Vegan Sausages, Biscuits, and Gravy, $1.10 a plate. ~$5 Sangria

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:

pancakes

Banana, chocolate chip pancakes (made with almond milk!) and, more importantly, these:

johnsausage

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!

plate

2 sausages, $0.34
2 biscuits, $0.26
¼ cup gravy, $0.50
Total: $1.10
Calories per plate: 564

Drink/Dessert total: $5.03
Per half of punch bowl: $2.52
Calories per half of punch bowl: 581

sausages

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.

Ingredients
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
Total: $1.68
Per sausage: $0.17
Calories per sausage: 91

Method

  1. Mix the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside to get sticky (and fake-eggy)
    oats
  2. Pulse the oats in a food processor 5-7 times.
  3. Add the rice and pulse a couple more times. Do not blend, you want the dough to be a bit rough and chunky.
    sausdough
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, and pulse a couple more times, being careful not to over process.
  5. Divide dough into 10 balls and flatten them into small pucks.
    sausfry
  6. Heat oil in a pan and drop the patties into the hot oil to fry.
  7. 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.

gravy

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.

Ingredients
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
Total: $6.02
Per ¼ cup serving: ~$0.50
Calories serving: ~65

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
    roasted
  2. 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.
  3. While the garlic and shallots are cooling, start sauteing the mushrooms in oil. If you are using any fresh spices, throw these in too.
    mushmush
  4. When the mushrooms are soft, put in the flour and stir for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the wine to the sauce and mix well.
  6. Whisk in the broth, so that all of the clumps of flour are gone.
  7. 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.
  8. Add all remaining ingredients (including garlic and shallot mixture) to the gravy.
    gravysimmer
  9. Let gravy simmer for about 10 minutes.

biscuit

Ingredients
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
Total: $1.29
Per biscuit: $0.13
Calories per biscuit: 158

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 400.
  2. Put a splash of vinegar into almond milk and set to the side.
  3. Mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt).
    biscdou
  4. Mix in the coconut oil. It will look a bit crumbly.
  5. Mix in your almond milk mixture until a sticky dough appears
    biscballuncooked
  6. Separate into 10 balls and plop on your baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until they’re firm to the touch.

sangria

Ingredients
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
Total: $5.03
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)

Method

  1. 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!
    sangwine
  2. Mix everything but the seltzer in a big punch bowl (or pitcher, if you’re fancypants like that).
  3. Let the sangria chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but the longer the better.
  4. Mix in the seltzer when you’re ready to serve.
    sangriabowl
  5. Don’t forget to eat the boozy fruit for dessert!

Bagels, Hummus, Cucumber Salad, and Boozy Strawberry Lemonade ~$2 a person

I don’t know if it’s my imagination (since a quick Yelp search seems to be disproving me), but I’m pretty sure there is a huge scarcity of good bagel shops in San Diego. Maybe it’s because I come from the Northeast, where the bread option at pretty much every breakfast place is: white, wheat, or bagel. But, in any event, last week I didn’t bring a lunch to work, so I walked to Trader Joe’s and bought baby carrots, hummus, and (you guessed it) bagels. And, lo and behold, I was reminded that bagels are DELICIOUS.

Those bagels cost $1.70 for 6 (that’s 28 cents each), which is triple what it costs to make them yourself. And, the internet makes making your own bagels look SO EASY. Anyway, long story short, my first attempt to make my own bagels was a bit of a failure (evidence below). So lemme start with the parts of the meal I did well, and then end with what I suspect I did wrong making the bagels (so that you don’t repeat the mistakes I made!)


plate

One bagel, $0.09
2 tbsp hummus, $0.09
Toppings (¼ tomato, ⅕ pepper, ⅓ avocado, spinach), $0.23
Serving of Salad, $0.24
Total: $0.65
Calories: 308
(Saving some calories for the booze, this time! And seconds.)

booze

I remember when I first came to San Diego from Boston, I saw a pound of strawberries at the store for $1.49. I thought they must be on super sale and bought a couple pounds to freeze. The next week, we went to that same store to see them for $0.99 a pound. It was then I knew I wanted to stay in San Diego (and that I loved that grocery store!).

