Can Cutting Out Meat, Eggs, or Dairy Save You Money?

In October, due to some medical results and the encouragement of a dietitian, I made the choice to switch to a vegan diet (with the minor exception of occasional fish consumption) for the time being. A vegan diet simply means that I avoid meat and all animal products, which would include milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and so forth. In fact, this dietary change (and the subsequent questions from readers) led to my ongoing Friday afternoon series on what to have for a frugal and healthy dinner.

The big question that I often get from readers (besides the inevitable “what do you eat, then?”) is whether or not my diet is inexpensive. There seems to be a perception out there that eating such a diet would be quite pricy.

So, let’s address these questions.

What do I eat?

The best way to do this is to just summarize what types of things I consume at each meal.

Breakfast

items include: fruit, oatmeal, cold cereal (with almond milk), a fruit smoothie, a breakfast burrito (made with beans and really finely diced tofu), toast, and bagels.

Lunch

items usually include: leftovers, bean and rice burritos, salads of all kinds, sandwiches, and lots of different kinds of soups. Honestly, it’s usually just leftovers.

Supper

items usually include: a starter salad, pasta with various tomato-based sauces, stir fry, curry, ratatouille, grilled portobello mushrooms, chilis or other thick and heavy soups and stews (one of which I’ll post this afternoon), and usually some sort of vegetable on the side and fruit on the side.

Snacks

include nuts (lots of nuts, actually), pieces of fruit, date bars, fruit smoothies, pita chips, hummus, and salsa.

Prepping the burritos

These items just scratch the surface. There’s a ton of variety out there once you start exploring what kinds of vegan foods are available.

I should note that I often eat four smaller meals a day now rather than three, and I snack a bit in between them. I usually eat a mid-afternoon meal at about three or four (often with a cup of tea… perhaps I’m secretly British).

At first, this diet was very hard to adjust to. Rather than focusing on what I could have, I kept thinking about what I couldn’t have. I thought about cheese. I thought about steak. I thought about milk.

Over time, though, I moved to thinking about all of the stuff I could have and sought out things within that group that I enjoyed. Salsa. Beans. Grilled mushrooms. Fruit smoothies.

That mental shift made this entire diet easier. I grew to really appreciate the things that I enjoyed and could eat freely.

What does it cost?

One of the biggest knocks against this type of diet is the perception that it’s expensive. Doesn’t it cost a lot more than a “typical” American diet?

Peppers and onions

After having eaten this diet for four months, I can say from experience that the financial cost of my current diet is the same as, if not a bit lower than, my normal diet in the past. Our family food budget has dropped about 15% since I started this diet, on average.

At the same time, though, the time invested in food preparation has gone up significantly. Why? This diet has made it much harder to go out to eat, so we go out to eat much less often. This diet has made it much harder to rely on prepackaged foods, so we make things from scratch much more often.

The end result is that we eat more meals at home than before, plus our meals at home are more likely made from raw ingredients instead of premade items. Because of that, our financial costs for the meals has gone down, but the time investment has gone up.

We’ve counteracted this, to some degree, by essentially making our own “premade” items. For example, I’ll make large batches of cooked beans at once, using them for recipes over the next day or two. I’ll make large piles of burritos, freezing the remainder for future use. We’ll save all vegetable scraps, then I’ll toss them in a slow cooker and turn them into vegetable stock for use in soups and stews.

What does this mean?

My conclusion throughout all of this is that eating a diet that’s both healthy and flavorful doesn’t have to be expensive, but you’re going to have to invest time into it.

Just before serving

I think there are really four key factors to any person’s diet. Is it healthy? Is it tasty? Is it cheap? Is it time consuming?

Over a period of time, you can hit at most three of those four things. You can have a diet that’s healthy, tasty, and cheap, but you’re going to have to invest time in it.

The problem is that many people do not wish to consider the “time consuming” part of the equation. That means that they’re left with choosing two out of three with the healthy, tasty, and cheap options. Healthy and cheap means eating raw fruits and vegetables all the time – it’ll lose the “tasty” factor quickly. Healthy and tasty (while still being fast, remember) is going to be very expensive. Tasty and cheap can easily be done – there are countless options for this, and that’s what many people go for.

