Easy, cheap meal ideas?

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  • Money is going to be tight in our family for the next few months, so I'm on the hunt for cheap meal ideas! Do you have any firm favourites, family classics, simple-but-tasty type recipes? I have a go-to cookbook but my family are getting sick of the few veggie recipes in there...

    Thanks so much for any input!
  • African Peanut Stew is awesome.

    We also like stir fry, pita pizzas, pasta with veggies and sauce (cheesy, enchilada, or marinara), bean/veggie burgers, shakshouka, polenta/grits with some kind of saucy mushroom, loaded baked potatoes with broccoli, cheese, sour cream and chives, tacos made with lentils, stuffed peppers.
  • If you have a decent library near you, you might want to check out if they have some vegan cookbooks. Vegan on the cheap is a good one. For me, I tend to eat a lot of beans/lentils and rice dishes, which tend to be very inexpensive. Indian recipes are good for that in general.

    This casserole is also good, you can swap out things like type of beans used, type of nut butter used, type of grain used:
  • I know a lot of vegetarian Indian recipes, but the ones I know are in general carb-rich and kinda spicy. If there is interest, I would be happy to provide the links to some of them.
  • Quinoa + vegetables + spices ---- you can mix up this for all different types of flavors. You can get quinoa in bulk pretty cheap- I was going to suggest stores but then recalled you are in the UK raisin5cookies!
  • Thank you all. We will be meal planning this weekend for sure.

    Indian food is awesome, btw! Very interested in new recipes to try!
  • Raisin5cookies,

    I gave a deep thought and browsed around a bit -- this link gives the recipe for quite some Indian (North Indian) recipes -> http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/rec...ndian-recipes/

    Since I am aware that it might involve purchasing some flavoring agents like 'Garam Masala', some of which might get left behind without much use, especially if you don't like the recipe, makes me think what recipes you can make without needing much of these store-bought flavors...

    I would really suggest you start out with something very easy to prepare like http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/pan...d-rice-recipe/ and see if you like the taste and take if from there.

    I would be happy to help if there is doubt on ingredients, preparation, etc.

  • soup? cant go wrong with soup. Today i made sweet potato and carrot soup and its so tasty
  • BigNoMore - thank you! We actually have a lot of Indian spices in the cupboards - garam masala is one of them. I will be trying new recipes soon, yay!

    Soup is a great reminder, thanks. I need to do soup several times a week, I think! Love it.
  • You can't go wrong with lentils Does your family like tacos? My sister made this recipe for lentil taco 'meat' for a family dinner and everyone loved it. Including the avid carnivores in the family (went back for seconds).
  • Oh yum. I might make that tonight!
  • Beans! I don't have much money and mostly vegetarian, and like to buy a pack of dried beans (kidney & black are my favourites - esp black!), soak and boil the whole bagful and then put in the freezer in smaller batches. Can be added to almost any dish, mashed to be used as a bread spread, and then my favourite - season with a bit of malt vinegar, salt and perhaps pepper to be had as a snack on the side of some fresh veggies. I like my homecooked beans so much more than the ones that come in a can, the pre-cooked are not only expensive compared but taste a bit yucky to me, and have too much salt!

    I also recommend homemade seitan. I like to make that too in bigger batches and then put into ziplock bags and into the freezer.
  • Lentils really are amazing and versatile! I second the tacos. I've also made curried lentils which I served with rice but could also go with veggies.

    Also, curried cauliflower with chick peas and tomatoes. Mmm!

    Grilled portabello "burgers"
  • Oh, thanks for the ideas, Lunch! I have a lot of tinned chickpeas and since nobody likes them whole in soups/curries/sauces, roasting them would be fun to try. There's only so much hummus I can make!
  • Try Mazidra--lentils and rice. Good recipe here.