Archive for cheap

Simple Cheap Eats

Some leftover stew from Fatty Fatty Boom Boom! zine and leftover baked potato fried with some spices.

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Lasy cheap eats on the go

sanmich by B_A_Dxxx88
sanmich, a photo by B_A_Dxxx88 on Flickr.

Sorry for the lack of posting life has been crazy hectic and with working 7 days a week I feel like I rarely make anything post worthy.

Here is a terrible cell phone photo of my breakfast/lunch today, but it was such a good quick cheap last minute grab I had to share.

Running late and having not gotten groceries in a while, I was pretty hard up for food and have been taking instant costco oatmeal to work for breakfast and eating out for lunch.

BUT! This morning I stopped into pete’s frootique to look around and decided to splurg on some 9.99/lbs guacamole. Finding pita chips at 3-4$ a bag, I decided to try to find corn chips when I happened by the bread section and found focaccia for 3.15 for a bag of 8 rolls from a local organic bakery.

So basically, these babies consist of toasted Focaccia, Guacamole, sliced organic tomatoes, dab of regular mustard and salt/pepper. So good, I’m eating one now for breakfast and toasted/wrapped another in the lunch room to take with me during my break along with the 2 costco kwiwis I am still trying to finish.

Here’s the final score

8 Focaccia Loaves from a local organic bakery 3.50$
3 organic tomatoes 1.60$ (reduced produce score)
1 tub of Pete’s Guacamole 6.15$
My total came out to around 11.60$ with taxes etc.
Added some mustard packets from the food section and take away salt/pepper and we are golden.

I figure it’s not bad because this will make 6 meals because I’m generous with the tomato slices/guac, if I skimp I could make a full 8 meals, which for last minute 11.50$/8 =1.44$ a meal is pretty damn good.

Conversely I would now finally have bread for my veggie burgers if I decide to skip a meal or bulk one of the meals up with the frozen patties.

Broke Student Eats: Hummus Pasta

Ok, I know what you are thinking but hear me out! It’s not gross, I promise. What’s in your typical hummus? Chickpeas, tahini, oil, salt, garlic and lemon right? not bad. when you make spinach lasagna don’t you usually make a thickish, creamy sauce, with some garlic, maybe cook the spinach with some tasty lemon juice. Well, you see my point.

My pantry was bear, I had a whole container of hummus that I had just lost interest in (I know I know, I’m a horrible vegan). Plus I picked up a wicked soy-mayo-dip from the farmers market, so it pretty much left the poor hummus out in the cold.

This recipe is supper adaptable, in fact I think I was originally planning to use my eggplants in this as well. Basically, any lasagna/pasta bake style veggies you have and need to use can go in the pot!

So here we go, I made 2 large containers but you may want to cut back a bit as this was over 4lbs of food. :oof:.

ingredients
– Pasta of your choice, I used macaroni because I bought 10lbs of it at costco ages ago. Spirals also work nice or lasagna noodles if you want to be fancy.
-3-4 good sized handfuls of spinach, torn into peices
-1 medium onion (your choice, I had Spanish so I used those), diced into bite sized pieces
-3 TBSP Pureed Garlic (or minced) I would assume this is around 3-4 cloves
-2 lbs button mushrooms (or any other mushroom/veggie combo, celery is good, so are eggplants and peppers), chopped into chunks.
-1 container of store bought hummus (minus less than 1/3 in my case, any amount will do)
-1 jar tomato sauce
-2 TBSP olive oil
-Fresh cracked pepper, nooch, basil and Italian seasoning, soy-sauce/salt opt.
Optional: Vegan cheese, Almond milk

Preheat oven 355

Start by boiling water for the pasta and washing your veggies. Chop everything. Heat oil in a frying pan. Caramelize your onions in a pan with lots of fresh pepper. Once onions start to colour dump in your mushrooms and continue to sauté, add more oil if needed.

As those cook be sure to stir your pasta. After the mushrooms and onions are almost done add the basil, more pepper, soy-sauce and Italian season. Continue to cook until mushrooms take on the rich brown colour and everything is coated in seasoning and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté until it too is done. Leave on heat, but don’t let burn.

