Have you noticed that people have a lot of excuses for not being vegan?
My favourite at the moment is that “vegan food” is just too expensive. I often struggle to see what they can mean by this as “vegan food” is just “food”. We eat the same apples as them, the same potatoes, the same salads, we just leave out some stuff. How can a lack of something be more expensive? Perhaps what they mean is that processed vegan foods tend to be more expensive and here they may have a point. Ice cream labelled as dairy free is often more expensive than those containing milk, frozen ready meals aimed at vegans carry a premium price as do anything in a “free from” section in a supermarket. Perhaps this is what they are thinking about when they think about “vegan food”.
The truth is though that the most expensive foods in the supermarket are usually meat and dairy and the cheapest are the vegan staples of whole grains and pulses. Fresh vegetables can be expensive but are cheaper if you eat in season and hunt around for bargains. As always cooking whole foods works out cheaper than relying on someone to make it and freeze it for you. That is true whatever you eat.
Here is my current favourite recipe for Autumn Kale which certainly won’t break the bank. Replace the squash and root vegetables with whatever happens to be in season and change the Kale for spring greens, chard, spinach or whatever you have to hand.
- 1/2 a butternut squash – cubed
- 3 beetroot – cubed
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup green lentils
- 2 good handfuls of kale – shredded
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 1 cup passata
- 1 red onion – sliced
Roast the squash and beetroot in a little oil for around 30 minutes until soft and browned.
Meanwhile cook the rice and lentils in a saucepan with 2 cups of boiling water for around 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the grains are just cooked. Set aside to cool.
Fry the onion slowly until softened and then add the passata and simmer – taste and add a pinch of salt and/or sugar to taste.
Fry the kale and garlic in a wok on a low heat until the kale starts to soften. Add the cooled rice and lentil mixure and then the squash and beetroot. Add a little smoked paprika if you have it to hand.
Serve in a deep bowl with a little tomato sauce.
What excuses do you hear from meat-eaters? Or what excuses do you have themselves.
I’d love to hear your own budget recipe ideas. Please share them below.