Healthy, tasty, cheap, and quick – choose three out of four.

For a lasting diet, that’s basically the choice you’re going to have to make. Today, a lot of people choose tasty, cheap, and quick and leave the healthy out to dry. Right now, I’m trying to choose the healthy, tasty, and cheap, and just hope that quick comes along for the ride sometimes.

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  1. Diane says:

    I am an omnivore who eats meat or fish maybe 1 or 2x a week, but I eat a fairly typical South Indian style diet most of the time by preference – which is a mostly vegetarian diet. I eat savory food for breakfast, like kicheree, thai-style fried rice, vegetable parathas, egg curries, leftover dal and rice, etc. My dinners are balanced meals that include beans, rice, vegetables, yogurt, and some meat from time to time. Lunch is whatever is around: hummus sandwiches, leftovers from dinner, pasta with tuna, etc – and some fruit on the side. I do buy fish/meat from time to time, and like having frozen shrimp at hand in my freezer for quick meals. But I don’t eat it every day.

    Oh – I also am self-employed, work 60+ hours a week, and live in an expensive big city (San Francisco).

    It’s super cheap to eat this way. My weekly grocery budget is $40 max, and I eat a TON of fresh vegetables. By the USDA measurements I probably had ten servings yesterday. It’s NOT contradictory to eat healthy and cheap.

  2. Diane says:

    Oh, and just to clarify: yes, it takes time, so that’s the variable that gets crunched. But I can STILL do this working a very full week.

  3. Tracy says:

    Where I used to work, we had a joke- you could have it fast, you could have it cheap or you could have it quality and that everybody got to pick two of the three. You can never have it all in life. Unless it’s spaghetti.

    I pretty much agree with this post, and it applies to cooking almost across the board. Although to me, cooking is very, very seasonal. Food takes little time to prepare in spring and summer – a time of a lot more cold/raw foods and a lot more quick-cooking foods like stir fries and a lot longer in winter and fall, with soups and stews and curries. But while it takes longer, it doesn’t actually require a lot more effort, most of that is about figuring out a way to start ahead so you can get food on the stove/oven and then go about your life.

    And really – you’re probably spending less time cooking the stew – 15 minutes to chop all the ingredients and get it on the stove/oven with sometimes stirring – than you are going out to eat, packing up kids into a car, driving, ordering, waiting … It’s just a different way of thinking about time.

  4. Burnette says:

    It may be time-consuming, but you have to make it a priority to eat healthy.
    I’m in the same boat and it can get tiring after an 8-hour job. But I think to myself, “Should I eat a box of pre-made cancer or cook something nutritious?”
    If people can watch an 2-3 hours of TV a night, I think they can make time to cook.
    Keep up the good work, Trent!

  5. Nick says:

    I like the “Choose 3 of the 4″ formulation.

    What sorts of things qualify as Healthy-Cheap-Quick for those of us who are most willing to sacrifice tastiness?

  6. NMPatricia says:

    Trent, I have been following with fascination your change in diet. This isn’t so much about you personally, but how it might be possible for me. You say that your whole family didn’t change with you – so how do meals look?

    This post also confirmed something I was wondering. I make most of our food from scratch and wonder if everyone else spends as much time in the kitchen as I do. This post gave me a good answer to it. Depends if you want this kind of food and yes, it does take some time. I am cooking for two of us so when I cook, I make extra and we eat it for other meals. So it is not ALL the time.

  7. Tracy says:

    @Nick – actually, it depends a lot on your tastebuds. Trent mentioned that a lot of raw foods would get boring fast – for me, if they’re fresh and in season they NEVER get boring. The only time that would be the case for me would be out-of-season produce bought in a grocery store … the kind that’s bred/treated for transportation and shelf life rather than being really fresh.

    To me, few things are quicker, easier and tastier than some fresh zucchini sauteed in a little olive oil, with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and tossed with some cooked pasta. And it takes a mere matter of minutes, even including the water boiling time. If you’re not vegan (I’m not) add some parm cheese.