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Your pasta should be ready to drain and rinse with cold water. Take your baking dish(s) and fill half way with pasta. Tear up your spinach and add to dish, toss with pasta and cracked pepper. Now grab your hummus contain and scoop out the hummus into the baking dishes. Tossing with the pasta until everything is nice and coated.
Tossed.
Now the hotter your pasta, the easier it’ll spread. So I took turns dumping in hot mushroom/veggie mix onto the hummus globs to aid in spreading. Toss everything until well combined.
Hummus Pasta: Pre-Baked

Take your hummus container and add a splash of almond milk or water, close cover and shake. This will get all the little bits out, poor mixture into pasta. This also helps create a saucier consistency.
Saucy
now that everything is well combined, open your jar of pasta sauce and add it over top of the pasta creating a red layer. Top with nooch, cracked pepper and optional vegan cheese.

Creamy, oozing, goodness.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes covered*, remove cover and bake another 15 at 450 or until browned in spots/’cheese’ melts.

Serve piping hot! Or put it in the fridge for lunches, it gets better as it ages.

* If your container doesn’t have a cover, add a little extra almond milk or add water to the tomato sauce and shake it up to get all the little bits out and pour that over. The added moisture will help everything from drying out. I did one covered and one not, giving a little extra sauce etc to the non-covered dish.

Pre-baked.

For hummus lasagna, I would toss the vegetables separately with the hummus, then layer, veggie/hummus mix, noodles, spinach, tomato sauce and repeat.

Veganmofo: Student’s Chili

Here’s a simple and easy chili recipe. I threw this together last night for supper and it made enough for lunches for the next few days plus more the freezer. The main point of this meal was to make use of the last little bits we had running around. Depending upon what you use it can be fairly budget friendly as well.

Hungry Student's Chili

One thing I like to do with jars of salsa and tomato sauce (or really any kind of sauce, pickles, jams etc) is once the jar is empty to add hot water to the jar and shake to get all the little bits of sauce left. And I normally save these remnants for sauces, soups, stews and other dishes that cook for a while. Not only does this make cleaning the jars for later use a breeze but it also ensures you get every last bit of sauce

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Hungry Student’s chili

1 can kidney beans
3 cups leftover beans
1 pack veggie grounds
1 onion diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
leftover spaghetti sauce, salsa, black strap molasses
asian chili sauce
olive oil
cooking sherry

Spices:
Mustard seeds
cumin
garlic powder
crushed red pepper
paprika
Cayenne pepper
oregano
sage
thyme
dried rosemary
fresh ground pepper
fresh rosemary

Optional: corn starch

In a large pot heat your oil and add your onions mustard seeds and cumin. Sautee until onions are translucent while grinding in pepper. Once the onions begin to turn add your remaining spices and continue to stir, being sure to scrap the bottom. Now add your diced garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, keep scrapping the bottom.

Once your garlic is fragrant add your veggie grounds and cook until browned. De-glaze the pan with cooking sherry, keep the heat high and scrap the bottom. Now add more red pepper flakes, paprika and cumin.

Be sure to drain the beans if using canned. Add beans to pot and stir, cooking for 3 minutes and adding more pepper.

Now add your leftover bits of sauce, salsa and molasses. Stir and adjust for seasonings. Add your tomato paste and canned tomatoes, rinse cans and add liquid. Don’t forget the chili sauce if you have it, a tsp or so should do.

Continue cooking and tasting, adjust seasoning but be careful as your pepper flakes/overall spice will increase with the cooking time. Cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

If your chili seems to thin, remove some of the liquid with your spoon and place into a mug/bowl and create a slurry with a bit of corn starch. But sure to stir until starch is completely dissolved before adding back to the pot. Cook for an additional 20 minutes, repeating as needed.

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Remember chili gets better the longer it cooks. But once you cannot wait any longer dig in! And enjoy

Also this recipe makes leftovers, so freeze some for latter use.

Simple Potato Curry


I originally found this on a LJ community and made enough to last me all week. I also used some leftover curry to fill some home made samosas! This is a great week night curry that you can throw together easily and enjoy leftovers for lunch. Being a little lazy and less authentic, I used whole wheat tortillas to scoop this stuff into my face.

Easy Potato Curry

4 large potatoes, unpeeled diced and boiled until soft.
2 T canola oil
1 yellow onion diced
3 garlic cloves
1 large carrot sliced into thin coins
5 t hot curry powder
4 t garam masala
1 fat inch of frozen ginger, grated
2 t paprika
1 t sea salt
1 can stewed tomatoes broken up (or diced if you have it!)
1 can coconut milk
1 large can chickpeas, rinsed
1 can peas, rinsed

Plop your potatoes into a pot of salted water and boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

If you don’t have pre-boiled potatoes, do this while you wait.
Warm oil in a large pot (enough to fit everything) over medium heat. Add your onions once the oil is heated, saute for 2-3 minutes before adding your garlic. Once onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant toss in the carrot pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add your spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring. Now add your potatoes, rinsed beans and peas, cook for a few minutes. Now dump in your canned tomatoes and coconut milk and bring the whole thing to a low simmer for 5-10 minutes. If you find the curry to liquidly as I did, sift in a little corn starch to thicken it up.

