Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Frugal Vegan Meal Plan 1

Since we have recently become a one income family, I thought I would start posting what we are eating as a family on a tight budget. Being vegan can be expensive if you rely on packaged/prepared foods or insist on buying all organic produce. However, if you cook at home from scratch, focus on grains, potatoes, beans and cheaper veggies and fruit, it can actually be way cheaper. Meat and dairy are expensive! I'd like to show that this way of eating can not only be beneficial for your health, but also your budget. Being vegan or plant based is not just a way of eating for the wealthy, but can actually be a great relief for people with limited income. Not to mention the health care costs you will save from adapting a healthier diet. 

I know that food costs can vary greatly depending on where you live. I'm near Seattle, and I have been shopping at Trader Joes and Fred Meyer, usually. I've recently discovered what an amazing place Winco is for all their bulk grains/flours/nuts and other products, and I'm excited to see how much my grocery bill drops next week!

Here is what we're eating for dinner this week:

1. Spanish Rice and Bean Tacos from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, with tofu sour cream, corn tortillas, avocado, salsa, chopped romaine and tomatoes.

3. Brown rice penne, jarred spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, zucchini, red pepper and kale. Add salad.

4. No Fu Love LoafRoasted Sweet Potatoes and steamed broccoli

5. BEST Lentil and Tomato Soup (this mostly for our lunches)

For breakfast, we eat oatmeal with some kind of fruit in it. I made waffles for the kids breakfasts. 
Lunch for the grown ups is soup, leftovers or a veggie sandwich. The kids usually eat a sandwich with veggies (cucumbers, carrots or peas mostly) and fruit. This week, I did one shopping trip and spent less than $125. Up until recently I was allotting like $200/week for groceries and household items, so that was a HUGE improvement! We've had plenty to eat and we love these meals.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Healthy Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

If your kids will go for a bowl of oatmeal and flaxseeds every day, then good for them. But if they still haven't fallen in love with that idea, try these delicious pancakes made with oatmeal instead!
I make a bunch of these on the weekend, and my kids enjoy them for breakfast all week long. They also taste great with a little peanut butter spread on top and rolled up like a burrito (fun lunchbox idea!!). I feel good about the oats and flaxseeds the kids are getting in these pancakes. Serve plain, with nut butter, maple syrup or date syrup on top. Or top with a bunch of blueberries. The best part about these is that my kid's LOVE them!

Healthy Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes


4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
6 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk
3 tablespoons applesauce
3 tablespoons sugar, or maple syrup, or 8 medjool dates
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch


Place all ingredients in a high powered blender, like a Vitamix, and blend until very smooth. Allow to sit for 10 minutes so the mixture can thicken. If it is very thick, add water and blend again until desired consistency is reached. I like mine pretty thin, so I added about 1/2 cup of water.

Preheat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Spray the pan lightly with oil if necessary. Pour the pancake batter onto the pan and cook until the sides are dry and the bottom is nicely browned. Using a spatula, very carefully flip the pancake over. Cook until this side is lightly browned as well. These pancakes are more delicate than most wheat pancakes, so be careful when flipping.

This recipe usually makes about 25-28 medium pancakes. Feel free to halve or third the recipe if you don't want leftovers! I stick mine in a large freezer bag once they are completely cooled, and place in the freezer.