This drink, however, was made with $1.49 strawberries (darn!). Somehow, the combination tastes a bit like watermelon. And it doesn’t need sugar! So it’s a healthy dessert…except for the booze.

Ingredients
1 lemon, $0.50
⅓ pound strawberries, $0.50
¾ cup gin (or rum, since we were out of gin 😦 still tasted good with rum, though), $1.65
1 tray of ice, $0.00
Total: $2.64
Per drink: $1.32
Calories per drink: 168

Method

  1. Put everything in a blender
  2. Blend til smooth
  3. Strain out seeds if desired (I’m too lazy)

hummus

The hummus I bought for lunch was about $2. The same sized container when made fresh is only about 70 cents, and is much more dense. Below is just plain, standard hummus. It’s also great if you add some roasted garlic, or olives, or hot peppers, or roasted eggplant, and the list goes on.

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chickpeas, $0.43
2 tbsp tahini, $0.57*
1 lemon, $0.50*
4 cloves garlic, $0.04
2 tbsp olive oil, $0.18
1 tsp salt, $0.02
~¼ cup water, $0.00
Total: $1.74
Serving (2 tbsp): $0.09
Calories per serving: 50

*This hummus is very lemony and tahini-y, which I like. But to cut down on those flavors (and a tiny bit on cost and calories), only use one tbsp of tahini and ¼-½ a lemon (just add the rest of your lemon to your lemonade!)

Method

  1. Put all your ingredients except for water into the food processor, and let it start to run.

    humblen

  2. While it’s running, slowly add water. Add until it’s at your desired consistency.

cucumberheader

Ingredients
2 cucumbers, $0.66
½ red onion, $0.25
½ cup vinegar, $0.21
2 tsp sugar, $0.02
2 tsp salt, $0.02
Total: $1.18
Serving Total (1/5th): $0.24
Calories per serving: 31

Method

  1. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl to dissolve.
    slice
  2. Slice up the onion and cucumbers thin and throw them in. (Dad, look! I’m using the safety holder like you told me to!)
    salad
  3. Mix everything up and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, but the salad is still good for a couple of days.

toppings

1 tomato, $0.15
1 orange bell pepper, $0.33
1 small avocado, $0.33
couple leaves of spinach, $0.03
Total: $0.81
Total per Serving (¼ tomato, ⅕ pepper, ⅓ avocado, spinach): $0.23
Calories per Serving: 125

bagelheader2

Ingredients
4 cups flour, $0.32
1 ½ tsp salt, $0.02
1 packet of yeast, $0.50
1.25 cup warm water, $0.00
Total: $0.86
Total per bagel (if making 10): $0.09
Calories per bagel: 103

So the method seems pretty straight forward:
Mix water, yeast and sugar. Put in salt and half the flour, mix. Slowly put in the rest of the flour so the dough hardens. Knead for about 8 minutes. Let ball rise for 45 minutes. Shape into bagel shapes. Let rise again for another 45 minutes. Bring pot of water to boil. Broil bagels on each side for 30-60 seconds. Boil bagels on each side for 1 minute. Let bagels drain. Bake bagels at 375 for 30 minutes.

Here’s what I think I did wrong:

squshed

  1. I used too much water! Or maybe too little flour. Maybe both?
  2. I didn’t spread the bagels out enough. We only have one pan, so I tried to put all ten bagels on one baking sheet. This was a mistake. It meant I couldn’t make the holes big enough and the bagels rose into each other. This meant…
  3. When I broiled the first side, the bagels had to be cut apart before they could be flipped. Which meant they didn’t actually get broiled on their sides. They were just a whole big gooey mess.

That said! They still tasted good. There’s nothing quite like fresh bread from the oven, even if it’s a flat bagel. Bagels, I will try to make you again! I haven’t quite been defeated yet!

Chickpea Sliders (and rolls!), Fries, Slaw, ~$1.21 a plate (~$17.60 left for beer)

Alright, entry number two! Unlike the last meal, it would be pretty impractical to do all the steps of this in one go. Using chickpeas as the slider “meat” came out of having cooked chickpeas sitting in the fridge that needed to be consumed. In our house, we never only make one day’s worth of beans, rice, bread, baked sweet potatoes, etc. Cook once, and then make variations for days!