VeganMofo: Poor Gal’s Soup

Here is a recipe for a soothing soup when your wallet is looking bare.

Poor Gal’s Soup:

  • Tomatoes (fresh is best, but canned works or a combo of both)
  • Onion (for a milder soup, green onions are best but they are pricer)
  • Garlic (I like garlic so I use 3-4 cloves)
  • oil
  • Water
  • Seasoning: Optional but this is best with fresh thyme and a little S&P
    • Thyme*
    • Rosemary*
    • Oregano*
    • Pepper
    • Cayenne if you like the heat
    • Mix it up and use whatever you have on hand or like

*On a super budget, Italian seasoning will do and you can use granulated or powdered
onion/garlic.

This soup is great with just the bare minimal (water, tomatoes, flavorings), but some easy add ins include: Small quick cooking pasta, rice, beans or lentils, veggies like greens, zucchini, peppers and anything you like. This time I had some Quinoa (lucky me!) so I used that.

Directions:
Heat your saucepan with a little bit of oil, chop your fresh garlic and onions add them to the oil and cooked until soft. If you like you can add your spices now to flavor the oil. Chop your tomatoes (or open your can). Add them as well, cook them for 3-4 minutes and then begin adding your water, it may look thin but as the tomatoes cook down you will begin to thicken the soup base into a surprisingly think and tasty broth.

Notes: if you are adding any extras like beans or veggies you can fry them with the tomatoes or simply add them after the water. Grains or pasta (uncooked) add them once the water is boiling.

This is a great light soup, easy for when you sick or studying, and filling when your fridge is bare.

Hodgepodge

For some reason when I woke up this morning I had a flash back to a cooking class I attended in my pregan days. We made hodgepodge with the chef (my friend and I where the only two there).

Having recently bought some local organic soymilk I decided to give it a go, veganised and improvises I give you Iron hodgepodge.

To start with you will need a large pot with salted water on medium high, as the water heats shop 4-5 medium potatoes, two carrots and a hand full of kale (reserve the tougher stalks ends to make broth on the weekends).
One water is boiling add potatoes and cook for around 10 minutes, then add the carrots. Watch for starch build up! As you wait for them to cook chop an onion and one or two bulbs of fresh garlic, you may also want to grease/prep your cast iron with olive oil. Another ten minutes and test the vegetables with a fork. If they are soft add kale and cook until everything is done. Set aside with cover on pot to cool.

As veggies cool heat the skillet then turn down the heat and add your onions and garlic. As they saute chop some oyster mushrooms (I am going to be honest, I bought some odd looking mushrooms from the market, I have no idea what they actually are but they remind me of oyster mushrooms. Any white mushroom will work). Chop them into larger pieces (I just sliced mine in half as they were thin. If you use button or “meatier” mushrooms try quarters [STEMS TOO!!]). Fry mushrooms with your sauted onions. Add pepper, nooch, paprika and rosemerry. cook until mushrooms have a little bit of texture.

Now start spooning your boil vegetables into the pan. No need to drain as your going to be using some of this broth to thin your soymilk (if using non-fat soymilk you can probably skip this part, but reserve the broth for a later use it’s salty and has some of the nutrients lost from the boiling).
continue to cook the veggies until some of the potatoes begin to flake apart. Re-spice to liking as you cook. Then add in your soymilk enough to cover the bottom of the veggies and you can add more as you. As everything cooks together add some of your cooking liquid from the pot to thin the soymilk. Add whichever ratio you prefer of the soymilk and cooking broth until you reach about an inch below the top of the skillet.

Continue to cook again adding more spices as you see fit. If you have them fake bacon bits are great in this. Once heated through your ready to serve and enjoy! Serves around two I’d say.
And you’re done!

Hodgepodge is originally made with whichever veggies you have lying around and particularly good with turnips. For fancier looking presentation you can peel your veggies but I like them unadulterated and this way is better for you anyways. Add more pepper, nooch and bacon bits to the top when serving. Croutons might be nice too.

Oh! Another oddity, I know this is a savory dish but it helps with the iron absorption and I like the flavour. Before you eat your bowl, squeeze a lemon wedge over the bowl. Either way it’s sure to please. enjoy!
More photos, sorry about the slow quality my camera has no power: