Happy New Year! If you are trying Veganuary this year, or just wanting to eat a more plant-based diet, you might be dreading the back-to-work-what-the-hell-do-I-eat-now dilemma! You’ve come to the right place!
There was a little story circulating recently that on average vegans spend, like, hundreds of pounds more on their food each month. That, I assure you is ridiculous! Yes, if you are going to go pre-packaged, specially produced ‘vegan’ foods this can DEFINITELY rack up but actually, if you spend a little time with prep (and trust me, by the end of this you’ll be prepping like a boss), you can save a lot of money and eat a whole lot healthier. Another bonus is that you will probably feel fuller and have more energy!
Above is my average weekly food shop from a combination of Lidl (for basics and veg) and Tesco (for more fancy, and actually unnecessary, items). It came to less than £50.
This week, I will be posting a menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks every day to help new/bored/strapped for cash vegans. If you feel like cooking with me this week, this is my shopping list:
2xdark choc rice cakes
Part-baked white baguettes (2 pack)
1 pack wholewheat wraps
1x fruit shortcake biscuits
3xdark chocolate 100g
3 pack peppers
2xpack baby plum tomatoes
Balti cooking sauce
Enchilada cooking sauce
2x tomato passata
2x coconut milk
Red kidney beans
Cashew nuts (plain unsalted)
Alpro chocolate soya milk(naughty and unnecessary but an essential in our household)
Soya mince (dry bag)
Cauldron tofu x 2
Violife creamy spread
Red split lentils
Dried marrowfat peas
Tin pinto beans
I am working on the assumtion that most people might have herbs/spices/general seasonings so apologies if I refer to something you don’t have in the cupboard but this can generally be omitted – no worries!
So, tomorrow, like many people, will be my first day back at work since before Christmas and I am prepping like a boss! Here’s tomorrow’s menu (recipes to follow):
You will need to prep the butternut squash and cashew pate which takes a while but you can use it in sandwiches the following day and it is AMAZING!
Butternut Squash and Cashew Pate Recipe
- 400g butternut squash, cubed
- 1 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into large pieces
- 75g cashews
- handful fresh herbs (I used basil)
- salt and pepper to season
- Roast the squash and pepper pieces in a little olive oil until they are soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.
- In a food processor, blitz the cashew nuts until very fine. Add the roasted vegetables and herbs and blitz again to create a creamy pate-like consistency.
Box up a serving of this with any veg dippers you fancy!
You will also need to prepare the soup before tomorrow, which is actually really easy, you just need to wait for it and then blitz with one of those stick blender thingys. I literally cannot recommend one of these enough. They are cheap and make life so much easier but you can use any old blender.
On with the prep. This is a little long-winded today but actually you are prepping ahead for two days with some of this so it’ll be worth it!
Leek and Potato Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 2 large leeks, sliced
- 500g peeled white potatoes, diced to approx 4cm cubes
- pinch salt and pepper
- splash of dairy-free cream (optional)
- Gently fry off the onion, adding the leek after around 1 minute and stir frying until both are soft.
- Add the potato and stir fry for another minute, adding a little bit of Vitalite if you are naughty like me and like it a bit richer.
- Add enough vegetable stock or boiling water (I used the latter) to completely submerge the veg with around a cm room at the top.
- Simmer for around 30 mins.
- Use a stick blender or jug blender until smooth and season to taste.
- You can add a little dairy free cream if you wish but this is not entirely necessary!
Your packed lunch for tomorrow might look like this:
Those chocolate rice cakes are actually to die for. They are from Lidl ‘Sondey’ brand and cost around 95p for 3 x 3 pre-packaged rice cakes. That is a lot of packaging but very convenient for chucking in your work bag! You might’ve noticed the apple that wasn’t on tomorrow’s menu but I’m a rebel.
Check back tomorrow for the Yasai Chili Men recipe for dinner and Wednesday’s lunch prep!