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. 

Spaghetti Squash Pepper Pot

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Spaghetti squash stuffed in a baked pepper and served with parsnip steaks, flat green beans, and Indian eggplant. It’s a perfect autumn dinner for four. The vegetables are vibrant and fresh, and the herbs are subdued so that each piece can be fully heard.

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Suntan peppers, Indian eggplant, parsnips, and flat green beans are great this time of year. If you need to swap out the produce, use bell peppers, regular green beans, and one large eggplant, diced.

Ingredients

4 suntan peppers

4 small eggplants

2 large (in circumference) parsnips

1 lb. flat green beans

1 medium spaghetti squash

2 cups vegetable stock

olive oil

salt

pepper

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. sage

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1. Preheat oven to 375. Thickly slice your parsnips, only at the largest part- discard it when the diameter is less than 3 inches. Also trim your beans, halve and scoop seeds out of your squash, and halve your eggplants. 

2. Place parsnips in a baking dish, spread them out so that they cook evenly. Cover with vegetable stock and place in oven. Now rub olive oil into the flesh of the spaghetti squash and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place it on a casserole dish or baking pan face up- put that in the oven as well. Bake both dishes for 40 minutes. Turn the parsnips over at the 20 minute mark. 

3. While squash and parsnips are baking, put your eggplant face down in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, liberally drizzle olive oil. 

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4. Pile your green beans on top of the eggplants and drizzle with lots of olive oil again. Add in sage and basil- make sure your green beans are evenly coated, and keep the flat side of the eggplants down. Cover and cook on medium for 30 minutes, check on it occasionally and make sure to keep adding oil if it gets dry. 

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5. By now your squash and parsnips are done. Remove them both from the oven. Cut the tops off of your peppers and prepare them for filling. Using a fork, scoop the spaghetti out of the squash and fill the peppers with it. Rub a bit of oil on the outside of the peppers, and place in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. 

And serve! The squash is so crunchy and fresh, the parsnips take on an unbelievable texture, and the herbs on the eggplant and green beans bring the whole dish together with a Mediterranean sensibility.

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Broccoli Carrot Cream Soup- $3.98 recipe/ $0.40 serving

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Once the temperature drops I have soup on the brain. The flavors in this soup are fresh and delicate, and the creaminess is achieved without the aid of dairy. By utilizing high temperature during cooking, and the addition of almond milk and golden potatoes, you can achieve a vibrant thick stock. I used an immersion blender during the last part of the recipe, but you could also cool the soup slightly and then puree it in portions in a food processor. I should mention that this is also delicious when loaded onto a piece of garlic bread.

Ingredients

2 heads broccoli ($1.50)

2 large carrots ($0.64)

2 golden potatoes ($0.38)

3 stalks celery ($0.15)

5 cloves garlic ($0.36)

3 cups vegetable stock ($0.05)

1 cup almond milk ($0.75)

olive oil ($0.15)

1. First chop garlic and celery. Saute them in your soup pot with enough olive oil to cover the surface. 

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2. Once the celery has turned an even more vibrant shade of green, deglaze with water/vegetable stock (throw bouillon in now, if that’s what you’re using).

3. Peel and chop your potatoes and add them to the pot.

4. Turn heat to high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

5. While your stock is simmering away, wash and chop your broccoli florets. Peel and chop your carrots now as well.

6. Now you can add the broccoli and almond milk to the pot. Cook on high for another 10 minutes, gradually breaking apart the broccoli with a wooden spoon (it should be tender, it will fall apart easily). 

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7. Once the broccoli has cooked for 10 minutes, use your immersion blender to puree the mixture. You may want to turn the heat down for this part because it may splatter a bit. 

8. Now add in the carrots, cover with the heat on medium for another 10 minutes. 

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Now uncover, and serve up your delicious green soup! The carrots should be beautifully tender and the stock creamy, with a bit of texture from the florets.

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Broccoli Leek Bake- $6.34 recipe/ $0.42 serving

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This casserole is great as an entree, or as a holiday side dish. The pureed broccoli topping is rich and savory, and the tender carrots and potato at the bottom are just perfect. It started raining as I wheeled these groceries home from the store, but within minutes my apartment was filled with the incredible smell of roasting carrots and simmering leeks, which made it worth it.

Ingredients

3 small leeks ($1.29)

3 white potatoes ($0.68)

1 head broccoli ($0.75)

2 large carrots ($0.37)

4 cloves garlic ($0.12)

2 plum tomates ($0.48)

1 cup pecans ($1.25)

1.5 cups crushed tomatoes ($1.12)

2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil ($0.18)

olive oil ($0.10)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Wash and scallop potatoes and carrots. Scallop the carrots at an angle so that each slice is elongated. 

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3. Grease your casserole pan with olive oil. Layer in first the potato (overlapping each slice) and then the carrots. 

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4. Cover with crushed tomatoes and bake for 45 minutes. 

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5. Saute leeks and garlic in oil until tender, when they are done set them aside.

6. Chop broccoli florets and puree in a food processor along with pecans, fresh basil, and olive oil. 

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7. Layer leeks, and then broccoli pecan mixture on top of casserole. Bake for 10 minutes. 

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8. Slice your tomatoes and layer them on top of the broccoli mixture, press them into the mixture using moderate pressure. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and place back in oven for 15 minutes. 

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Enjoy!

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