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Old 09-21-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
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Okay I had my first mostly vegetarian shopping trip today. I read recipes and some things sound great, but I am on a budget and already spent 80 dollars just now lol. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could look over my list and give me other options with these foods. I was raised to leanr a meal isn't a meal without meat and to be completely honest I'm really scared I wont be satisfied. But, I've thought about doing this long enough so it's time for the first step. I am not cutting cheese or eggs out yet, though. That one may take a little longer.

garbanzo beans (canned)
garlic, minced
curry powder
wheat flour
cayenne
cumin
black beans
white mushrooms
cloves garlic
whole wheat bread crumbs
cilantro
ricotta cheese
avocados
ground cumin
tahini
tomatoes
romaine lettuce
cauliflower
Kale (I'm trying these kale chips lol!)
whole wheat rice
and different breads


and then some veggie stir fry and seasonings

I had to buy all the seasonings today, I've never bought them or cooked with them before. This all is completely new to me. I got all this for a few good recipes I found online but I don't know what to do with the rest, except for a salad or veggies and rice. Is there anything else I can do to make the same things taste a little different without spending more money?

These are the recipes I bought stuff for.

FALAFEL

6 Servings

4 cups cooked garbanzo beans
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup onions, minced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash cayenne
1/3 cup whole wheat flour


BEAN BURRITO


1 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn (optional, but i add it because it fills me up more)
4 wheat tortillas
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon FF cheddar cheese (optional)

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

There's a very good reason "Wings of Life" is at the top of our cookbook list. A
nother time-intensive-but-totally-worth-it hippie food.

2 pounds large white mushrooms
3-4 cloves garlic
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, scallions or cilantro
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
paprika

GUACAMOLE

It's true. More yummy goodness from Ms. Julie Jordan.

1 ripe avocado
1/4 medium tomato
1/4 small onion
1 T sour cream or ricotta cheese
1/2 t ground cumin
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt (or less)
a little lemon or lime juice

HUMMUS

15 oz. can chick peas (drain, but reserve liquid)
2 cloves garlic (or more)
1/2 t salt
1 T tahini
juice of 1 lemon (or more)
2-6 T chick pea canning liquid
optional: chopped parsley, shredded carrot


I'm sorry this is long. But, I want yall to know what I have. This is extremely new for me. And I have no idea what I am doing. I read a lot of recipes online last night, and there's so many seasonings I don't have or have never heard of. Any help for my first day?

amber
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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Oh my gosh, I have to post. I just made my Kale chips- never even tried it before. Anyways I ate it raw and thought eh not bad was curious about the chip thing so I continued. I put a pinch of seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, garlic and olive oil. OH MY this is better than real chips. I am sooo inlove. I hope my other things turn out just as amazing.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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Congrats on the first veg shopping trip!

First:
-If you are on a budget, don't buy canned beans. Buy dry. Get a pressure cooker- they will cook in minutes. And will be a LOT cheaper.
- It's totally up to you to buy bread crumbs + rice + bread. I tend to stay away from these- they don't have too many nutrients and I'd rather spend my money on high-nutrient items (veggies, soy products, etc). But it's up to you, just sharing what I do
- Your first grocery trip will be more expensive than the subsequent ones, due to all the spices. So don't fret

Recipe ideas (some would require picking up different items next time you are at the store):
- Channa Masala: Indian-style chickpea curry. Delicious, easy. Only "strange" ingredient you need is garam masala and channa masala spices. Some grocery stores sell, otherwise hit up an Asian one.
- Dal (Lentils): Another Indian-style dish. Really tasty, cheap because lentils are the base.
- Vegetarian chili
- "Taco" soup (omit the ground beef, use lentils or pinto beans instead)
- Thai-style tofu curry (requires you buy tofu) with red curry paste and coconut milk
- Peanut curry (with tofu + veggies + peanut butter + coconut milk)
- Veg lasagna (with lots of squash, broccoli, etc)
- Taco salad (bed of romaine, with black/pinto beans cooked in onions/tomatoes and chili powder/cumin, topped with diced tomatoes and shredded chese)
- Cauliflower soup
- Broccoli soup (can you tell I love soup? )
- There are TONS of chickpea recipes on AllRecipes.com. Just google chickpeas and they will generate lots of ideas for how to use them.

good luck!
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:47 AM   #4
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Indiblue- Thank you so so much for replying. I was afraid my post would go ignored! lol.

I really feel lost, so it's nice to get tips! Today was hard, I can't seem to figure out fast things to eat in a hurry, other than raw items. So, I just didn't eat at work- horrible I know. I am cooking a lot today and gonna freeze some. I am not into jams, butters, or anything like that and grilled cheese isn't the health I am striving for. Do you have any whip up quick meals when you are in a hurry? Or do you normally make extra and keep it for hurrying times? It seems A LOT of vegetarians are all about the making extra.

I have never tried chickpea- I'm nervous if I don't like them I may have to rethink many meals. But, if I do I should be set on a few of them!

Thanks for the tips on breads- you are right. I did not realize how much bread I'd bought to be honest. I just did what the recipe called for haha. I read about using lettuce to wrap things, and this light bulb went off in ym head, like Duh amber!

