I came across an article today about making a vegan diet more affordable. At first, it seemed odd because I think of vegan diets as being very affordable. Rice and beans are the poster children for veganism. Right? After much consideration, it occurred to me that the sudden popularity of “green juices” and some of the prices that I see at the farmer’s market, can make it difficult to eat well on a budget. Let’s face it, most of us can’t afford micro-greens at $5 per ¼ lb. You’re not fooling anyone. That’s $20 per pound – for lettuce.
This has inspired me to share my first Veganomics series. This week, I will provide you with one recipe every day highlighting beans. Beans are versatile and affordable and delicious.
I will also share some thoughts and tips on beans to help you plan and executive these recipes. Here are a few to get you started.
- I like to use dried beans. I find that you get more value, but they do take considerably more time and planning. Of course, you are welcome to use canned. They are still very affordable and easy and nutritious.
- A one-pound bag of beans works out to roughly four cans of beans. If you are buying in bulk, one cup of beans is roughly ½ pound or the equivalent of two cans.
- You should always sort through dried beans and rinse them thoroughly before soaking or cooking.
- You don’t have to soak your beans but it will shorten the cooking time dramatically.
- You can soak your beans overnight to shorten cooking time. If you are going to soak them for longer than 12 hours, I would swap out the water at least once. Just drain and rinse and cover with fresh water. You can soak them at room temperature for up to 24 hours. You can also soak them in the fridge for up to 2 days if you think you might not get to cook them right away. Just swap out the water about every 12 hours or so.
- You can cook an entire bag of beans and then freeze any that you are not using immediately. A good plan is to cook them all and then divide and store in four parts. Consider each part the equivalent of one can of beans.
Normally I wouldn’t share 5 recipes in 1 week, but I want you to see that you can make these recipes all in a week and have delicious, nutritious options for lunch and dinner and never get bored. And if you are cooking for one or two people, you can even freeze portions for the future, which will save you time and money in the long run. I’ll provide leftover tips along the way. At the end of the week, I will provide a shopping list to show you how, by having minimal and affordable ingredients on hand, you can eat really well.
You can Relish Real Food!