Hello everyone! I do hope you are well and happy.
As this is the week in which we celebrate World Vegan Day (November 1st) , I thought I would offer you a little gift: a week of dinners, complete with shopping list, which should cost you, with a bit of luck, under £50 (I say this because we all know prices fluctuate).
Some of the recipes have already been posted; those that haven’t follow after the menu and shopping list. For the rest, I will give you the posting date. Those recipes have already been costed individually, but as we all know, if you can access store cupboard items, your shopping bill shrinks. The shopping list to follow stocks the store cupboard then the menus call upon it, which is why, as we know, a weekly budget saves you money.
Items listed in an italic font came from ASDA; the rest from ALDI.
Quick disclaimer: some were special offers, but as these change all the time, if they’re not on special when you shop, others are likely to be.
Weekly Shopping List with Rough Prices
750g organic onions .95
packet of 3 garlic bulbs .85
2 x 1.5kg organic potatoes at 1.39 each 2.78
one large aubergine .65
135g baby corn .95
2 x 200g button mushrooms at 85p each 1.70
4 x 250g cherry tomatoes at 71p each 2.84
one bunch of spring onions .37
2 lemons at 25p each .50
7 Granny Smith apples
300g cooked baby beetroots .62
180g baby spinach 1.10
20g fresh rosemary .60
150g mixed mushrooms (shiitake, etc.) 1.50
1kg sweet potatoes .95
25g fresh coriander .95
1 litre unsweetened soya milk .59
200g vegan cheese 2.25
500g vegan yoghurt 1.50
250ml soya/oat cream 1.00
200g vegan feta cheese 2.25
70g little pot of mango chutney .40
soy sauce .42
tomato puree .37
plain flour .45
baking powder .69
250g vegetable oil .79
500g spaghetti .20
2 x 6 wholemeal pitta at 42p each .84
4 toasting muffins .39
150g flaked almonds 1.39
500g sultanas .88
45g jar of cumin .49
18g pot budget dried mixed herbs .25
100g packet garam masala .60
150ml teriyaki sauce 1.00
100g whole hazelnuts 1.50
180g tahini 1.80
100g miso 1.50
coconut milk .59
200g packet egg replacer (e.g. Orgran) 3.25
2 x 300g tins of broad beans in water .80
500g dried green lentils .75
150g Worcestershire Sauce 1.29
A Week of Dinner Menus
1.Tight Budget Tian
2.Treasure in the Tide
3.Spaghetti Plus Three Sauces (posted 27/6/2017)
4.Ethiopian Inspired Ful Mesalah (see note at the end – to stick within budget I used tinned broad beans, which will tweak the recipe originally posted Fuul Mesalah Over Rosemary Infused Mash)
5.Ful Mesalah Over Rosemary Infused Mash (posted 20/6/2017)
6.Bobotie Two Potato Pie (posted 22/5/2017)
7.Lemony Pitta Hazelnut Loaf with Miso and Tahini Sauce (posted 17/6/2017)
Tight Budget Tian
A tian is a baking dish; like a casserole, the name of the dish is the same as the food it contains. Also like the casserole, it is a good-natured dish that will adapt to suit you and your purse. This is a pared-down version of a traditional tian, which usually has a sauce and a least three ingredients, but if you use lots of garlic and an intensely flavoured vegan cheddar, it is still a feast, albeit frugal. It looks pretty to match the circumference of the aubergine to those of the potatoes as closely as possible. With the £3.10 you have left to play with before your budget hits £50 for the week, choose your accompaniments – maybe a green vegetable and some ciabatta bread?
4 cloves of garlic
85g vegan margarine
115g extra mature vegan cheddar, finely grated
1 large aubergine
4 large potatoes
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200C/390F.
- Slice the potatoes into 2cm slices and boil for five minutes.
- Melt the marg on a very low heat and slowly fry the garlic until translucent. Turn off the heat.
- Slice the aubergine into 2cm slices.
- In an oval dish, arrange the aubergine and potatoes in alternate slices.
- Pour the garlic marg over the vegetables and sprinkle over the vegan cheese, then bake for 20 minutes.
Treasure in the Tide
Batter is a thrifty classic, probably because it contains a good source of both protein and calcium, and if you get it right it has a wonderfully moreish crunch. If there is one thing I have learnt about making batter, it is that you cannot skip the stage of getting its metal container almost smokingly hot before pouring in the raw mixture if you want crispness at the end. The genesis of this cross between Toad in the Hole and Vegetable Tempura was having a weakness for both! As the vegetables reminded my children of jewels being washed onto the shore by the sea, they came up with this name.
350 ml soya milk
the equivalent of 4 eggs’ worth egg replacer
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp mixed herbs
1/2 tsp sea salt
400g button mushrooms, washed but left whole
2 packets baby corn
1 tbs sunflower oil
vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220C/430F.
- Whisk the soya milk and egg replacer together until you have a really bubbly batter. Add the flour, salt and herbs a little at a time, whisking all the time, until the batter is as smooth as possible. Add a few drops of Worcestshire sauce and whisk again.
- Put the oil into a large metal dish and oven heat until it is almost smoking.
- Have oven gloves, batter and veg at the ready. Taking great care, pour the batter into the hot tin and quickly add the vegetables, stirring speedily to distribute the veg fairly evenly in the batter, then pop the tin back in the oven as fast as you can. Cook for 40-45 minutes until the edges are dark brown and the middle is yellowy-brown, but firm – use a skewer to check, as you would for a cake.
Fuul Masalah Style Broad Beans
Fuul Masalah, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is an East African dish made with fava beans. You can get these tinned at supermarkets now, and cook with them a lot, but as I needed to stick within the budget I decided to see what the recipe was like with broad beans, which is the same bean anyway. This recipe was inspired by the Fuul Masalah I was served at an Ethiopian restaurant, with the addition of tomatoes which are still good in early Autumn. This is great to make for a *crowd because it can be easily scaled up, when pennies allow, and is a lovely relaxed way of eating. This uses half a pack of vegan feta. Make double of this recipe, minus the pitta bread, if you intend to cook tomorrow’s dish; then all you have to do is make the topping
1 packet pitta
300g tin broad beans in water
4 cloves garlic, chopped fairly finely
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp tomato puree
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
100g vegan feta
55g vegan margarine
- Melt the margarine on a low light, then gently fry the garlic in a nonstick wok for one minute.
- Add the tomatoes and garam masala. Fry until they begin to break down.
- Add the beans. Gently stir and lift to combine with the tomatoes.
- Simmer the sauce while you toast the pitta.
- Slowly stirring the sauce occasionally, cut the pitta into strips and grate the rest of the vegan feta.
6) In each bowl, serve a portion of sauce topped with grated feta and surrounded by strips of pitta with which to scoop it up.
* It is also the perfect blueprint to which almost anything can be added if you find yourself with an unexpected guest to feed. Peppers or tinned tomatoes can pad out fresh tomatoes if you’re short; a can of butter beans stretches insufficient broad beans; creamed corn will preserve the richness of the sauce if your butter has run out and any cheese may be used to mix in with the grated feta. (If you keep the vegetables:beans:creamy sauce: spices & garlic:cheese ratio roughly the same as above, it is virtually foolproof). I have used all of these substitutions/additions on many occasions after receiving a text beginning “Is it alright if ….?”