Eating a healthy vegetarian diet on a low budget requires planning ahead, or at five o'clock you'll cave and stop off for a veggie burger on the way home from work. You keep a running shopping list so you always have all the supplies you need.

Here are a bunch of recipes to make on the weekend in a big pot and freeze in single servings. Then your freezer is stacked with things you can just leave out on the counter in the morning and heat in five minutes when you get home. (I used to nuke them if I forgot to thaw, but I lean toward the double boiler these days, to reduce the amount of nuked food I consume.)

You'll need an 8-quart pot that isn't paper thin on the bottom, so you can go do something else while the food is simmering. You can also probably make most of the soups and stews in a large crock pot, while you're at work.

You're cooking from basic supplies that cost little and store well.

Beet and Bean Stew (A kind of borscht)

Red Lentil Curry 

Lentils cook quickly, so they're my staple for last-minute what-will-I-have meals. Rice and lentil curry takes 30 minutes, and you can be checking your email for some of that time. Brown and black lentils take more like 45 minutes. You can make enough for extra meals with all of these recipes. They make 3 servings in my world.

Serve curries with chapattis instead of rice. I've got a successful gluten-free chapattis recipe here. (Plus a regular wheat version)

Ratatouille*, rice and lentils (*Italian stewed tomatoes & veggies)


Falafels are the quickest, easiest supper in the 10 in 10 Diet. Because they're made from a mix that's basically ground dry beans and grains. So, you use them at the times when you'd either go for fast food or nuke an expensive frozen dinner, or heat up one of those $2.00 veggie patties.
 

Falafel (Middle Eastern patties) with fluffy grains and gravy.

This salad is in a class of its own. A cold summer treat, great to share, or just eat it all week when you've got better things to do than cook.

Quinoa Salad - fluffy grains, veggies, and nuts in a tangy dressing

Chick peas instead of chicken


You know how so many things taste like chicken, because basically industrial chicken has no taste? Well, try taking any prepared chicken sauce from the grocery store's lazy aisle and add chick peas instead of chicken. The flavour overwhelms any chick pea taste (assuming you feel that can be a bad thing). Half a jar of, say, mango sauce and a cup of cooked chick peas – I threw in some stir-fried diced broccoli stems and carrots with the onions and garlic – deee-lish and easy. Whenever I cook rice, I cook double and freeze a container. Takes less power, saves time next time.




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