Cheap Eats

pig1If you’re like most people in this country, things have gotten pretty tight as far as money is concerned. If you’re like me and have a family of five and you live modestly (in other words, the hubs I put together don’t bring home six figures) then you start to rethink your budget without compromising your principles. There are days when it becomes difficult. “Mac and cheese on sale for fifty cents a box? What?” Yes, I know it was my decision to have three children but I still don’t feel that I should be held to the same standard as other vegans/vegetarians. The ones who are doing all the yelling are the ones who don’t even have one child, let alone three. I do what I can, when I can and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. If there is a vegan option, I will always choose it. If my only option is to starve, then guess what? I’m eating that mac and cheese.

I visit other blogs written by other moms and I see that most of them make frequent visits to farmer’s markets or they have a vegetable garden in the back yard. I don’t have room in my yard for a garden and try dragging a screaming toddler to the local farmer’s market that’s only available once a week. Good luck! So, I turn to frozen or canned vegetables. I’m in the process of compiling about 100 recipes for a book I’m putting together for those of us who want to live animal free but don’t have the cash for things like saffron threads or $65 worth of fresh vegetables every three days. I enjoy chik’n patties but at over $4 for four patties, they aren’t exactly cost effective. These recipes are also going to be fairly carnivore friendly. My husband won’t go near anything with tofu or tempeh in it so I have to get a little more creative.

Here are three recipes that will work great at a family party or just for your family on any old Thursday night. The first one is taken from John Robbins’ May All Be Fed: Diet For A New World, but of course with my tweaking. The second one is just a cornbread recipe veganized. The third one is my aunt Betty’s recipe,  minus the gross stuff she put in there last time I had it at our family reunion last year. I would not recommend making and eating all three of these on the same day unless you want to hang out in your bathroom for the duration of your evening.

003Tamale Pie

canola oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 16 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 16 ounce can of light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 8 ounce can of diced green chiles, drained as well as possible

1 can of corn, drained

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

pinch o cayenne

3 cups water

1 cup cornmeal

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

Oven at 350. In a large pan, saute onion in oil until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, beans, corn, green chilis, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne. Mix well, until heated through, about five minutes. Pour into square baking dish.

In a saucepan, using a whisk, stir together water, cornmeal, mustard, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Spread cornmeal mixture over bean mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10.


1 cup cornmeal

1 cup ap flour

4 tbsp sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup soymilk curdled with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar for five minutes

1/4 cup canola oil

Oven at 425. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine soymilk with oil, then using a wooden spoon, stir into the dry ingredients. Pour into a square pan that has been sprayed with no-stick or that you’ve poured 1 tsp of canola oil into. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool.

0011Black Bean Salad

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained

1 package of taco seasoning (be careful here vegans! some mixes have lactose in them)

1 cup of prepared bulgur wheat (I bought a box of Arrowhead Mills bulgur for less than five bucks and I’m pretty sure it’ll last me until the apocolypse in 2012.)

1 large tomato, chopped

Mix together the beans, corn and bulgur, then mix in the taco seasoning. Make sure it’s nicely chilled before adding in the tomatoes.  How easy was that? If you like, you can add in chopped raw onion and/or green pepper. I hate onions so I’ll pass, thanks.

002This picture was taken before I added the tomatoes. Sometimes I get ahead of myself. Oops.

More to come!


Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Cheap Eats

  1. AMY

    The tamale pie looks really yummy. Too bad with an intestinal disease I can’t have most of the spices. Maybe one day I’ll say the hell with it and make it anyway. Yums!
    Keep those cheap recipes coming!

  2. This looks delicious!! and anything cheap is a definite winner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s