Veggie on a Budget

topic posted Mon, May 14, 2012 - 11:18 AM by  Devon
I'll be having some pretty hefty expenses coming up in the next few months and I'm looking to cut back. One of my biggest problems is eating out waaaaaayyyyyy too often.

What are some good recipes which are easy and not heavily involved that could keep me budget friendly? I have a variety of beans but never really know what to do with them besides heat them up and make a soup out of them. Quiche is easy and lasts as does rice, but I can get tired of that.

You know what's weird is I think I've forgotten how to cook!!! I used to do stuff, but not anymore. :(

posted by:
  • Various bean and rice combos with lots of spices, in your rice cooker, push the button an walk away : ). You can lean toward Morrocan, Spanish, Indian, whatever. It's all in the spicesyou choose. Really keeps beans and rice from getting dull, and they are both way cheap and good for you.
    • BTW, I have a huge rice cooker...does about 16 cups, cooked. That's dinner, plus three more dinners to freeze. Frozen bean and rice combos re-heat very quickly, so it's almost like having pre-made frozen dinners on hand, without the extra chemicals and salt that you find in packaged foods.
      • I agree with Grrr... I have a large rice cooker, and freeze leftovers. Also, I have a slow cooker for various kinds of lentils, dried split peas, and whole cereal grains (like wheat berries or barley). No standing over a hot stove! I often add a variety of veggies and herbs and spices as I cook. Leftovers freeze well. I am especially fond of Asian cooking, and Mediterranean cooking.
        • You can also pack and freeze soups, sauces, cooked pastas that you cook in batches to reheat or microwave later to eat.
          That'll save you money, time and nothing goes to waste.
          Right now I seem to really be into bulgar & couscous with olive oil, chopped up cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, spinach, nuts & seeds and being lazy I use a dried herb mix I buy with leek, onions, shallots, parsley, garlic.
  • Good ideas.

    At the moment I do not have a rice cooker, slow cooker nor do I have a microwave. I do have a 1970's era toaster oven though. :)

    I figure I'll get a microwave when I move. I had a rice cooker years ago but it didn't cook my rice well. I cook brown rice mostly.
    • So I know this feed was started months ago, but food advice is handy any time of year.

      I like to substitute cous cous and quinoa for rice to change it up. Heating garlic up in some olive oil before throwing a can of beans in will make them super tasty. I like to add a few slices of avocado, some fried plantains and chopped kale to make it a meal. Put it in a bowl or on tortillas and vary the veggies to make it interesting.
      • >"Heating garlic up in some olive oil before throwing a can of beans in will make them super tasty. "

        Heating garlic up in some olive oil before doing ANYTHING makes it super tasty.

        For instance, dinner this evening was curry tempeh soup.

        Dirt cheap. So filling and... if you really want to go all gourmet on someone add a can of coconut milk to the mix.

        Here's the basic recipe:

        1 1/2 pounds small waxy potatoes no bigger than a small lime, halved
        2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
        1 tablespoon unsalted butter
        2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
        1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
        1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
        1 teaspoon curry powder
        1/4 teaspoon turmeric
        2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
        1 cup canned diced tomatoes
        3/4 cup water or vegetable broth
        splash of cream or half and half.
        8 ounces tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

        Bring a few inches of water to boil in a large pot. Place the potatoes in a steamer (see head notes), sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook until tender throughout - about 20 - 30 minutes, depending on how large your potato pieces are.

        In the meantime, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil, add the onion and cook over LOW heat until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin seeds, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, wait about thirty seconds, then stir in the tomatoes, water, and the other teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat, stir in the cream and blend with a hand blender - (or leave it unpureed if you like!). Note: you might need to transfer it to a bowl to puree, then return it to the skillet.

        Once the curry is back in the pan, add the tempeh and bring barely to a simmer. Let the tempeh cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the potatoes when they are finished steaming. Transfer to a large family-style bowl, and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

        Serves 4 - 6.
  • Easy recipe someone on FB shared for burgers.

    3 ingredient Veggie Burgers

    3 cups hot beans
    2 cups uncooked rolled oats
    1 envelope onion soup mix, check label to be sure it's vegan

    mix everything together thoroughly
    let mixture cool
    form into patties and cook over medium heat in castiron skillet for five minutes per side
    • @Erika: Do you mean "chili" or "mexican" style "hot beans", or do you mean "heated-up" "hot beans"? Also, does it matter if it's quick-cooking or regular rolled oats? I like this quick easy recipe, but I would also try it with the Knorr-Suiss brand of dehydrated vegetable soup.
      • I haven't tried the recipe but my first thought is that you'd most likely want to go with rolled oats and NOT quick and easy.
        I imagine the rolled oats would hold up better and end up being less...mushy.

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