    Or saute some onions and peppers until they start to carmelize and serve them in a tortilla with black beans and rice … you can use beans in a can if you don’t have time to prep them from scratch (which is not hard but does take unattended time) and I think a rice cooker is the best appliance ever.

  8. Liz says:

    Interesting. I make most of our family’s food from scratch although I am always welcoming to conveniently prechopped veggies, etc. so I am always interested in seeing how other people deal with food prep.
    I would think the real costs would come if you cut down quite a bit on grain consumption. The suggestions for eating this way and lowering levels of bad stuff in your system that I have seen tend to encourage you to drastically decrease the amount of grains you eat, and frequently permit you to still eat some lean protein. I imagine (and heard from a friend whose husband did this) that trying to fill up just on veggies without grains would indeed be more expensive. If you use a lot of pulses it might avoid the increased costs but would come with other downsides : )

  9. Marinda says:

    Start with small changes and work up to the big ones. I don’t do every meal with an animal based protein, I just don’t. You don’t need an egg, bacon, ham breakfast every day. Lunch can be veggie spring rolls, peanut butter and jelly, veggie/noodle soup. Start shopping with options in mind and replacing your pantry items with things that can sup in for meat protein.

    Start using less and less meat, one chicken breast for a stirfry for two. 5 or 6 shrimp per person served. Make the soup with just a bone and then start leaving that out.

  10. bubba29 says:

    this type of diet will have long term hidden costs that cannot be quantified with grocery receipts. india is largely a vegetarian country yet they have among the highest rates of diabetes and heart disease in the world. the hidden healthcare costs and loss of productivity due to sickness will cost more in the long run. unfortunately, a plant based diet is not the health panacea it is portrayed as.

  11. Gal @ Equally Happy says:

    My fiance and I now have a new tradition of preparing our lunches together every morning. They usually consist of various veggies, a bit of flat bread, some spread like hummus and a few seeds / dried fruits. Our cost per meal is significantly lower than it used to be when we went out for lunch every day and the health level is much higher. Overall, we’re actually saving time since we don’t have to go out and get lunch in the middle of the day. Yes, it’s a bit more effort but we’ve made it into a fun little morning routine rather than considering it a chore.

  12. Jane says:

    “Should I eat a box of pre-made cancer or cook something nutritious?”

    It’s good to know hyperbole is alive and well in the food wars!

  13. Kathryn says:

    My sister is a vegetarian; I have heard her comment on more than one occasion that her slow-cooker is her absolute best friend because of all the time it saves her family. I imagine if Trent could morph some of his recipes into slow-cooker recipes – soups, stews, and his bean-based fillings, for example – he’d gain some of his time back.

  14. valleycat1 says:

    We cook almost all our meals from scratch. We buy good quality items & our grocery bills are lower than the usual quoted averages.

    Actual prep time isn’t all that much – I’d say on a routine weeknight one of us spends less than a half hour on prep and at most a half hour cooking – items that cook longer allow you to be away doing something else, so I don’t consider that lost time in the kitchen. [in comparison, where we live it would take at least an hour to go get takeout]

    The additional time for us comes more from planning meals & spending a little more time in the store, since we don’t just grab 7 frozen dinners & go. And we have to actually think about a meal beforehand to get it prepared by mealtime – no more walking into the kitchen at 7 and having something on the plates by 7:15 (microwaved prefab stuff) – unless we default to omelets or scrambled eggs (we’re not vegan), or a quick stir fry or salad.

    #4/Burnette – I recently read that the average is 4 hours/day of screentime (tv & computers, video games etc), so there is definitely time available to most people if they’re willing to make the effort.

  15. Gretchen says:

    “Four meals plus snacking in between” equals a very fat me.

    Meat (which I have no desire to give up) or not.

  16. Jamie says:

    @Nick (#5): I agree with Tracy– Fresh produce is awesome, once you get used to it (I know that sounds funny!).

    I’ve always been a healthful eater but at the beginning of this year I cut out a lot of stuff (wheat, red meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and cut back on my fat intake. Although I liked the *idea* of fruit, if I got the munchies I didn’t want a freaking apple– I wanted something salty! Something warm!

