Easy vegan menu ideas for the budget conscious.
I know that some people have made comments about the Vegan lifestyle…about it being more expensive. In actuality, it is much cheaper in many different ways:
- The health benefits: eating vegan and healthy may help prevent certain diseases and health problems in the future which may lead to VERY high medical bills.
- Being vegan and healthy means you are limited to eating out in different restaurants because MOST restaurants do not cater to a healthy vegan diet. So, this means you will spend a lot less on dining and entertainment :-).
- Buying fake leather goods or other animal skins are much cheaper than the real thing and so much more “mindful”. My shoes, purses, belts, etc are actually pretty inexpensive in comparison to the non-vegan products that other people buy.
In regards to eating, if you shop correctly, you may find that vegan food is not that expensive. Here are the things you can do to cut cost.
- Grow your own food!
- Support your local farmers market. Buy local fruits and veggies.
- Buy what is in season.
- Buy in bulk.
- Avoid pre-packaged fruits and veggies.
- Monitor prices.
- Buy frozen fruits or veggies (some may be cheaper than the unfrozen ones)
- Be creative.and build a menu plan.
Here are some beginners menu ideas:
- Oatmeal (mixed with flax seed oil (for omega vitamins), nut butter (for protein and good fats), and nutritional yeast (for B vitamins))
- Fruit and veggie smoothie. If you want more protein…try a banana, peanut butter, and strawberry nut-milkshake.
- Bean burrito in whole wheat tortilla: black or pinto beans, rice, cilantro, and lime. You may even add some vegan “cheese” or vegan “sour cream”.
- Spinach salad: Spinach, sprouts, and croutons…maybe top it off with some raw nuts (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.)
- Spinach Salad: spinach, tomato, onion, sprouts, and raw nuts.
- Vegan spaghetti: whole wheat pasta, pasta sauce, and squished up tofu or sliced up TOFURKY Italian sausage.
- Whole wheat baguette.
- Buckwheat pancakes (1 box of buckwheat pancake mix = $2. Make a large batch so you can freeze them). Top with fruit sauce (ex: fresh blueberry/strawberry puree) or maple syrup and hemp seeds for omega fatty acids and protein.
- Fruity smoothie: Banana, spinach, cherry, etc….add hemp seeds (optional)
- Tomato Sandwich on sprouted bread: Sprouted wheat bread, veganaise, and sliced tomatoes. Note: you can also sprinkle a little bit of basil on the tomatoes.
- Baked potato: topped off with TOFUTTI sour cream, vegan butter (Earth Balance), salt, and pepper
- Dessert: Grawnola (raw fruits and nuts)
- Sauteed veggies with 1 package of tofu served over brown rice or quinoa. Note: The sauce I use over the veggies may vary…you can make this easy sauce: water, bouillon cube, ground ginger, white vinegar, soy sauce, and corn starch. (this meal costs less than $15 and it serves up to 4 adults)
- Bagel topped off with peanut butter and banana
- Fruity spinach smoothie with hemp seeds and nutritional yeast
- Spinach salad: tomato, bellpepper, spinach, sliced almonds, and vinaigrette.
- Vegan Burrito: whole wheat tortilla, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, and lemon juice.
- Dessert: Fruit
- Bob’s Red Mill Veggie Soup (note: follow directions on the package, veganize it by using “NOT BEEF or NOT CHICKEN” bouillon cubes or veggie broth, then towards the last 20 minutes of cooking it, add veggies like sliced carrots, spinach, eggplant, tomato, etc.)
- Whole wheat dinner roll
Things I always have in my pantry and fridge:
- Tofu ($2)
- Tempeh ($2)
- Nutritional Yeast ($6 per bottle)
- Quinoa ($3/lb)
- Flax seeds
- hemp seeds
- brown rice
- rice, wheat, or quinoa pasta
- sea weed
- wheat or quinoa flour
- organic spaghetti sauce
- wheat crackers
- whole grain cereals
- Coconut oil
- Wheat Germ ($4/bottle)
- Shredded coconut
- raw nuts
- Beans (very cheap…as low as $1/lb)
- Dark leafy greens…and lots of veggies
- Lots of fruits for snacks and smoothies
- Nut milk
- Whole wheat/sprouted wheat bread
- Whole wheat flour for bread making