try) with cabbage, onions and potatoes

Bean and potato or bean and tempeh tacos

Tofu/lentil/bean patties (again I'd love a tried and true recipe), 'buttered' egg noodles, and green beans

Honeybaked lentils with sweet potato and rice (though I don't think either DS1 or DS2 will eat anything but maybe the rice)

Lemon basil cashew pasta

Sesame ginger noodles with broccoli and edamame (DS2 won't eat these either, picky little booger duh.gif)

 

And...I am stuck there. Any recipes/ideas would be great! thanks.gif

 

Oh yeah, anyone ever made seitan sausages and have a great seasoning blend? I can't ever seem to get it right.

 


Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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#4 of 18 Old 10-20-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by catnip View Post

 

We eat a lot of cabbage and carrots - stir fried with some crumbled tofu and rice.


How do you season this? I bet this would go over well.
 

 


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#5 of 18 Old 10-20-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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here is my super cheap bean burger recipe:

 

1 can of beans rinsed and drained (of course you could use the same amount of dried beans, soaked and cooked too)

1 cup quick oats

1 egg (or substitute if you're vegan)

3 tbsp sauce (bbq, salsa, or anything you want)

minced onions, garlic, and spice as desired

 

mix it up, let it sit for 10-30 min to soak up, then form into patties and pan fry or bake

 

you can make lots ahead of time and freeze them too, they heat up well in the toaster oven or microwave

 

i find that red or white kidney beans make the best regular burgers, black beans are really good with a bit of cumin mixed in and topped with salsa, avacado, and cheese, and chickpeas make a good mediterranean burger with bruchetta and feta cheese on pita. 

 

 

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#6 of 18 Old 10-21-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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I am glad you started this thread.  I am also looking for cheap, tried-and-true recipes.  I hope you get more responses!


J - Homeschooling mom to H (1/20/05), Z (11/6/06) and C (8/22/08)
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#7 of 18 Old 10-21-2011, 07:45 AM
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I love this:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-black-bean-soup/detail.aspx

 

I only put in half of the cumin and chili powder.  It doesn't specify, but I drain/rinse the beans.  Instead of canned corn, I used frozen.  

 

Using cans, it came to $1/serving.  It would be even less $$ if you used dried beans.  I like eating it as a soup, or poured over a small bed of tortilla (or pita) chips.  


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#8 of 18 Old 10-21-2011, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jksmith View Post

here is my super cheap bean burger recipe:

 

1 can of beans rinsed and drained (of course you could use the same amount of dried beans, soaked and cooked too)

1 cup quick oats

1 egg (or substitute if you're vegan)

3 tbsp sauce (bbq, salsa, or anything you want)

minced onions, garlic, and spice as desired

 

mix it up, let it sit for 10-30 min to soak up, then form into patties and pan fry or bake

 

you can make lots ahead of time and freeze them too, they heat up well in the toaster oven or microwave

 

i find that red or white kidney beans make the best regular burgers, black beans are really good with a bit of cumin mixed in and topped with salsa, avacado, and cheese, and chickpeas make a good mediterranean burger with bruchetta and feta cheese on pita. 

 

 


I have tofu patties on my list for next weeks meals, but I think I am going ot try these instead. Thanks! I'd love to hear more about the varieties (spice and sauce combos) you make most.
 

 


Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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#9 of 18 Old 10-21-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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#10 of 18 Old 10-21-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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Beans are my favorite for cheap and satisfying recipes. Here are a few off the top of my head.

 

One family favorite (and a huge hit whenever I serve it) is Trinidadian Black Eyed Pea Soup (it's based on a recipe from Muddhar Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook).

 

Sautee 2 small or 1 large onion until translucent but not brown in olive oil

Add in 4 carrots chopped to a small dice and continue to simmer.

Add in 2 green peppers chopped to same size as carrots. 

Allow all veggies to sautee a few more minutes. 

Then add 1 cup dried black eyed peas, 1/4 cup brown rice, 6 cups stock (or water with bullion or water). 

Add 1 T ground allspice, 1 T ground ginger, 1/2 T thyme, 1 T fresh mustard (mustard powder with broth to smooth). 

