Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vegan on a budget!

I recently stopped carrying around my debit card because I am a compulsive debit card user. I find myself spending at least $5 a day on campus when I have my card. I usually buy a Naked Juice and maybe a bagel at lunch. Then there's those days I think to myself, "Ohh, I'll just stop in American Apparel and look around," which always leads to some insane purchase, but it's all stuff I don't really *need* it's just convenient.

Point being I now grocery shop on a strict cash budget--fresh fruit and veggies from Kiva on Mondays ($10) and anytime I need something for a recipe I bring only $10 along. Not counting those once a month runs to WINCO to massively stock up on bulk goods, canned goods, and fake cheese/meat.

All this being said: Here is a meal (4 servings) for under $10!! And it takes no time to make.

Smoky Refried Bean Soup
(courtesy of FatFree Vegan Kitchen)

1 large onion, chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)

15 ounces fatfree refried beans

15 ounces black beans, cooked
1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 - 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (to taste)

1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

Spray a large, non-stick pot with cooking spray, and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook for one more minute. Add all the remaining ingredients and cook until the flavors blend, 20-30 minutes.
Makes 4 large servings.

Per serving: 257 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 47g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 895mg Sodium; 14g Fiber. Weight Watchers Core (4 Flex Points).

In addition I made corn tortilla chips. FatFree Vegan kicthen offers a recipe, but it's all pretty simple to figure out. (Corn tortillas, salt, lime juice, chili powder, bake.) Here's the final product:

This soup is so friggen delicious! The only alterations I made were adding fresh juice of one lime...but that's simply because I am on a lime kick like no other, using canned corn, and adding jalapeños.

Well, my dad's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day and since I am a broke-ass-ho I made him some chocolate chip cookies and sent them out to Chicago earlier today. I got the recipe from La Dolce Vegan--and I have to say it is no where near as good a the one I found in Vegan with a Vengeance (probably because this recipe uses half the vegan butter and sugar ;)) One plus is that you can't feel butter lining your throat and stomach after eating a couple--something the VwV ones promise to do. Here goes:

Rachel's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup silken tofu
3/4 vegan choco chips

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a food processor, blend together sugar, margarine, vanilla extract and tofu until smooth. Add tofu mixture and choco chips to dry ingredients and stir together well. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool. (Yields 24)

I cut the recipe in half, added chopped walnuts, and used half bakers sugar and half brown sugar. I had never baked with tofu as an egg replacer, and it worked out well. Personally though, I love using banana because I like the added flavor.

Now I have a ton of silken tofu left over...YUMMY DIP time!




themarygproject said...

OH YUM! I'm def. going to try and make that soup!
Do you think I can get a lot of the vegan jazz at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods here?


K Taco said...

No doubts! Everything for that soup I easily found at a Jewel type store. As far as other 'vegan' staples I couldn't live without like nutritional yeast and fake sour cream/cream cheese (when I am too lazy to make my own) Whole Foods is stocked to the brim...and any natural food store around Chicago.

Luckily living in Hippie Central vegan/vegetarian markets are like Walgreens around here. :)

Dad said...

I thought there was somethin' diff with those choc chips!!! I Luv U - Dad