    It’s amazing how your tastebuds change when your diet does! After 6 weeks on this diet (which I don’t necessarily condone), my lunch for work is almost always a bag of oranges, apples, bananas, kiwis, carrots, a salad and some beans and rice. How fast. And cheap. And healthy. And finally, tasty.

    I agree with Trent that you might need to sacrifice a bit of one of the four elements– I would still rather have homemade lasagna than a banana– but you only have to sacrifice one a little. Not entirely.

  17. TK says:

    Re: bubba29:

    India does have the largest number of diabetics in the world with 31 million diabetics. China is second with 21 million, and the US is third with 17 million (these numbers come from the WHO.)

    Let’s set aside the fact that southeast Asians are genetically predisposed to diabetes. We can also ignore the fact that diabetes rates are rising in India among urban populations with access to Western foods.

    Just looking at raw statistics, India is home to 1.1 billion people. There are 1.3 billion people in China. In the US, there are only 300 million.

    (It is hard for me to grasp how many people a billion is. For perspective- a million seconds is about 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 YEARS. So 1.1 billion people is a heckofalot of people.)

    So the percentage of people with diabetes is actually higher in the US, where plant based diets are not very common- Vegetarian Times estimates that only about 7 million Americans are vegetarians- than it is in India, which is, as you point out, a country with widespread vegetarianism.

    Anyhow, I think it’s safe to say that Trent isn’t going to hurt himself with his mostly-plant-occasional-fish diet undertaken with the supervision of his doctor.

  18. Mel says:

    @bubba29 – your comment intrigued me. I checked briefly, and the factors given for the high rates are poor nutrition, low birthweights and high rates of smoking. Poor nutrition is not the same as a vegetarian diet.

    I’ve never eaten meat in my life, and aside from being extremely lazy and inactive, I am and always have been one of the healthiest people I know. Likewise my sisters. My father didn’t eat meat since some time in the 50s, and fully recovered after a stroke at age 84 – much to the doctors’ surprise! I’m not saying being vege is a silver health bullet, or that it works for everyone. But it’s not inherently “healthy” or “unhealthy”, just like a ‘typical’ diet isn’t – or any other diet, for that matter! To say not eating meat “will have” a long term cost is as ridiculous as saying the dame about a meat-eating diet.

  19. Gretchen says:

    I also disagree with this sentence:

    “Healthy and cheap means eating raw fruits and vegetables all the time – it’ll lose the “tasty” factor quickly. ”

    That’s when f/v taste the best- When you can eat them raw! Unless you mean only f/v and that’s not very balanced/healthy in the long run.

  20. Squirrelers says:

    I know people that are vegetarian (not vegan), and they don’t spend much at all for their meals. The thing is, many veggies can be purchased frozen, and other “dry” foods such as rice, lentils, etc can be purchased cheaply at the right stores. Complete meals can be eaten which are healthy, tasty, and cheap. I do agree that it’s hard to get all of those AND quick. Personally, I value time a lot – so while I detest spending money unnecessarily, it can be worth the investment to trade off quick for cheap.

    By the way, I’m eating less meat now than I have consumed for much of my life, and am finding it to be totally fine. Haven’t totally given it up, but I probably could if I put my mind toward it.

  21. Shelley says:

    We aren’t vegan, but we eat mostly beans and fish; then a bit of poultry, cheese, meats, nuts and eggs on a rota that means each of the list is eaten only about once a month, with beans & fish eaten 8 or 9 times a month. Fish is expensive, beans are cheap; it evens out. Most of my meals take 30-40 minutes to prepare, start to finish.

  22. Des says:

    @Nick – I don’t know if you were looking for specifically vegan recipes or not, but our go-to meals are:

    1. Chili – two cans of beans, a can each of diced tomatoes and corn, chili seasoning to taste. Heating that up takes 10 minutes, at the most. If we have extra time, we saute onions, garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini in season for a total of maybe 20 minutes.