So, I’m going to make the set up a little different for this. Instead of having the recipes at the bottom, after the price list and method, I’ll put more of an emphasis on the price and method for each particular recipe. The whole meal will be at the end. Oh, and sorry for the lame drink! But hey, what goes better with sliders than beer?

slider rolls header

Here is a recipe my boyfriend veganized from this. He also removed some steps and claims he barely measures the ingredients. So, long story short, these are very easy, hard to mess up, and pretty gosh-darn delicious!

Ingredients
3 tbsp sugar $0.06
1/4 c water $0.00
1 cup almond milk $0.41
3 cup all-purpose white flour $0.24
1 tbsp salt $0.05
1/4 cup oil $0.36
1 packet yeast $0.50
2 tbsp oil coating $0.18
Total: $1.80
Per roll: $0.12
Calories per roll: 111

Method

  1. Turn oven on for 30 seconds and turn off. Do not let it get hot, just a little warm.
  2. Mix 3 tbsp sugar, packet of yeast, and ¼ cup of warm water. Stir it up so that it starts fizzing a bit.
  3. Add 1 cup almond milk, 3 cups flour, tbsp salt, ¼ cup oil
  4. Mix everything together and knead for a couple of minutes (maybe 2? 3? It really doesn’t need too much kneading).
    Bowl with Towel
  5. Put a damp towel over the bowl and put in the slightly warmed oven. Let it rise for an hour.
  6. After an hour, punch down the dough and break it up into 16 pieces (halve dough, then halve pieces, then halve those, and halve those)
  7. Put pieces in oiled pan and let rise again in warmed oven for another 30 minutes.
    bake300
  8. Take out rolls, and preheat oven to 400 degrees (about 10 more minutes)
  9. Bake rolls for 15-17 minutes on middle rack
    rolls300
  10. Take out of oven and remove from pan to cool

slider title

Vegan burgers and loafs are pretty easy, once you get the general formula down:

  1. The base- beans, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, etc
  2. The binder- flaxseed, flour, oatmeal…
  3. The flavor- vegetables, spices, garlic, and lots more garlic
  4. Mix together. Form patties. Bake (or fry). Eat.

I have a terrible habit of looking at bento boxes on Pinterest when I should be working, and one day I stumbled upon veganlunchbox.com, where Jennifer McCann not only makes delicious and often adorable bento boxes, but also created this easy vegan loaf (or slider) recipe creater page, which is a great place to get started making vegan burgers, loafs, etc.

So here is my latest “throw a bunch of stuff from the fridge into a patty and call it dinner” invention. They were pretty good, but I think they were actually better reheated the next day!

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chickpea $0.43
4 large mushrooms, diced $1.00
1 medium onion, diced $0.15
4 cloves garlic, minced $0.04
1 jalapeno, diced $0.06
1 carrot, grated $0.09
1 cup bread crumbs $0.62
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds $0.22
2 tbsp nutritional yeast $0.32
2 tbsp soy sauce $0.42
1/2 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce $0.15
tsp mustard powder $0.05
black pepper $0.05
water $0.00
Total: $3.60
Per burger: $0.30
Calories per burger: 95

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Put the onion and ¼-½ cup water into a hot pan. Let the onions soften for a minute.
  3. Add in the mushrooms, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce. Add more water to the pan slowly, so the vegetables are not completely covered, but enough so they do not stick. Cook the mushrooms with the onion for a couple minutes.
  4. While the mushrooms and onions cook, start mashing up your chickpeas with about ¼ cup water.
    vegg300
  5. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and carrots to the pan, and let them cook for a few minutes.
  6. While the veggies are cooking, add the breadcrumbs, flaxseed, nutritional yeast, and spices to the chickpeas and start mixing and mashing them together dry.
    burger dough 300
  7. Add the veggies and any remaining liquid from the pan (I had about ⅛ cup left).
  8. Mash everything together.
  9. To form your patties, roll the mixture into ping-pong sized balls, then press them down onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet to make a disc.
    burger300
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes, keeping an eye on them after 20.

