Asian Winter Root Vegetable Bowl- $4.93 recipe/$1.23 serving

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After the holidays, which for my family is basically a three day eating marathon, I always crave some vitamin rich, low-fat, detox food. This bowl is filled with sauteed parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes in a fragrant garlic ginger sauce- and it rests on my favorite homemade beet noodles. I love how this recipe takes advantage of all the winter produce available this time of year, but with a much lighter twist. Usually root veggies are heavily baked with butter or cream, but this really lightens up the starchy gems of winter. This recipe makes 4 servings, but to be honest I would double it the next time I make it because it was so good.

Ingredients – Makes 4 Servings

1 parsnip ($0.75)

1 carrot ($0.37)

2 tbsp. fresh ginger root, grated ($0.64)

1 yam ($0.78)

1/2 head garlic ($0.36)

2 beets ($1.62)

4 tbsp. vegetable oil ($0.20)

3 tbsp. soy sauce ($0.15)

1 tsp. 5 spice powder ($0.03)

1 tsp. sriracha, or other Asian hot sauce ($0.03)

1/3 cup water (free!)

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1. Peel your carrots and parsnips and slice into delicate matchstick slices. Also peel and finely dice your yam. Set vegetables aside.

2. Mince your garlic and grate your ginger. Set aside.  

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3. Peel and spiralize your beets. Set aside. 

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4. Saute ginger and garlic with 2 tbsp. vegetable oil on low heat for 5 minutes. 

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5. Add in soy sauce and water- now throw in the parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Cover pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. 

6. After 10 minutes of cooking, add Chinese 5 spice and sriracha to the pot, mix well and cook for about 5 more minutes. When done, set aside. 

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7. Now, in a separate pan, saute your raw beet noodles with 2 tbsp. vegetable oil over high heat for 5 minutes. Set aside. 

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Now assemble your bowls and serve! I ate mine as is, but you could garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro, or additional hot sauce based on your taste.

Cauliflower Bean Bowl – $3.51 recipe/ $0.35 serving

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I thought this would be the perfect recipe to kick off my new spin on this blog: frugal vegan cuisine. At just .35 a serving it fits even the most modest budget. The flavors are well balanced and mild enough for a sensitive palate. It’s also gluten free and low calorie- but still packed with protein. Most of my recipes are fairly inexpensive, but from now on I’ll really be breaking down the cost for you, and designing recipes and menus that are more intentionally budget friendly.

Total Meal Cost: $3.51       Cost Per Serving: $0.35      Number of Servings: 10 

Ingredients 

1 large head cauliflower ($1.29)

4 cups water (free!)

1 small can tomato paste (.70)

1 can kidney beans (.33)

1 can chickpeas (.33)

1 cup frozen peas (.25)

1 bouillon (.22)

3 cups rice (.25)  – made separately and set aside

1 tsp. cumin (.03)

1 tsp. vindaloo curry (.05)

1 tsp. onion powder (.03)

1/2 tsp. basil (.03)

salt to taste

1. First heat your water to nearly boiling.  I used a dutch oven to cook this, but you could use a large lidded pot.

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2. While your water is heating up, go ahead and slice your cauliflower. It will get tender while cooking so you can leave it in fairly large slices for now and break it apart with a spoon when it’s softer.

3. Now that your water is warm, add in the bouillon, tomato paste, and all of the herbs. 

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4. Now add your cauliflower to the pot. Cover and cook over high for about 15 minutes. You may want to stir it occasionally so that each piece of cauliflower has a chance to be submerged. 

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5. Your cauliflower should be lovely and tender now. You can take this time to break it up more with a wooden spoon. Add in your beans now and cook for an additional 10 minutes covered over medium heat. 

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6. Now add in the peas and mix. Continue cooking over low heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Taste to see if you need any more salt- add if desired. 

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7. I added some crushed red pepper and hot sauce to mine for extra heat. I served mine with basmati rice, but you could use any grain of your choice. 

Five Alarm Green Bean Bowl- $5.95 recipe/ $1.48 serving

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These beans pack a serious punch. If you can’t find the type of peppers I use, you could substitute with two fresh jalapenos and one yellow bell pepper. The cashews in this are my favorite because they offer soft buttery relief from the heat of the dish. I’ve been going green bean crazy lately because the produce store near my apartment has a ton of fresh beans from Long Island. They are so cheap, and so delicious.

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh green beans ($1.12)

2 orange and 1 red spicy long peppers (sometimes called hot Italian peppers) ($1.11)

4 cloves garlic ($0.20)

1/2 tsp. cumin ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. five spice powder ($0.05)

1 tbsp. soy sauce ($0.05)

1 cup cashews ($1.27)

1 cup Israeli couscous (uncooked) ($1.12)

1/4 cup olive oil ($1.00)

1/2 cup water

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1. Mince garlic, trim beans, and slice peppers. You should discard most of the pepper seeds or the spice will be overpowering. 

2. Add olive oil, garlic, cashews, cumin, and five spice powder to a large saute pan, wok, or dutch oven. Heat low and stir consistently for about 5 minutes. 

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3. Add in green beans, peppers, water, and soy sauce. Cover the pot, check and stir occasionally for about 15 minutes. While everything is cooking in the pot, make your couscous according to package instructions, when it is done set it aside. 

4. Uncover pot and crank the heat higher for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously. This part of the recipe serves to evaporate any excess water that may be in the bottom of the pot- the final product should not be soupy. Once this is done, lower the heat once again and cover the pot for an additional 20 minutes. 

5. Now mix the couscous in with the green bean mixture, and voila! 

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