    2. Bean dip – 1 can refried beans, some salsa, olives, avocado if we have it, jalapenos, and tortilla chips. 5 minutes

    3. Spaghetti (self explanatory, I think)

    4. Minestrone – Veggie broth or bouillon, bag of frozen mixed veggies, can or two of beans, macaroni pasta. 10 minutes.

    If you want something REALLY cheap, healthy, and quick and you honestly want to give up the taste factor, make a BIG batch of lentils and brown rice, mix it with a big bag of frozen veggies & seasonings, and just keep it in the fridge. It doesn’t taste bad necessarily, but it will last a week in the fridge and you won’t have to cook for a week. I find it unpalatable to eat the same meal every day, but in a time/money crunch it would be an option. You could really do that with any cheap/healthy recipe. Make a big batch of chili/soup/etc and eat it all week.

    Actually, I could do that with burritos and never get bored…I *love* burritos :)

  23. Amanda says:

    I noticed green peppers in your post. As a vegan, I came across some research that suggests red are better since they are mature plants. More vitamins! Also happen to be easier to digest.

  24. Amanda says:

    I made lentil sloppy joes. Delish! I don’t like meat so it helps!

    If I had a child I’d get it’s tastebuds adjusted to vegan ASAP. Wish my parents did. Cravings for cheese are difficult to battle.

  25. Interested Reader says:

    “Healthy and cheap means eating raw fruits and vegetables all the time – it’ll lose the “tasty” factor quickly. ”

    You can eat cheap, healthy, fast and tasty all at the same time. There are blogs and books and even tv shows (usually on some form of public broadcast but a few are available through Netflix on dvd) devoted to healthy, quick and affordable vegan cooking.

    For starters I would suggest Christina Cooks (tv show on Netflix), she also has a website by that name. You can also check out The Post Punk Kitchen which is a vegan website, tv episodes and oh yeah several cookboks including ones that focus on – afforable, healthy quick vegan meals.

    Branch out from tomato based sauces for your pasta. I recently threw together a pasta dish – I sauteed kale, leeks, and white beans together. Then I mixed pureed roasted garlic with oil and some of the pasta water. Tossed it with cooked pasta and I was done. Well I did add some leftover chicken but you could leave it out. It did take 45 mins to roast the garlic, but I threw it in the oven and did something else until the timer went off. The rest came together by the time the pasta water boiled and was done.

  26. Diane says:

    @Interested Reader: I think you point out something very true. Cooking and eating well may take time, but it isn’t all active time.

    I always cook beans from scratch, but the soaking time is overnight, when I am asleep, and then I cook them in a pressure cooker, which just takes setting it on a timer when it reaches pressure and then going and doing something else. Passive time – Maybe 12 hours. Active time – possibly two minutes, three if you count draining them and putting them in a container.

  27. Yankeegal says:

    There are so many more vegan resources/recipes out there now compared to 10 years ago. I think the expense comes when people use faux meat/cheese items(as highlighted on Oprah’s show on veganism.)
    I have eaten vegan for the past year and have found my grocery bill to be much less than before. I have lost a total of 120lbs and am preparing to run my first marathon. I have never felt better.
    Good for you Trent for taking control of your health!

  28. bubba29 says:

    after being a vegetarian for a two years with mediocre results, i read “the vegetarian myth” and my eyes were opened. vegetarian and vegan philosophies are based on some innaccurate and cloudy information.

    i changed to eating a clean foods, paleo way of eating with MUCH better results. the animals i eat live a high quality of life and eat foods they are meant to eat. they do not get hormones of antibiotics. i get all the essentyial amino acids, vitamin, and minerals i need from a well rounded diet. i have only had one sickness in the last 4 years that caused me to miss work. i feel great and the doctors are bewildered.

  29. Diane says:

    @Yankeegal and @Bubba29: Reading your posts back to back is very interesting. I think diet is personal, and what works well for one person may not for another. It’s great when you can find what works for you and stick with that.

    My own bias is that eating less-processed, whole foods is good whether that is meat-based or vegan. And cooking things yourself from whole ingredients is good for the body and soul. Things like “vegan cheese” scare the bejezzus out of me. They are expensive and processed to within an inch of their lives. But a masala dosa (vegan), or a naturally-raised goat kabob? – give me those any day!