spreadheader

Cause I need more garlic on everything. If you wish to keep your breath fresh, I would not suggest using this spread. A nice avocado or tomato slice would also be a nice topping.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil $0.27
1 tbsp nutritional yeast $0.16
4 cloves garlic $0.04
Total: $0.47
Per serving (½ tbsp): $0.12
Calories per serving: 106

Method

  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Spread on bun.

fries header

Can’t have sliders without fries! Just a note on the cooking time, I baked these in a glass roasting pan (we only have one baking pan in the house), so my times probably vary greatly from people using different types of pans. I would suggest checking your fries regularly after 12 minutes.

Ingredients
1 lb russet potatoes $0.50
2 tbsp oil $0.18
Salt and spices $0.20
Total $0.88
Per serving (⅙ of potatoes) $0.15
Calories per serving 187

fies30

Method

  1. Slice your taters into fry shapes.
  2. Submerge them under water and let them soak for, oh, let’s just say until you remember that they’re there again (10 minutes? 30 minutes? 5 hours? Whatever!). This removes some of the starch, and so the potatoes get a bit more crispy!
  3. Dump out your water and shake off as much water as you can. Pat the potatoes dry.
  4. Put the potatoes back into a dry bowl, and coat with oil. Then add spices as you wish. I put salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and probably some other things.
  5. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and bake at 425. Mine took about 25 minutes to crisp up, but depending on your type of pan and how thin you cut them, yours could take as little as 12. Keep an eye on them!

saw header

And for side number two, you gotta have some raw veggies with every meal! Coleslaw is a great salad, because the longer it sits around (to a point, of course), the better it tastes, so you can make a whole lot ahead of time and have veggies ready for every meal. Plus, cabbage and carrots are crazy cheap. Cabbage is so dense, that ¼ of one fills up a big bowl.

Ingredients
1/4 cabbage $0.25
2 carrots $0.18
1 tbsp oil $0.09
3 tbsp vinegar $0.08
salt $0.02
Total: $0.62
Per serving (⅙ of total salad) $0.10
Calories per serving 44

Method

  1. Chop up cabbage.
  2. Grate carrots.
  3. Mix together with vinegar, oil, and salt.

plate header

Menu Item
2 chickpea burgers (with bun) $0.84
Coleslaw $0.10
Fries $0.14
Spread $0.12
Total price per plate: $1.21*
Total calories per plate: 750

Price of a bottle of beer (with tax and deposit) $1.22**

meal300

*As a giant nerd/someone too cheap to buy a calculator, I do calculations on a GoogleDoc spreadsheet. The extra cent is due to a rounding issue with the partial cents. I could just make it $1.20, or I could make this disclaimer. Apparently I chose the less logical option.
**Cheaper beer available at your local liquor store (might I recommend Pabst Blue Ribbon)

Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Rice, and Margaritas, ~$5 a person

For my first recipe, I decided not to stray too far out of my comfort zone. I still have to work out some kinks on how to display these entries in the best way (I don’t want to tell you how long I struggled trying to make html/css columns display properly in WordPress [and failed]). So, not trying to be too adventurous in this recipe, I bring you refried bean tacos, Mexican rice, and margaritas.

This recipe made a lot of leftovers, which I brought to work, my boyfriend put in wraps, and so on. So I guessed it would make about 6 plates if all of them were exactly the same. I didn’t list protein, fat, carbs because, honestly, I don’t really care about any of that. I did include an estimate of calories, though, just to show that it is a full plate. If you are counting calories, I’d suggest putting less sugar and triple sec in your drinks (less sugar also means less hangover! …but also more tequila taste).

So, without further ado, here is cheap vegan dinner number one. Total is around $10 for 2 (plus $0.75 a for each margarita glass from the thrift store).

