Budget friendly vegan meal ideas - Help please!

@GreenMoo (11842)
January 17, 2009 1:30pm CST
As some of you already know, I have a steady stream of guests visiting as we host working holidaymakers, so I'm always on the look out for budget friendly big appetite meal ideas. Well I've got a new challenge approaching as I am expecting a vegan guest to arrive in a couple of weeks. I could really do with some ideas for cheap but tasty meals that would suit her. Can anyone help me?! I've only a limited storecupboard available to me and am just completely devoid of inspiration. The poor girl will be eating veggie curry twice a day unless someone can give me some more ideas! Is it possible to create a vegan white sauce which tastes reasonable? I'd love to know how. Some of my veggie meals could be adapted if I could substitute the cheese sauce. Thanks in advance!
4 people like this
11 responses
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
17 Jan 09
I found a great soup this summer! Butternut squash--or really, any kind of similar squash--cooked and throw it in a soup pot. Add some water, a little milk and a cooked pear (or canned). Blend it and when you serve it put a little cinnamon on top. It's very, very yummy! You can also add lentils or other type of bean to make it more protein/fiber rich.
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I LOVE butternut squash soup, but I´d never have thought to add a pear. I´ll have to try it next time. Thanks for the tip!
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@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
22 Jan 09
Hey, I just remembered this recipe for Broccoli Salad! 2 bunches of fresh broccoli, cut into flowerettes 1 cup raisins ½ cup chopped red onion 10 slices crisp bacon crumbled Dressing: 1 cup Mayonnaise 2 Tablespoons vinegar ½ cup sugar Toss the first 4 ingredients together. Mix dressing and pour it over salad, do not stir. Refrigerate covered overnight and mix well before serving. Serves 8. NOTE: I use non-fat mayo and Splenda, making this a nice, low-calorie yummy. I also like to add some fresh spinach and romaine. This is also good when you have cooked broccoli you don’t know what to do with, just throw on some of that dressing and toss in some raisins or currants and heat it up for a delightfully healthy dessert.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
23 Jan 09
That sounds gorgeous, and as luck would have it I´ve just bought some lovely looking broccoli. However, I guess I´d better leave out the bacon for the vegan huh?!
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@ellie333 (21029)
17 Jan 09
Hi GreenMoo, Off the top of my head I can only think of really simple things like beans on toast, nut roast, vegetable stew and a really tasty salad with mushroom burger. I am sure there are probably sites with recipes available. My daughter was vegetarian for a while but never vegan so at least I had egg and cheese dishes dishes I could do. Huggles. Ellie :D
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I must learn how to make mushroom burgers. I quite fancy those myself!
• United States
18 Jan 09
If you want cheap and hearty ... vegan chili! I just made some tonight as a matter of fact. I make the chili just as I normally would but instead of brown ground meat, I use TVP. TVP is texturized vegetable protein ... basically little irregular chunks of soy protein. YOu can find it in the health food section of your grocery store. TVP is not real expensive like some healthy things can be :) Also you are forgetting some very basic things that you probably never thought of as vegan..... how about spaghetti with tomato sauce, a salad and garlic bread? Lentil soup. Tomato soup. Rice pilaf. Grill or roast some veggies and throw them up on a roll for a yummy sandwich. Red beans and rice even. And hows about some hummus and pita chips for a snack? I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian but I do love veggies. I do hope this helps. The great thing is there are vegan products out there like vegan-mayo and vegan egg substitute. Good luck and I hope your visit is more about enjoying each other rather than you stressing over what to feed your friend.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
22 Jan 09
Since I started thinking about a vegan menu I've realised that quite a few things we already eat are actually vegan, I'd just never thought about it before! I don't like TVP myself, I can never seem to get it to take up any flavour. I think that's probably mt fault though!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 09
I use tvp in things where I won't notice it. My favorite is the chili. I have also tossed some in meatloaf (ok so that is not a vegan recipe) I do that to extend the meat AND to lower the fat content. I have tossed it into tomato sauce too for mock meat sauce. For that I toss in a beef boullion cube to add meaty flavor.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
23 Jan 09
I guess I shouldn´t give up too easily!
