Satisfying on a Shoestring

Every year when school starts again I vow to change my life: get more organized, wear someting cute to school every day, pay attention in class, and of course, eat a healthy breakfast and pack my lunch. The food issue is also a financial one- after spending too much money of mararitas and guacamole during the summer, the fall marks a return to frugality: warming, cheap food that can stretch into leftovers and keep one awake during a snoozer like, say, Agency Law.

With that in mind, I invested in a few new cookbooks: Vegan on a Shoestring and Vegan Lunch Box. I recieved VOAS pretty quickly, and I have to say I love the DIY feel of the book- handdrawn illustrations and handwritten recipes, some of which are scaled to feed 300 people! The soups are definitely a huge draw, as are easy to understand explanations of how to stock a vegan cupboard and different cooking definitions.

I immediately fell for the breakfast grains recipe, which I had to alter a little bit for serving size and available grains. Whats awesome is, you can buy a bunch of grains in bulk, mix them up and store them, and each time you can add whatever to make the bowl sweet or savory. Cheap and unbelievably satifying. So I'll give you my altered version, but definitely shell out for the VOAS because its awesome.

Breakfast Bowl
1/2 c. mixed grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet, pearl barley, ect.)
1/2 c. quick oats
1 1/2 c. water
1 T. agave nectar
Raisins, cherries, and a splash of soymilk.

1. Bring water to a boil and add mixed grains. Cook for about 15 minutes or until water is mostly absorbed. Add in oats and raisins, stir until mostly absorbed, and serve. Each serving should get a splash of soymilk and nectar, as well as any fruits or nuts you feel like. YUM!

So that takes care of breakfast, but I'm still waiting on Vegan Lunch Box. Will I be too old for the recipes in it? Doubtful. Like a child, lunch is my main source of joy at law school, so I think that tiger-shaped sandwiches and carrot stars will be perfectly suitable for my mentality.

So far i've been living on cucumber, avacado, tomato, and hummus sandwiches, and ginger-lemon cupcakes from VCTOTW for desert. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

But all this still leaves the question of dinner. I think to be cheap, I'm going to spend a lot of the fall eating variations on an old stand-by: rice and beans. This time I made coconut rice (adding a small can of coconut milk and some turmeric when cooking) and spicy beans (add a can of diced tomatoes with peppers to black beans) and had an instant feast. With some soy sour cream and Mexican beer, this really can't be beat. Anybody have equally cheap meal ideas?


VeganCowGirl said...

Wow, that sounds like a great publication!! To feed 300...great, I could come up with my wedding supper out of that book.

I love the idea of adding coconut milk to my rice...why didn't I think of that....as it is what the result of a good curry is....veg, c.milk and rice!

Happy back to School!!

Liz² said...

ooh, cool! Vegan on a Shoestring is published by my university's vegan lunch kitchen! Now I'm really curious about it, I wonder if they have any copies I don't have to mail away for.

As for cheap meals... dal. Or pizza, or homemade roti with leftovers stuffed inside. And banana everything! (your avocado plate looks sooooo good though, much better than my random thoughts of legumes)