Finally add a cup of chopped cilantro. 

Allow to simmer until beans are soft and soup is creamy. 

Serve with lemon wedges, scallion greens and lots of hot sauce. 

 

We also make curried chickpeas often and serve with green salad and rice.

 

Curried Chickpeas

Sautee onion until carmelized. 

Add 1T cumin, 1T coriander, 1T turmeric, black pepper and cayenne to taste.  Stir to allow spices to toast. 

Add in a couple cups of cooked chickpeas. 

Add a few T of tomato paste and 1-2 cups of water. 

Allow to simmer on burner. 

Once liquid has cooked off squeeze a lemon into the chickpeas and toss with 1 cup minced cilantro. 

 

Black Bean soup

sautee onion in bottom of soup pot.

Add a few cups chopped carrot

Add a few cups chopped bell peppers

Add one can of tomatos

Add bag of black beans

Fill pot with water (or stock or water/bullion or water and a few beers, etc...)

Add 3-5 T cumin, 1 T oregano (mexican oregano is great here), dried or fresh cilantro, black pepper and dried chili powders (my favorite is ancho chili powder) to taste.  Toss in a few bay leaves and allow to simmer for a few hours. 

Serve with sour cream, cheese, chips, or any other garnishes your family loves

 

 

 

 

 


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#11 of 18 Old 10-30-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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I've been making this peanut butter pasta for years:

 

http://www.veganmeat.com/rec/pbpasta.html

 

I just use a small pinch of organic sugar instead of the honey or rice syrup;  I don't like sweet in my savory, but just that small pinch takes the edge off the other ingredients for me.  Also, I never blend it in a blender;  I just stir it in a pot while I heat it.  You can leave out the scallions, but if you leave them in, it's okay that they don't get pureed as in the blender;  they are delicious.  Serve this dish with a pile of steamed greens, and you've got dinner.

 

We also make a fair number of red lentil soups and dahls, even if they are a tiny bit more expensive than brown/green lentils.

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#12 of 18 Old 10-30-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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My favorite cheap meal is tostadas - mash up some beans, heat up, spread on tostada shells and top with anything you have around and your kids will eat: lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream (or relevant vegan versions), etc. I have fed five kids a filling lunch for 1 can of refried beans + one pack of tostadas + some sour cream, shredded cheese and salsa - maybe $5 total with plenty of sour cream, cheese and salsa left over.

 

A nice way to make pasta more hearty is serve a fried egg over it. Mix pasta with any veggies your kids will eat and top with the egg.

 

I made a pretty good and easy baked tofu the other day - slice tofu into thin slices, cover with BBQ sauce and bake at 325 until the sauce is mostly absorbed. Watch this one if you use sweetish BBQ sauce because it can burn. Yummy with rice and coleslaw (shredded cabbage + carrots with lime vinaigrette - oil, lime, honey, garlic, salt & pepper).

 

These Italian "sausages" look good, but I haven't tried the recipe myself:

 

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/10/pasta-with-peppers-and-sausage.html

 

 


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#13 of 18 Old 10-30-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Here is my favorite beans and rice recipe.  I make this once a week and it never gets old

 

First start up the rice.  I use brown rice 2 1/2 cups water and 1 cup rice but if you like white rice better then use that.

 

Then saute a chopped onion in some olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Once the onion is cooked a bit add 3 cloves of minced garlic.  Fry up for a couple of minutes.  Then add

 

a can of beans or the amout equivelent to it.  I like pinto the best but I have used kidney and black beans and it's good too

a can of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup-1 cup salsa.  I buy a big jar of the store brand stuff because like I said I make this often and it makes it cheaper.

2 TBSP cumin

1/2 TBSP sea salt

some black pepper

I let that cook for the remainder of the time that the rice takes to cook.  I just turn the heat down to low.  When the rice is done I stir it in.

 

When it is done I usually add siracha hot sauce to mine because my DP doesn't like spicy stuff but it adds a good flavor.  Sometimes I wrap it up in a tortilla to make more meals out of it.

 

Some ideas about making your grocery budget shrink.  I am not sure if you already do this stuff.

