Alphabet Soup- $3.86 recipe/ $0.48 serving

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Alphabet Soup will always hold a fond place in my heart. This easy recipe makes 8 servings and costs about half what the canned does (per-serving), plus it’s way lower in sodium, and the vegetables are fresh and vibrant. Today I brought a mason jar filled with this delicious soup with me to work, for an unconventional breakfast. In my view, soup is the ideal breakfast food- a warm little hug in a mug.

Ingredients

6 small Idaho potatoes ($0.83) – I buy potatoes in 5lb. bags, they usually contain smaller potatoes than loose Idaho potatoes, and it saves lots of money.

12 oz. box alphabet pasta ($1.69)

3 carrots ($o.57)

2 bouillon ($0.44)

1 stalk celery ($0.04)

1/2 head garlic ($0.23)

1/2 tbsp. onion powder ($0.06)

salt to taste

1. Peel and dice potatoes, add to a large pot with 12 cups of boiling water. Add in bouillon and minced garlic. 

2. Keep soup over medium high heat for about ten minutes, then turn low. 

3. Add in sliced celery and diced carrots, onion powder. Cover heated for ten minutes. 

4. Heat pot to low boil uncovered, add in alphabet pasta and cook for 10-15 minutes- taste pasta to make sure it is tender before serving. 

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Vindaloo Spaghetti Squash- $5.14 recipe/ $0.52 serving

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This is a delicious and nutrient packed side dish, it requires very little hands on time and makes ten servings- so you can use it throughout the week with various entrees.

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash ($4.63)

1 tbsp. olive oil ($0.16)

2 tbsp. non-dairy butter ($0.30)

1/2 tsp. vindaloo curry powder ($0.05)

1. Preheat oven to 375. 

2. Slice squash in half. Rub olive oil into each half of the squash, evenly spread vindaloo powder over each half. 

3. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, rub each half of squash with butter, evenly coating each half. 

4. Bake for an additional 30 minutes, and enjoy! 

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I can eat this as a side to anything, I love the pasta like texture and fresh crunch. The Vindaloo adds depth and a nice smokey finish.

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I still have lots of Broccoli and Sausage Penne from earlier in the week. I combined the two for our dinner tonight. Cost of a healthy vegan dinner for two: $3.06

Tex Mex Sausage Rice- $3.88 recipe/ $0.39 serving

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This tangy rice is perfect as burrito filling, but you could also mix it with some greens and roasted peppers for a nice southwestern bowl. It’s great for a lazy night because the whole recipe only takes about 15 minutes, and it makes 10 massive burritos. I didn’t include the cost of tortillas in my information because there are so many you can choose from. I used large flour tortillas (small corn tortillas are cheaper) which bumped the cost to about 70 cents a burrito. I’m still beating taco bell’s cheapest option by 19 cents a burrito, so I feel good about that!

Ingredients

2 cups rice ($0.17)

1 can black beans ($0.33)

1 can ro-tel ($1.49)

2 vegan sausages ($1.50)

2 tbsp. olive oil ($0.32)

1 tsp. chili powder ($0.05)

1/2 tsp. cumin ($0.02)

1. First make your rice. 

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2. Once your rice is done, add in black beans and ro-tel. Mix well. 

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3. Now mince and saute your sausages. Saute them in olive oil with cumin for about 5 minutes on high heat. 

4. Fold sausage into the rice and tomato mixture. Evenly add in chili powder, mix well. 

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Now use however you like! I love this in a simple burrito with a little vegan cream cheese (Tofutti). It would also be great with avocado slices, sour cream, shredded lettuce, or salsa.

Garlic Hasselback Sweet Potatoes- $2.90 recipe/ $0.73 serving

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Hasselback potatoes are a pretty celebration of one of my favorite root vegetables. The garlic and sage draw out the natural sweet molasses undertones of the sweet potato, and the texture of the slices is irresistible. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a holiday dinner. It looks and tastes like a complicated side, but it’s almost stupidly simple.

Ingredients

4 small sweet potatoes ($2.50)

4 cloves garlic ($0.03)

2 tbsp. oil ($0.32)

1/2 tsp. sage ($0.05)

1. Preheat oven to 425. 

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2. Slice your sweet potatoes, stopping about 1/2 inch before you cut all the way through. I make each slice about 1/4 inch wide. This sounds more difficult than it is, just take your time on the first one if you need to. 

3. Oil each sweet potato completely, use about 1/2 tbsp. Mince your garlic and combine it with another 1/2 tbsp. olive oil. 

4. Pull apart a few slices on each potato and stuff with oil and garlic. I use about 1 clove per potato. 

5. Bake on parchment paper or non-stick surface for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. 

6. Mix together sage and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Cover each sweet potato with a healthy portion of the mixture and return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. 

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That’s all there is to it. I coiled one of my potatoes here so that you can see how pliable each slice becomes. When we went back for seconds after dinner we  pulled out the slices with our fingers and ate them like buttery baked chips. I think these will now be mandatory at our house- there are a million ways to make them so I’m sure I’ll be posting many varieties in the future!

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.