  30. Evita says:

    Like Bubba29, I have been a vegetarian for one full year….. and actually gained weight after being slender all my life. I was hungry all the time and my glycemia was out of whack. Reverting to omnivorous was actually better for my health (I admit that I cook from scratch and most always eat “clean”…… never fast food or processed foods except for whey protein).

    I am curious Trent …. did the health benefits actually happen and make all this worthwhile ?

  31. Interested Reader says:

    I have questions about the paleo diet – like which paleo people does the diet follow? Is it from an area where the people would have mostly eaten meat with little access to fruits and veg?

    One thing I keep reading about paleo diets is the no grains thing because Paleolithic people didn’t eat them. But there’s evidence that man of the Paleolithic people did, in fact, not only eat grains, but grind various grains.

  32. SwingCheese says:

    I make most of our food from scratch, too, and I have found that I now spend time in the kitchen that was previously spent watching tv. Also, I have found my bread machine (which is working as I type this) to be my necessary kitchen item. (We’re big fans of sandwiches in this house.) My main complaint when it comes to cooking is the prep time – it takes me FOREVER (or at least, it feels like forever) to chop veggies, and I’ve been doing it for over a decade now, so I think it’s more of a mental block than anything :)

    And, Interested Reader, I am with you: I thought that the mortar/pestle for grinding grains was present in the Paleolithic era, and that the consumption of ground grains was partially responsible for human’s increase in brain size and the foundation of permanent settlements, as opposed to a nomadic lifestyle.

  33. Interesting conversation. I think the problem isn’t so much whether or not a person does or doesn’t eat meat (I’m vegetarian) I think it has to do mostly with processed and fast foods.

  34. Interested Reader says:

    @ Swing cheese – have you thought about getting a mandoline or investing in a food processor to take care of the veggie prep? I only use my food processor for minimal things but I know other people who use theirs daily to chop everything.

  35. Priswell says:

    I’ve cooked from scratch “forever”. I became a lacto-ovo vegetarian about 18 years ago. I have all manner of kitchen gadgets, and I never apologize for them, because they help me to cut down preparation time. My top favorites: First, pressure cooker. My favorite. I use it 3+ times a week. Next, a Borner V-slicer – I’ve gone through 3 over the years. I use it to chop a red onion, and keep it in a plastic bag for quick and easy access to chopped onions. Third, cast iron griddle. I make pancakes at least 5 days a week for breakfast. Next, slow cooker. I prefer the pressure cooker to the slow cooker, but slow is starting to grow on me. Finally, VitaMix. For everything you can possibly use one for. Everything *can* be done by hand, but having the right tools can make a huge difference in how easy/hard fresh, clean food can be.

  36. moom says:

    Eating raw fruits and vegetables isn’t healthy. You won’t have enough protein. You have to eat grains or soy beans or nuts to get enough on a vegan diet. Apart from nuts you have to cook those things. Grains and soybeans aren’t expensive and can taste good. I think you can have a reasonably healthy, tasty, quick, and cheap diet. If you go to the extreme on any of those dimensions probably the others will suffer but I think there is a reasonable “sweet spot” somewhere. Personally, I’d find it hard to give up on milk products the most. Even in China we were buying yogurt…

  37. Julie says:

    I would like to hear from any parents that have managed to raise teen-age athletic boys (mine are water polo players) on a Vegan diet. My boys probably consume 4,000 to 5,000 calories on a typical day and they both struggle to gain an ounce. (6/3″ and less than 170 pounds)

  38. Julie says:

    Burnette,

    I love your comment about TV. I also work full time and I am amazed at the number of people who tell me they don’t have time to cook, yet they talk about all the latest shows on TV. (usually the same people that don’t have any money but have fake nails, Iphones,new cars and come in with Starbucks every morning)

    I, on the other hand, have never seen Modern Family, Glee or Dancing with the Stars, but my family has a nutritious home cooked meal every evening. It is amazing what can be accomplished when the TV is turned off.

  39. Julie says:

    #13 Kathryn,

    I always thought of a slow cooker as a tool used to get meat tender. I would be curious to know how your sister is using hers.

