Cauliflower Bean Bowl – $3.51 recipe/ $0.35 serving

022

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.

024

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. 

012

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. 

006

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. 

003

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. 

011

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. 

Butternut Stuffed Shells

112

These creamy, warm pockets of sunshine are delicious and easy to make. The flavor profile is quintessentially autumnal, and the presentation is so easy and beautiful. This recipe makes two pans of shells, so it ends up being a frugal meal as well.

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash (mine was around 4 lb.)

1 box medium firm tofu

1 box large shell pasta

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

olive oil

1. First you need to halve and bake your squash. Preheat your oven to 400, slice your squash, and rub olive oil evenly into the flesh of the squash, sprinkle oregano and dried basil over the oil. Bake until the squash is tender enough to easily pierce with a fork. Remove from oven, turn oven heat down to 350. Let squash cool on the counter for at least 10 minutes. 

 118 

2. While waiting for squash to cool, heat a pot of water and cook the shells. When the shells are done cooking, drain them, rinse with cold water, and leave them momentarily in the strainer. 

3. Scoop the squash out of its skin and put in a medium-large pot. Get as much of the tender squash into the pot as possible. 

4. Add tofu, fresh dill, and half of the basil to the mixture in the pot. Use an immersion blender (or food processor) to fully puree and combine the ingredients. 

113

5. Now you need to prepare your casserole pan, mine are fairly small so I used two. Spoon a thin layer of crushed tomatoes onto the surface of your pans. Then you can stuff the shells with your squash tofu ricotta, and set them in the pan. Top with sauce, and the remainder of the fresh basil. 

6. Put the casserole pans in the oven for about 20 minutes. You could top these off with nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, red pepper flakes, or even pesto. 

126

Enjoy!

134