Grocery ListDinner

Produce
11 roma tomatoes $1.65
3 onions $0.45
1 head garlic $0.15
4 jalapenos $0.24
2 small avocados (or one large) $0.66
¼ lemon $0.13
Bulk, Spices, et cetera
24 small corn tortillas $0.80
2 cups brown rice $0.79
⅔ cup dried black beans $0.33
2 tbsp oil $0.30
1-2 tbsp vinegar $0.05
1 tbsp cumin $0.15
salt/pepper to taste $0.05
Total: $5.75

Plate:
4 refried bean tacos
1 cup Mexican rice
2 tbsp guacamole
¼ cup salsa fresca

Price Per Plate: $0.96
Calories per plate: 515

Drinks

8 oz tequila $2.80
3 oz triple sec $0.63
¾-1 lemon $0.50
1 orange $0.33
2-4 tbsp sugar $0.08
Ice and water $0.00

Total: $4.34 for 2 double+ margaritas
Calories for each drink: 566 (or 212ish for an average single).

Each drink has about 2.7 shots of tequila and 1 shot triple sec, which is stronger than your average double.

We cut our second drink down to 6 oz tequila, 1.5 oz triple sec, 1-2 tbsp sugar, and used the ¾ of lemon leftover from making guacamole.

Method Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes

-08:00-00:00

Soak beans for 6-8 hours (I use a pressure cooker, so I skipped this step).

00:00-00:50

beans
Put your soaked beans on the stove and bring to boil. Let simmer for 45-50 minutes. If you have a pressure cooker, you can put your beans in without soaking, then bring to pressure for 40 minutes and let release the natural method.

00:02-00:06

While you’re waiting for your beans to come to a boil/pressure, blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chili for your Mexican rice.

00:06-00:55

rice
Fry up your rice, then add the tomato blend and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low for 40 minutes.

00:11-00:15

Wash your blender.

00:15-00:30

margs
Make drink number one. Take a few minutes to enjoy a few sips.

00:15-00:30

You can also take this time to do some dishes (everything but your cutting board and knife) or wash those strawberries you bought on sale for dessert/freezing.

00:30-00:45

guac
Take out two bowls for your guacamole and salsa fresca. Because most of the ingredients are the same, I just cut up the veggies and made these at the same time.

00:40-00:45

gahlic
Also, cut up extra onions, jalapenos, and tomatoes for your refried beans while you’re at it.

00:45-00:55

If your bean and rice timers haven’t gone off yet, take a couple more sips of your drink. Your bean timer will probably go off first. Just check that they’re done and turn off the heat for now.

00:55-01:05

mexrice
I put a bit extra water in my rice, so when the rice timer went off, it still needed to simmer a bit. This worked out, though, because if there was less water I would have had to watch it for the full 40 minutes to make sure the tomato didn’t stick. Instead, watch it for 10 minutes, stirring, until most of the extra liquid steams off. Then turn off the burner and keep the top on the pot until you’re ready to eat.

01:00-01:15

tomat
While you’re finishing off the rice, start softening up your onions with cumin, then add tomatoes for them to break down, then the jalapenos and garlic, then about 2ish cups of black beans (I put a little bit more) with a tiny bit of the bean water (or fresh water) to mash it all up, and let it cook until most of the water is cooked off.

01:08-01:15

While you are cooking your beans, throw some tortillas on the griddle to warm up.

01:15-01:25

Finish your drink, make another, and set the table. Dinner’s ready!

RecipesBlack Bean Tacos

Ingredients
24 small corn tortillas
⅔ cup dried black beans
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1.25 onion, diced
1.5 jalapeno, diced
couple cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook black beans either by an overnight soak or directly in the pressure cooker (or an overnight soak AND the pressure cooker. Or be fancy and buy a can).
  2. Saute onion in oil until soft (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add cumin and cook for another minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until they start to break down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add about 2 cups of cooked black beans and a little bit of water (either the bean water, or fresh water. I do bean, since I get a bit of it in there from scooping anyway).
  6. Mash up everything with a bit of salt and black pepper (if you’re feeling adventurous!)
  7. Continue stirring until all the water has steamed off.
  8. Heat up only the corn tortillas you want to eat now (there will be extra beans).
  9. Put a heaping spoonful or two in your tortilla and enjoy.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients
2 cups uncooked brown rice
4 roma tomatoes
½ onion
1 jalapeno
couple cloves garlic
2-3 cups water
1 tbsp oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Blend the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and garlic until smooth.
  2. Heat up oil in a pot.
  3. When the oil is hot, fry the rice for about a minute or two.
  4. Put in tomato mixture and water (I measured the water in the blender, so I got the remaining tomato goodness!).
  5. Stir, bring to boil, and let simmer for about 40 minutes with the top cracked.
  6. After 40 minutes, stir tomato mixture back into rice if if floated to the top, and let rice simmer while stirring until the water has cooked off.

