21 Cheap Family Meals – Healthy Vegetarian Budget Food It’s not always easy to cook for families, especially as a vegan or vegetarian. It often gets expensive, too. To help out, we’ve compiled a collection of our favourite cheap family meals. As well as being budget and wallet-friendly, each of these recipes does something else…
This article appeared in my WordPress reader and I thought it was worth sharing the link. I have not made nor tested any of the recipes. Yet.
I’m only two pounds heavier after two Thanksgiving meals.
But I have to wear my “fat” jeans because my “skinny” jeans are too tight.
Thus the search for veggie recipes.
What do you do when you want to surprise your friends with a new dish? You think of something that they probably never had, never thought they would like, and make it. You sneak it in as a side dish. Serve it with something familiar like Maple Soy Roasted Salmon. You make…
Hipster food. And if you’re thinking to yourself that cauliflower can’t possibly be hip and trendy I actually found a restaurant that has whole head roasted on their menu for seven bucks.
Here’s what I made:
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan
One head cauliflower
Extra virgin olive oil
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the green outer leaves and stalks from the cauliflower head. Tear and cut the cauliflower into florets, removing any hard tiny stalks. Each piece should be about a US quarter in width. Golf ball size is too big.
- Place the florets into a baking/roasting pan with sides.
- Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil. Toss with a wooden spoon. You want a nice thin coating of oil on each piece.
- Lightly salt and pepper and sprinkle with a hint of thyme.
- Generously sprinkle granulated garlic over all.
- Place in the oven and roast for approximately 35-40 minutes. Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so to ensure most of the surfaces of each floret get browned (this is why you want a pan with sides).
- When nicely browned add a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese over the cauliflower. Roast for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl and add more Parmesan.
Unfortunately this dish is Not Tiny Taste Tester Approved. She was not present at the dinner.
“What is a Collie Flower?”
Meet my Tiny Taste Tester. This post started as a Risotto recipe but somewhere I got off topic (I’ll return to risotto later). When The Boss learned this Tiny Human was coming to the house for a weekend visit she got quite excited. Then the orders began.
“Go to the store and buy some baby food.”
So I did just that. Little did we realize that this small person was not limited to the mush you buy in jars and pouches. We quickly began to realize our guest had worldly taste buds. OK…back to risotto. On most days I do a scan of what’s on hand and start thinking about what to make for dinner. When I gave The Boss a few options the other day her reply was:
“Risotto. You have never made risotto.”
I think I made risotto once but failed miserably. But when I made risotto this past week it turned out pretty good. When a cook makes something she has never made (or maybe just once and failed) and the dish turns out well you just can’t stop talking about it. And when the father of the Tiny Human heard the story he asked for risotto for dinner.
So I thought to myself, I can do this even if I’ve only made it once successfully.
Last night the crawler got to sample my vegetable risotto. We think she liked it because she asked for more. Today the small person sampled Ricotta Buttermilk Pancakes. When The Boss was eating her breakfast the Tiny Human crawled over and delivered her “more” sign, a small yet effective means of communication for the less vocally inclined.
Did I mention I can now make risotto? Tiny Taste Tester Approved.
“Send pictures of the Tiny Human.”
“Only if you send me your Citrus Gazpacho recipe.”
The exchange was made and Frenchy’s recipe follows:
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 TBLS white wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups orange juice
- zest and fruit of 1 orange-remove the peel and pith
- zest and fruit of 1 pink grapefruit-remove the peel and pith
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
- 1/4 medium red onion, diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 1 TBLS olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper to your taste
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup wheat germ, untoasted
- 1/2 cup wheat germ, toasted
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup riced cauliflower
- 1 medium onion, carmelized
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 medium zucchini shredded
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or trans-fat free margarine
- 4 hamburger buns
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
- Stir in wheat germ, cheese, caramelized onion, garlic powder, thyme.
- Place the shredded zucchini in the middle of two paper towels. Fold the paper towels over and gently squeeze out as much moisture possible.
- Add the zucchini to the wheat germ mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. (optional)
- Chill for one hour in the fridge.
- Shape into 4 patties, 3/4-inch thick.
- In a nonstick saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the burgers and fry until golden brown. Flip and brown the other sides.
- Serve with buns and your favorite toppings.
“Why don’t you make those veggie burgers that you used to make?”
Well, nothing ever stays the same. Not even my World Famous Wheat Germ Veggie Burgers.
Revisions ( in other words what happened?)
How is it possible a grocery store on a SUNDAY has NO MUSHROOMS? The only plain white button mushrooms were the pre-sliced variety. They were brown and old. I guess I could have bought some of those fancy gourmet mushrooms for a gazillion dollars a pound. Or I could have stopped at another store for mushrooms. In the end I decided to just wing it.
So, no mushrooms. Dried shiitake? No, too Oriental for me. In the place of mushrooms I caramelized a medium sweet onion and also added some riced up cauliflower.
In about 20 minutes we’ll find out if the substitutions works.
In the bookstore the other day I could hardly contain my excitement. I found a used copy of Mollie Katzen’s 2013 cookbook The Heart of the Plate for six dollars! Middle and Early Boomers might remember her Moosewood cookbook. I still have a copy of that cookbook in my collection. There are a few recipes from The Heart of the Plate I want to try. The first one was Peruvian Potato-Bean Stew. But immediately I saw a problem.
“If you can’t get blue potatoes…”
I’m not in Peru. 4000 to pick from and the recipe calls for the blue one. Since I wasn’t going to find blue potatoes I figured I might as well just mess with the rest of the recipe too. So here’s my version inspired by Mollie.
Adapted from The Heart of Plate by Mollie Katzen
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground red chili
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
- 3 cups cooked Mayocabo beans with cooking liquid
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion
- freshly squeezed lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add oil, onions, chili powder, ground chili, oregano and cumin . Gently saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, garlic, and salt. Saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes.. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the bean cooking liquid, canned tomatoes, cover again, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the beans, reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are warmed through.
- Season individual servings with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
If you like chili you’ll like this recipe. It’s basically a potato and bean chili, no meat. If you cannot find Mayocabo beans use pintos. It won’t taste the same but will still be excellent, kind of like using yellow potatoes instead of the blue ones. Pinto beans will hold their shape better whereas the Mayocabo is creamier and tends to fall apart with prolonged cooking.
For the beans I used a pound dried, rinsed multiple times and soaked overnight. The next day I tossed the beans into a pot, added water to one inch above the beans with about a teaspoon each of cumin, Mexican oregano, garlic powder and a bay leaf.