Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vegan Cooking on a Budget

Vegan cooking can be very expensive here in The Bahamas. Too many times I have gone to my neighborhood Fresh Market, picked up items for a week of cooking and gasped with horror at the register. I have quickly realized that planning and cooking from scratch is the best way to reduce the heart palpitations I feel at the register.

The all time cheapest food-BEANS! I am sure that every vegan already knows this. Beans are low-fat, nutritious and filled with protein. Yet, how do you prepare these beans to thrill and please your family? Also how do you keep yourself from getting bored with beans? I know sometimes I want to scream at the thought of beans, again- but, different techniques and flavors can help to mix things up.



There are many different types of lentils but here I usually find green, yellow and red lentils. I use red lentils to bulk up soups, stews and curries. They also add a creaminess to dishes.
This week I am using green lentils or green split peas as they are also known to make burgers. I was blessed with a recipe from Tesha Fritz during a cooking class at Delancey Towne Health and Wellness Restaurant. Instead of making a meatloaf or "fingers" as she suggested, I formed the mix into patties and baked. Soak the lentils for about 24 hours. Pulse in a food processor with your favorite herbs and seasonings. Add a binder like oats or flour and form into patties. A lot cheaper that veggie burgers and very tasty!

Black Beans

I love the flavor of black beans. I soaked a pound of them and cooked in the slow cooker for about five hours. This can then be used in chili, soups or simmered with onions, carrots, bell peppers, cumin, salt, pepper, coconut milk and served over rice. YUM!


I am not a big fan of chickpeas but they can be versatile. This week I am preparing a Buddha Bowl recipe from the Oh She Glows blog. Recipe Roasted chickpeas are so flavorful-those I like.

Eating vegan may not be as cheap as five pounds of chicken wings but it can be made less expensive by cooking from scratch and planning.

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