When you think about cooking meals for your family, it’s important to know what’s in them before you go shopping because you really need a list. Having said that, nothing has to be as hard or difficult as we usually make it. There are shortcuts that will save time and money, and still enable you to produce a healthy meal for yourself and your family. In fact, these aren’t really even recipes when you think about it; it’s just common sense creating healthy vegetarian meals quickly and cheaply.
Making stir-fry is super-easy. All you need is any mixture of veggies, soy sauce, honey, ginger and some cornstarch or even flour if you don’t have it.
Cook veggies in oil in a large, hot plan in the order of cooking time length, adding a new veggie every couple of minutes. Mix 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon of thickening agent. When veggies are almost done, put the mixture into the pan, cook until thick, and serve over rice. You can also add cold leftover rice straight to the pan to make a great veggie stir-fry rice dish.
Put any veggies such as white potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, and even cabbage (any that you like) into 6 cups of veggie broth. Boil until veggies are cooked through. Thicken broth with flour or remove some of the potatoes from the pan and blend before adding back in.
To make the soup hardier, add black beans and a can of chopped tomato to the mix. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic or 21 Seasoning Salute Blend. Another trick to make a hearty broth is to use V8 juice (or something like it) for half the broth.
If you have any type of leftovers, this is a great time to quickly make wraps. Use large flour shells, add whatever you want inside, wrap up, then heat in a hot non-stick pan to get the outside a little toasty, no oil needed. You can even do this with leftover salad, black beans, and salsa without heating the wrap for a great meal on a hot day. You really can put anything in a wrap – whether it’s a flour tortilla or another type of wrap. Don’t forget the hot sauce.
One great thing about most veggies is you can make them taste delicious by using the spices of the country you want to taste the flavors of.
For example, let’s say you want to make a Mexican-themed casserole. Start with a 9 x 13 pan. Grease with corn oil using a paper towel (way cheaper than buying oil in a can with lots of air). Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice over sauce, add 1 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup salsa, and 1 small can green chilis. Sprinkle some Tajin Classic Seasoning over all. Pour in four cups of veggie broth, cover pan and bake for one 45 minutes to one hour in a 350 degrees F oven until rice is done. Top with slices of avocado if you have it.
5. Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
It’s common in the south to eat black-eyed peas and greens with cornbread on New Year’s Day, but there is no reason to wait. Plus, it’s seriously simple to make. You can make it in two pots on the stove or in a crockpot that you start in the morning.
For the beans, just rinse and pick through the beans to ensure they’re stone free, then cook in veggie broth by covering them with the broth and cooking until the beans are soft – about 15 to 20 minutes. Do the same thing for the greens. If you want more spice, just add 21 Seasoning Salute the last five minutes of cooking time.
The thing to remember about cooking vegetarian on a budget is that you want to use fewer ingredients when possible. Buying tons of spices can cost a lot of money, so using pre-mixed spices and seasonings can help save time and money. Using broth, homemade or not, can also save a lot of time and money when it comes to seasoning.