But I digress. Blame it on my pregnancy brain.
In that post a few weeks ago I talked about how the most expensive food items are usually meat and dairy items. So in our home we have cut down our consumption of both in order to ensure we consume high quality, organic products. This means that a few times per week I cook vegetarian meals.
Now some of you might have husband (or personal) resistance to this, and I completely understand that. I was raised in a meat and potatoes kind of home, after all (as was my husband). When I first mentioned the idea to my own husband, he wasn't very excited about it. He worried he wouldn't feel full enough on a vegetarian meal. So I sneakily started researching vegetarian meals and slipping them in throughout the week.
The result? My husband never noticed the lack of meat until I pointed it out at the end of the meal. He has since come around to the whole "vegetarian a few times a week" idea.
I want to share a few of my favorite vegetarian recipes with you all. I will admit, I am not a very fancy cook. I am a bit of a foodie, and love new things, but I just don't have the time at this point in my life to spend hours on dinner. So I mostly go for food that can be cooked and served relatively quickly.
I also try to find recipes that don't require me to buy a ton of ingredients. In my frugal home I cannot justify spending tons of money on ingredients I only need a little of. So I do modify recipes as I am able. I am also careful to make sure my meals incorporate lots of protein (something vegetarian meals can often lack).
Here are some of my "go-to" vegetarian recipes, which both my husband and I love:
Black Bean, Avocado, and Mango Quesadillas
I found a similar recipe to this which was uber-complicated, so I simplified it and it is now one of our favorite recipes! The flavors go together so well. They are also easy to make and then freeze for future meals
It is literally as easy as this photo shows. I put tortillas (homemade or store-bought depending on the day) on my griddle at about 250 degrees. I put cheese (whatever I have on-hand, but usually mozzarella) on the entire tortilla and allow to begin melting.
In a pan on the stove, I warm black beans seasoned with some garlic salt, which I put a in a layer on top of 1/2 of the tortilla. Then I follow with thin slices of mango and avocado. After the tortilla has been toasting for about 10 minutes and the cheese looks melted, I fold half of the tortilla over and allow to continue toasting for about 5 minutes. THAT'S IT! Super easy, healthy, and very yummy.
Eggs in a Basket
It might seem like I LOVE my griddle, and you would be right. I look forward to getting a cast-iron one someday.
Eggs in a basket is one of my husband's favorite foods, so I make it almost weekly. Eggs in general make a very cheap meal, and are healthy and full of protein. I like to make my eggs in a basket with wheat sourdough bread
Simply cut a whole in the bread with a cup, butter it, and break an egg into the center. Personally I am not a runny yolk person, so I always break the yolks in mine, but some people like runny. Cook on med-low so the egg cooks through. I usually flip it towards the end just to make sure both sides get a bit toasted. I also use the cut-outs and put jam on them after toasting them. I will usually serve this with cut-up fruit. It is VERY filling.
Veggie Hummus Wraps
This is a very filling and quick recipe which I love making for lunches on the weekends. My husband loves them too. The hummus really keeps it from being too dry like many veggie wraps I've had. I will usually make lots of these at a time and store them for weekday lunches
Spread a layer of roasted-red pepper hummus on a whole wheat tortilla (store bought or homemade). Press a few kale or spinach leaves into the hummus. Follow with carrot shavings, edamame, avocado, and some feta. Be sure the layers are thin. Then, starting at one end of the tortilla, roll it up and eat :)
Some other favorites of mine include:
Black bean and veggie enchiladas
Pancakes or waffles
Toast with spinach, cheddar, sliced hard-boiled eggs, salt & pepper (YUM!)
Grilled cheese made with brie together with butternut squash soup
Beans and Rice (left over from my days living in Brazil!)
Have any of you tried implementing a few vegetarian meals to save money? Please share some of your favorite budget vegetarian recipes!