  40. @36 Moom: What makes you think that eating raw is unhealthy? I’ve heard quite the contrary, actually. Cooking breaks apart enzymes and cooked vegetables lose their vitamin content. Just curious. As far as protein is concerned, yes, beans, legumes and nuts are a good source but don’t forget about other sources such as spinach (and a list that’s too long to type out here, just Google Vegan and Protein, you’ll find some info). A person doesn’t NEED to consume animal products to get proper nutrients with the exception of B12, if I remember correctly.

  41. Interested Reader says:

    There are some foods that need to be heated in order for all the good stuff to be fully accessible.

    Like tomatoes.

    @Julie, slow cookers are used for lots of things besides making meat tender. It can be a great way to throw some things together and then cook passively. You can also cook beans without soaking them in a slow cooker, well some people say you can’t and others do it anyway.

    I happen to have checked out Fresh from the Vegetarian slow Cooker from the library (I got a slow cooker for Xmas and there’s not a ton of books at the library and this had nice cover). It has a full range of recipes – Apps and Snacks all the way to breads and desserts.

    Some of the recipes are : Spicy White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew ith Collards. Slow and Easy White Bean Cassoulet, Savory Vegetable Bread Pudding, Applesauce, Chocolate Coconut Cake (which is vegan!)

  42. Laurah says:

    Just getting back into less-meat-itarianism after forty pounds too long on the Pioneer Woman diet, and I’d love to learn of some good vegan recipe blogs…

  43. gail says:

    I agree that the diet needs to suit the individual. It is estimated that 1 out of 21 people are gluten-intolerant, so this diet that works for Trent would destroy the health of so many people.
    Also, a lot of vegans eat processed foods, like cheese-substitutes, which is the WORST possible thing to do.
    And let’s not forget about eating most fruits & veggies…if they are not organic, then you are eating pestisides. And buying all organic fruits and veggies is not affordable to most families.
    You cannot have cheap, healthy, fast, and good at all meals, but we can strive to do our best.

  44. Susie says:

    I am a single parent with 2 adult children. I’ve just bought a copy of a book called “Fix, Freeze and Feast by Kati Neville. This book has been a lifesaver! The premise of this book is to buy in bulk and prepare freezer meals. The timesaver with this is that you do not cook the meals first, but most dishes are frozen raw.
    One example is a red sauce (vegan spaghetti sauce) where all the ingredients are frozen raw – canned tomatoes + paste +onions, etc. The sauce can then be put frozen into the crockpot and cooked – it is very tasty!
    There is also a beef barley soup in which all ingredients are frozen raw and once again it is cooked in the crockpot all day from frozen.
    I find it has been a quick, healthy way to eat and accommodates a vegan or regular diet. Trent- there is also a black bean and vegetable chili!

    Trent – I don’t know if it is ok to name specific books in the comments. If this is not correct than maybe it is a book you could review down the road.

  45. Interested Reader says:

    @Laurah

    Here’s a list to get you started:

    The Post Punk Kitchen
    The Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
    Vegan Yum Yum (which is definitely more foodie slant but the pictures will make your mouth water)

    Also check out VeggieBoards a online forum for vegans and vegetarians where you can ask questions, get recipes and share ideas.

    Christina Cooks has a website with a search-able database

    Cookbooks I’d recommend (get them from the library!) Vegan with a Vengeance, Appetite for Reduction, Veganomicon,Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet, Vegan on the Cheap, and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (not vegan but lots of vegan or easy to make vegan recipes- it has everything from basic recipes to fancy stuff).

    I’m not a vegan, but sometimes I cook like one.

  46. RobD says:

    @#41 I have owned a copy of Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker for quite a few years, and several of the dishes are family staples at this point. We had Sweet and Spicy Lentil Chili tonight, in fact. Some of the recipes are overly elaborate, but I used to feel like I was doing well if a new cookbook had more than a handful of useful recipes, and this one does (for me … YMMV. )

    As several have noted, vegan or vegetarian starts to be expensive if you are trying to use meat or dairy substitute products. We always did (and do) vegetarian cooking for taste and economic reasons, so if meat’s cheaper for something I want to do, I’m an omnivore.

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