My boyfriend and I have a long history with IHOP. Years before dating each other was even an idea in either of our heads, we were having eating contests with IHOP all you can eat pancakes (we tied once and he won once- but I was a worthy opponent!). So this year, on IHOP’s free pancake day, we considered going for, oh, about 30 seconds. I was the party pooper who quickly declined the offer of free pancakes for the slightly more appealing offer of not standing in a long line to eat subpar pancakes that I’d regret 5 minutes later. So, not to be defeated, I came home to my boyfriend cooking this for dinner:
Banana, chocolate chip pancakes (made with almond milk!) and, more importantly, these:
Vegan breakfast sausages. So he gave me a sausage and asked me what I thought was in it. At first, I almost thought he was feeding me meat. These things taste so much like Jimmy Dean sausages, it’s ridiculous! So, clearly I had to steal the recipe and combine it with the gravy and some vegan biscuits. Oh, and some sangria…for the fresh fruit!
2 sausages, $0.34
2 biscuits, $0.26
¼ cup gravy, $0.50
Calories per plate: 564
Drink/Dessert total: $5.03
Per half of punch bowl: $2.52
Calories per half of punch bowl: 581
These vegan breakfast sausages are probably the best use of leftover rice you’ll ever find (step aside, rice pudding). For this dinner, I recruited John (the boyfriend) to recreate them just as he made the first time. He found the recipe on Food.com and says he did nothing to change it except swap the canola for olive oil.
1 cup cooked brown rice (cooled), $0.20
3/4 cup rolled oats, $0.15
2 tbsp whole wheat flour, $0.20
1 tbsp ground flax seed, $0.22
3 tablespoons water, $0.00
1 tsp molasses, $0.04
1 tbsp oil (for dough), $0.09
2 tbsp nutritional yeast, $0.32
1 1/2 tbsp tamari, $0.32
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, $0.01
1 tsp black pepper, $0.01
1 1/2 tsp ground sage, $0.01
1/4 tsp nutmeg, $0.01
1/4 tsp thyme, $0.01
2 tbsp oil (for frying), $0.18
Per sausage: $0.17
Calories per sausage: 91
- Mix the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside to get sticky (and fake-eggy)
- Pulse the oats in a food processor 5-7 times.
- Add the rice and pulse a couple more times. Do not blend, you want the dough to be a bit rough and chunky.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, and pulse a couple more times, being careful not to over process.
- Divide dough into 10 balls and flatten them into small pucks.
- Heat oil in a pan and drop the patties into the hot oil to fry.
- Flip when they’re browned on one side. Having the patties brown in oil is kind of essential for the flavor, so I wouldn’t recommend baking these.
I first made this recipe last Thanksgiving and was very impressed! I found the recipe on What Would Cathy Eat. The recipe calls for marsala, but I just used boxed Pinot Grigio and it still came out good! On Thanksgiving, I actually used balsamic vinegar mixed with extra broth, and that was also delicious.
6 medium shallots, unpeeled, $2.00
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled, $0.06
3 tbsp olive oil + 1 teaspoon, $0.30
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced, $1.00
3 tbsp all purpose flour, $0.03
½ cup white wine, $0.50
2 tbsp tamari, $0.42
3 cups vegetable broth, $1.50
1 tsp thyme, $0.01
¼ tsp ground sage, $0.01
1 tbsp nutritional yeast, $0.16
½ tsp mustard powder, $0.01
¼ tsp black pepper, $0.01
¼ tsp salt, $0.01
Per ¼ cup serving: ~$0.50
Calories serving: ~65
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Toss the shallots and garlic (with peels still on) in a little oil, cover in a pan with aluminum foil, and let roast in the oven for 40 minutes. If the shallots are still firm after 40 minutes, take out the garlic and let the shallots roast for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- While the garlic and shallots are cooling, start sauteing the mushrooms in oil. If you are using any fresh spices, throw these in too.
- When the mushrooms are soft, put in the flour and stir for about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine to the sauce and mix well.
- Whisk in the broth, so that all of the clumps of flour are gone.
- Remove the peels from the roasted garlic and shallots and add to blender. Clean the roasting pan off with a splash of water, and add that to the blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add all remaining ingredients (including garlic and shallot mixture) to the gravy.
- Let gravy simmer for about 10 minutes.
2 cups all-purpose flour, $0.16
1 tbsp baking powder, $0.17
1 tsp sugar, $0.01
½ tsp salt, $0.01
½ cup coconut oil, chilled in the fridge to solidify, $0.63
1 cup almond milk, $0.31
1 tsp vinegar, $0.01
Per biscuit: $0.13
Calories per biscuit: 158
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Put a splash of vinegar into almond milk and set to the side.
- Mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt).
- Mix in the coconut oil. It will look a bit crumbly.
- Mix in your almond milk mixture until a sticky dough appears
- Separate into 10 balls and plop on your baking sheet.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, until they’re firm to the touch.
3 cups plus a splash of white wine, $2.00
½ cup triple sec, $0.84
½ pound of strawberries, sliced thin, $0.75
1 orange, sliced thin, $0.33
1 lemon, sliced thin, $0.33
1 lime, sliced thin, $0.50
2 cups seltzer water, $0.28
Per Serving (half bowl): $2.52
Calories per serving (assuming you eat the fruit): 581
(Not that the calories come from the fruit- cut down/out the triple sec if you’re worried about calories or sugar)
- Pick out your finest box of white wine. As you can see, I splurged and bought the $13 box of Pinot Grigio, instead of a $10 box of Franzia. I’m living large!
- Mix everything but the seltzer in a big punch bowl (or pitcher, if you’re fancypants like that).
- Let the sangria chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but the longer the better.
- Mix in the seltzer when you’re ready to serve.
- Don’t forget to eat the boozy fruit for dessert!