Thursday, March 27, 2014

Favorite Simple & Easy Vegetarian Recipes

I wrote a post last month about eating organically on a budget. Some of you might be getting the idea that I'm a bit of a hippie with all my organic food, cloth diapering, and home-birthing ideas. But I prefer to think of myself as old fashioned (as in, log cabin old fashioned). I just like to live and eat as close to the earth as possible.

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!


  1. Here are 2 recipes I use very often:

    1. Fried rice with bell pepper and shrimps
    Cook some plain rice. Chop 1-2 bell pepper. Add small shrimps to the bell pepper. Put everything in a wok pan (oil is not necessary). Get all well combined. Add some soy sauce (or any spice you like). Cook for a few minutes and serve.

    2. Tomato pie
    You can make the dough or buy it. If you want to make it, use 300g of flour, 10cl of water, 10cl of water and a pinch of salt.
    Put the dough in a pie dish. Add a small amount of "tapenade" (mix of olives and anchovy), if you like it; you could although use tomato sauce instead. Add about 20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Add some grated cheese. Cook in oven for 20 minutes on 200 (celcius).

    Sorry if it's a bit confused, translate recipes from french is not that easy for me. Ask me if you need more explanation or details. Enjoy!

  2. I like to make bean burritos because they are my total weakness and the one thing that will pull me towards the drive-through at Taco Bell. I just cook up about 1/2 a sweet onion with cumin, a sprinkle of cayenne, and a little taco seasoning and mash a can of rinsed and drained black beans, heat until hot through, and spread onto a warmed tortilla. You can add a little red enchilada sauce like Taco Bell does or just leave it plain like I do and sprinkle on some freshly shredded sharp cheddar.

    I also like to make phyllo-dough spinach pies and there are a bunch of recipes you can find online for spanakopita (always go with the easiest, you don't need to brush olive oil onto each layer of the dough) and of course, make chili with chopped cubes of tofu and add in sliced zucchini, carrot, red and green pepper in place of meat. I am also a HUGE fan of the ever-popular peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Or sweet potatoes dressed up with plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of brown sugar!


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!