• United States
18 Jan 09
This is a great discussion to follow, as I have a friend that is trying to go vegan but is having a difficult time affording it. Here is a recipe I found for Chocloate Torte: 3/4 cup pecans 1 cup couscous 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup cocoa 1/4 teaspoon salt 2-1/2 cups water 1/2 cup sugar 5 tablespoons cornstarch 3 tablespoons of cocoa 2 cups soymilk Roast the pecans in the oven at 375 degrees F until they are fragrant (about 8 minutes). Cool, then grind in a food processor just enough to make a course meal. Set aside. Mix the couscous, 1 coup sugar, cocoa, salt, and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until thickend (about 7 minutes). Spred in a 9" springform pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the ground pecans. In a medium saucepan, stir the remaining sugar, cornstarch and cocoa together, then whisk in the soymilk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until very thick (like pudding). Spread evenly over the top of the cake, then sprinkle the remaining pecans. Refigerate until the cake is set, at least 3 hours, before serving. *If you aren't a fan of pecans (like me), you can leave out the pecans all together and put fresh sliced strawberries over the top of your torte and it tastes delicious! Hmmmm, I want some now.... Happy cooking!
@GreenMoo (11842)
22 Jan 09
That sounds wonderful, and I don't think we need wait for vegan guests to enjoy it!
• India
18 Jan 09
Well i am no great cook. i can only make ann omlate if I have to and toast coem bread. Yes i can brew some tea and coffee too. Besides that if yo ask me i know how to heat water. ha ha ha Anyway I am sorry I can't be helpful but you have my moral support and i cna wish yo all the best in looking after the guests. have a great time.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
22 Jan 09
Well thanks for the kind wishes, even if you can't cook!
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
18 Jan 09
We do a dish called Hay Stacks. It is corn chips or rice over cut lettuce, pinto beans, tomatoes, then the fixing for a taco. such as salsa, sour cream (Vegan version)olives and cheese (vegan version). It is a hit at our church. You can also make a vegan veggie lasagna Recipe at http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegan-Lasagna-I/Detail.aspx Here is a site with a list of vegan recipes too. http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=vegan+recipes&SearchIn=All
@GreenMoo (11842)
22 Jan 09
Thanks so much for those links. I'm getting a few ideas together now.
@mimico (3619)
• Philippines
18 Jan 09
Uh oh, I am not a good cook so I don't think I'll be a lot of help. I'd serve soup as it is very easy to make and can be filling as well. Warm vegetable soup with bread is something I'd like to eat.:) Are nuts vegan food? If so, you might want to keep some handy for your guest to munch on. Lots of fruits should also help and you can buy cheap ones at the market. :) Hmmm I also think tofu is a good dish. Soy tofu, tofu burgers, fried tofu with greens- these are some dishes that I enjoy. :)
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@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I´ve been experimenting with vegan soups over the last few days actually, and I´m happy to say that my family haven´t even noticed the difference! I think I´ll be cooking rather allot of them. Now tofu is something I dont even want to ´think about! My only experiements with it have been revolting LoL
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
18 Jan 09
It is a little unfair to expect you to become an instant expert on someone's extreme food choices like veganism. You should ask her what she eats and ask for some recipes then you are in a good comfort zone for her. You might even suggest bringing some of her favourite supplies.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I´m hoping that she´ll be able to help me in the kitchen. I´d like to extend my skills, and it seems like a good opportunity.
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
17 Jan 09
I make a vegan potato, pea and veggie soups. Also, its easy to make vegan beans. I often have to eat vegan because of my food allergies. Give it a try.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I´ve been experimenting over the last few days with making some of my soups vegan and so far noone in my household has noticed the difference. I think they´ll probably feature high on my vegan menu!
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@Charente (113)
17 Jan 09
Hi Greenmoo, how about making a vegetable pilaf served with riced or quinoa; mixed bean soup; sweet and sour tofu with stir fried vegetables; any recipe you have that uses minced beef could be made with Quorn, which is a mushroom-based microprotein, i.e. spag. bol, chill con carne, shepherd's pie etc. Hope this helps. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I´m not a big fan of quorn as I never seem to be able to make it absorb flavours as I´m sure it should. However, it´s a good standby so I´ll have to look out for some. Thanks for the pointers too. I love the pilaf idea.
@GardenGerty (105553)
• United States
17 Jan 09
I am not into vegan cooking myself, but if you were to use soy, rice or almond milk instead of cow's milk you could make a white sauce. Vegetable oil instead of butter. That would make the sauces you are thinking of I believe. In our stores we even can get soy cheese products. I hope you have lots of luck. All I can think of is lentils.
@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Jan 09
I can´t beleive I didn´t think of soy milk myself. It´s one of the few ´specialist´ vegan products for sale around here.