Buy spices in bulk at the health food store if you can.  It looks more expensive at first glance but it always ends up being super cheap.

Cook dry beans ahead of time and freeze them in freezer bags.  It doesn't take up much room.

Make your own seitan.  I use the recipe in the book vegan vittles. 

I always buy tons of canned tomatoes when they are on sale.  I use them for so many recipes and they are great to have on hand. 

 

Oh and the sausages.  I have never made them but I have heard good things about the recipe on www.vegandad.blogspot.com  He has lots of great recipies on there. 


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#14 of 18 Old 10-31-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciascl View Post



 


How do you season this? I bet this would go over well.
 

 



http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/moo_shu_vegetables.html

 

This is the base recipe and method that I've adapted.

 

  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided (2 is plenty, I can usually get by with one)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I usually use more like 4)
  • 1 12-ounce bag shredded mixed vegetables, such as “rainbow salad” or “broccoli slaw” Get out the food processor. Shred half a head of green cabbage, 1/4 head of purple, serve broccoli crowns at another dinner and save the stems, peel and shred them, and 2-4 carrots, coarsely shredded.
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts I don't bother.
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided If I have it, sure, if not, I sliver an onion and throw it in with the other veggies.
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

 

 

I use flour tortillas as wrappers, or you can just serve it with rice.

 

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#15 of 18 Old 11-03-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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I make a similar stir-fry sauce with sriracha (sub any chili/hot sauce), soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar - mix to taste. Good with tofu, soba noodles and broccoli. If you like stuff like this, rice, soba, tofu, condiments, vegetables etc. is dirt cheap at Asian markets if you have one nearby.


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#16 of 18 Old 11-04-2011, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catnip View Post



http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/moo_shu_vegetables.html

 

This is the base recipe and method that I've adapted.

 

  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided (2 is plenty, I can usually get by with one)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I usually use more like 4)
  • 1 12-ounce bag shredded mixed vegetables, such as “rainbow salad” or “broccoli slaw” Get out the food processor. Shred half a head of green cabbage, 1/4 head of purple, serve broccoli crowns at another dinner and save the stems, peel and shred them, and 2-4 carrots, coarsely shredded.
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts I don't bother.
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided If I have it, sure, if not, I sliver an onion and throw it in with the other veggies.
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

 

 

I use flour tortillas as wrappers, or you can just serve it with rice.

 


Oh my goodness! That was aswesome. I added some mushrooms and broccoli to clean out the fridge a bit. So good!!
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jksmith View Post

here is my super cheap bean burger recipe:

 

1 can of beans rinsed and drained (of course you could use the same amount of dried beans, soaked and cooked too)

1 cup quick oats

1 egg (or substitute if you're vegan)

3 tbsp sauce (bbq, salsa, or anything you want)

minced onions, garlic, and spice as desired

 

mix it up, let it sit for 10-30 min to soak up, then form into patties and pan fry or bake

 

you can make lots ahead of time and freeze them too, they heat up well in the toaster oven or microwave

 

i find that red or white kidney beans make the best regular burgers, black beans are really good with a bit of cumin mixed in and topped with salsa, avacado, and cheese, and chickpeas make a good mediterranean burger with bruchetta and feta cheese on pita. 

 

 


I made these the other night. My seasoning, as usual, was a bit bland but these by far had the best texture of any bean or tofu pattie I've ever made. I will definately do this again.
 

 


Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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#17 of 18 Old 11-05-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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*haven`t read the other replies yet, so sorry if I repeat something*

 

How about Mujadarrah? It`s supercheap, and really, really yummy. Lentils and rice cooked together, and served with a ton of caramelized onions. Yum! 

 

Or what about a cheap, filling soup (homemade tomatosoup made more filling by adding red lentils?)served with tortilla and cheese? (Tortilla, cheese and tortilla on top. In a hot pan until cheese melts.) 


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#18 of 18 Old 11-08-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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I just found this website while searching for a vegan Yorkshire pudding recipe for a friend, and it reminded me of your post:

http://thriftyliving.net/

 

It's a vegan site, despite this not being mentioned in the title.

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