Do you only have five minutes? Or five dollars? Or five things in your fridge?
Well, the vegan lifestyle is be here to help! When I think about my "broke university days" and the money I spent on food, I would honestly say I spend LESS now. I remember my usual packet of 2 chicken breasts, which would set me back around eight dollars. Now, how much fruit and veggies can I buy for eight dollars?! Answer: lots.
I'm going off good old Aussie supermarkets here, but I would also say I could buy (of the cheap persuasion) a packet of pasta, a tin of chopped tomatoes, some garlic, some basil and some mushrooms for eight dollars...maybe even less. (And before publishing this post: I went to a UK supermarket near me and it checks out! Even in the UK.)
Here are some easy, fun, staple vegan meal ideas that meet at least one or more of the following criteria: five minutes, five ingredients or five dollars! And a bit lower down, I'll switch from super simple to the "gourmet" variety. I always like to jazz up my food :)
Basic Tomato and Basil Pasta
1 Packet pasta (err...a dollar?!)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
Do I need to write how to make this? Oh okay. Cook your pasta. Sauté your chopped onion and garlic in some oil....add the tomatoes and some of the basil. Leave to simmer while your pasta cooks. Add the cooked pasta, stir through and enjoy! Add the remaining basil on top for prettiness.
1 Packet...um...nice pasta :)
About four large tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
Large bunch spinach.
This was an amazing meal that our Italian exchange student made once. Basically: put your pasta on to cook. Put your oven on to "grill". Halve your tomatoes on a baking tray and place them on with all the cloves of garlic you desire. Drizzle with some oil, salt, pepper and the basil. Place in the oven for a good twenty minutes or so.
Take a potato masher and CAREFULLY mash the them all together on the tray. The tomatoes are known to burst a little, so be careful as they'll be hot! Add this delicious constancy to your cooked pasta. Add the spinach, more basil and toss everything together. This meal is to die for! Any Italian would be proud.
Easy Peasy Beans on Toasty
Yeah, that's right! Beans on toast. Maybe I've been in England too long, but when you're broke: this totally counts as a meal!
2 Slices of bread
1 tin of Baked Beans
(Spinach if you feel like adding some "health")
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Toast ya bread. Bam. Chuck ya beans in a saucepan. Bam. Take ya toast out. Bam. Drizzle on some oil - YUMMY BAM. Pile on spinach and tip beans on top. Done.
How good does that look? It's really that easy. A great substitute if you're not a big bread-eater is to substitute with brown rice.
1 large Portobello Mushroom (or 2 smaller ones)
1/2 an Avocado
Some greens of your choice (that picture has Kale)
1 Bagel, toasted.
In this recipe, I use the avocado as a butter replacement, but feel fee to add oil if you wish. While your bagel is toasting, all you need to do is grill the mushroom for ten minutes or so in the oven with some oil, salt and pepper. It wll be to die for!
Layer the bagel with smashed avocado, greens and then your mushroom on top. Drool.
Couldn't let this post go without mentioning the humble and amazing baked potato. You can buy a bag of potatoes SO CHEAPLY. There's a reason why people lived on them in war.
Put two nice big potatoes in the oven about an hour before you're ready for dinner. Then, when they feel ready, cut them in half and fill with any/all of the following ideas!
- Vegan Butter or Olive Oil
- Smashed Avocado, salt and pepper
- Baked Beans
- Make a mixture of sauteed onion, garlic, tomatoes and kidney beans
- Other roasted Vegetables
If it was me...I would probably add a side green salad or massive corn-on-the-cobb. Divine!
And I enjoyed writing this post so much, I may make a habit out of "cheap vegan meal" ideas :)
How To Spread The Vegan Word Without Being a Preachy A***hole
10 Reasons to F**king LOVE Ricky Gervais