Haven't tried soy, so I am scared of that too. I am going to try Tempeh in my next shopping trip- it's like soy I believe.

Thank you so much for the recipes and tips! I have more spices to buy, but I tried to get the main ones this time. Ones I know I'll use a lot. Though, cayenne pepper is way hotter than I thought it was and my kale chips burnt quite a bit- so I'm wondering about that. So good, but TOO hot. I guess I'll have to try much less cayenne- but I'd thought I already had! lol

It took me a lot of time to come up with recipes and my first shopping list, it's all so new to me. Any advice, tips or anything are always welcome. Thank you so much!

Oh, also I know nothing about buying non canned beans. Never done it. Down in the south it's about fried foods mostly. Walmart doesn't sell any but green. I have no idea where to go, what to get, or how to cook them. Maybe I'll read up online and try to figure it out. I feel like a child saying that, but it was just never in our meals as i grew up. That's why I started with canned ones, because I have no idea about dry ones :/. Unless they come in bags like uhm pinto beans, but I didn't even look there. Pressure cookers seem to be way expensive, I may have to hold off on that for quite a while.

Last edited by ButterCup85 : 09-22-2011 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
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Good for you for shopping and venturing into uncharted territory even though you feel "lost"! You will soon find your way- cooking is fun

I am from the South too, so I get the whole fried thing!

I do a lot of "quick meals"- egg salad (made with yogurt, not mayo), tuna salad (from a can), scrambled eggs, yogurt + granola + berries, etc. But I also make big meals and eat it for lunch throughout the week as leftovers.

Just try making a double-portion serving of different chickpea dishes and lentil dishes. You can always half or fourth a recipe. I hate, hate wasting food so I always eat it even if I don't like it... unless it's disgusting.

You don't need a pressure cooker to do beans, you can just get a regular pot. Dried beans are a LOT cheaper, healthier, and have less sodium than canned. Worth a try.

As far as additional tips, I'd add to my grocery list:
- lots of eggs
- greek yogurt (or fat free)
- frozen berries
- tempeh
-tofu
- cheese
- coconut milk + red chili paste (i LOVE thai-style curries!)
- almonds
- spinach/bok choy/kale

As far as other recipes/tips, check out Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Not only does it have tons of recipes, but it describes the basics of EVERYTHING- how to prepare spinach, the difference between black beans/navy beans/pinto beans, how to poach an egg, different kinds of squashes, etc. Everything is extremely well laid-out and easy to follow. It's my bible for learning how to prepare new veggies, grains, and soy products!
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:27 PM   #6
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I picked up a book called Supermarket Vegan and it has been a lifesaver! The recipes are generally easy to follow and don't require any hard to find ingredients.

Another thing that I have learned to do is if I buy a special ingredient for a recipe, I will try and incorporate that ingredient into other things until I use it all up. This has helped me discover and love things like white balsamic vinegar, roasted walnut oil, curry paste, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Okay I don't think I like Falafel, but I'm pretty sure I made it wrong. Lol.

This week I've had stir fry with garlic, cayenne and a bit of skim milk cheese. I did have some canned tuna :/, but at least it is not chicken and especially not red meat. I also made taco salads a lot, well the taco meat being black beans cooked with taco seasoning mix. I will probably always keep it in the house cause it's soooo yum. I will definitely load up on eggs. I eat eggs, with one potato shredded and fried in evoo with onions, cayenne, pepper, seasoned salt, and a little skim cheese.

I feel like I've eaten more cheese than usual this week, I am not sure why and I know it's not very healthy, but it's soo good lol. I think i can do this. I want to find more easy meals. I like that my taco beans keep for a few days. I'll eat that tonight when I get home from work. I eat it with white chips though, I need to find a better carb to throw in with it.

All in all it's easy, and I can do it and still have tasty food.

Thank you both for the options and tips. It's helped tons.

BTW, I'm now down to 198 wooo! Waited way too long to hit the hundreds, see you there soon digitalrequiem!!
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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Have you tried hummus? It is REALLY easy to make and quite delicious on sandwiches/wraps/as a dip (veggies or crackers).

Also, check out vegan for $3.33 a day: http://melomeals.blogspot.com/. She posts cheap recipes that are good.

I agree it is worth looking into dried beans. And buy in bulk when you can. A lot of the vegan on a budget people recommend cooking two types of beans and two types of grains on Sunday for easy throw together meals during the week. So you could cook black beans, garbanzo beans, quinoa, and brown rice. Then you can throw a bean and grain together with some veggies and maybe a sauce (soy sauce or other vegetarian sauce) and bam, instant meal.

I know I've got more tips, but I can't really think of them now...
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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Oh, and perhaps not the healthiest, but I keep a loaf of bread in the freezer at work along with a natural jelly and almond butter in the fridge for emergencies. I have not excuses to venture out and live the typical french fry diet. It has saved me more than once (along with the stock of oatmeal...add hot water and again, instant meal). Oh, and I also keep a can opener and some emergency cans of beans. Just in case. Planning ahead and planning for busy times really helps.

Oh, and google vegan/vegetarian blogs. There are so many out there with so many ideas. And not to say "hey try this forum" but google veggieboards. Great vegetarian community.
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