Guacamole

Ingredients
2 small avocados
1.5 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
couple cloves garlic, minced
juice from ¼ lemon or ½ lime
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mash up avocado in a bowl.
  2. Add everything but the tomatoes to the avocados, and mash again.
  3. Stir in tomatoes.

Salsa Fresca

Ingredients
3.5 roma tomatoes, diced
½ onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
couple cloves garlic, minced
splash of vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash and chop vegetables.
  2. Put in bowl, mix.

Margarita

Ingredients
8 oz tequila
3 oz triple sec
juice of ¾-1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
2-4 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
A whole lotta ice
  1. Mix the sugar and warm water until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Throw everything into a blender and blend.
  3. Makes 2 strong doubles or 5 standard margaritas.
  4. Drink and repeat.

An Introduction

Frugal:
There seems to be a myth circulating that eating vegan is expensive. I aim to do my best to disprove that in a BudgetBytes style, where I list out how much I spent on each item used in the meal, the total price, and the price per serving. My goal is to spend no more than $20 for two people to have multiple drinks and a vegan dinner filling enough to soak up all of that booze.

I do want to note that I live in Southern California, so for produce-heavy meals, the prices I show might be lower than national averages. I grew up in Massachusetts, I know 3 for 99cent avocados are not the norm in much of the country (in fact, not even here), so for some recipes you might be spending a dollar or two more for the produce than I paid. Of course, use your best judgement, make replacements based on what’s on sale in your area, used canned if they are cheaper at that time of year, omit pricey ingredients, etc etc.

Drunk:
Quite honestly, I expect most of my $20 budget will come from the drinks. No recipe will leave you drinking only one small drink. I aim to get you and your guest to a happy buzz!

Vegan:
All of the recipes on this site will be vegan and relatively healthy (relative to the alternative drunk food of pizza rolls and McDonalds). For the non-vegans reading, cutting the calories from the meat and cheese is a great excuse to allow yourself another empty calorie drink! For the vegans reading, we don’t need to torture an animal to have fun!

In full disclosure, I am not vegan, or even vegetarian. However, I am a huge supporter of the vegan diet and vegan causes. If you are reading this blog, most likely you are too, so I won’t reiterate too much. Basically, I don’t have the self-control to be completely vegan. However, I do believe the less meat (and more vegetables) we as a society eat, the better for our bodies, environment, and longevity. I try to rarely eat animal products, and I hope to share with other meat eaters that you too can cut out some meat from your diet and still have full-balanced, (maybe more) nutritious, filling, and delicious meals.

That said, if you are a vegan and see that I am using a product sourced by some evil company or so on and so forth, please be kind. And, for that matter, be kind to others who are just trying to do their best. It’s always better for your cause that people eat partially vegan than not vegan at all, so support other people who are trying to cut animal products out of their life, wherever they are on their journey.

The Frugal Drunk Vegan:
Hello! My name is Rita, I am a 26 year old woman who grew up in a suburb of Boston, MA and currently live in a San Diego, CA. I moved down here about a year ago after spending 7ish weeks traveling the country with my boyfriend. I started becoming more interested in food a few years ago and have since been slowly learning as much as I can about what is healthy for my body and the world. I spent 6 weeks in 2012 WWOOFing at Manda Farm, where I grew a great appreciation for farm animals and sustainable farming. I am starting this blog for fun. In the past few years, I have started a couple blogs that I lost interest in and never brought to their full potential (general hippie, chemical free life [not completely abandoned]). But, I’ve always loved to write and I’m just trying to find my niche in the blogging world. Writing about eating and drinking? I think that’s pretty relevant to my interests! So I hope you find something interesting or helpful or delicious in my future entries. And if you don’t, well, thank you for taking the time to read anyway!