It’s been a while since I last did this, so it’s time for another round-up of yummy, wholesome low-cost vegan recipes from other people’s blogs! As it’s still really cold out there in the rain soaked UK, I thought some warming spicy internationally themed dishes were in order.
First up from Frugal Feeding, is an absolutely delicious, fiery Penne All’arabiata. This recipe includes the clever addition of butter beans in place of the diced chicken which can be found included in some recipes (particularly in Americanised versions.) Pasta and pulses are a traditional combination in many rustic Italian dishes and they are wonderful together here smothered in a rich slow-cooked chilli-laced tomato sauce. The combination of grains and pulses provides plenty of wholesome plant-based protein, along with oodles of winter-defying carbs. Serve with a simple side salad or some warm bread. A topping of grated hard Italian cheese or a sprinkle of yeast flakes makes it perfect.
We’ve had this dish numerous times over the past few months and it’s become a household favourite! As for frugality, the primary ingredients of tinned tomatoes and pasta can be found in the ‘basics’ range of all major supermarkets. And of course beans are typically considerably cheaper to buy than chicken.
Second up is another dish I’ve cooked several times now. My partner is a huge curry fan, and so am I. As well as more authentic Indian dishes, we both love the classic Anglo-Indian curry house fare typified by chunky ingredients cooked in a thick smothering of rich red-brown spicy sauce! This recipe fulfils the requirements of any non-meat eating, spicy heat loving, Indian takeaway fan.
I tend to tweak this a little. We like to add some fresh little fiery red chillies (from our beloved windowsill plants) to the ginger and garlic paste, for the punchy heat that’s so famous to Vindaloo in the UK – clearly how hot you like your curry is a personal thing, so I won’t offer any suggestions as to quantity here. I also add three US sized cups of water after the vegetables go in, and then cook at a highish heat with the lid on for about twenty minutes; before adding a little sachet of creamed coconut (I use this instead of adding the coconut milk) and then simmering without the lid for another five to ten minutes to reduce the liquid.
Although the base ingredients of potatoes, onions and cauliflower are not in themselves extravagant, because this recipe involves making a spice paste from scratch, it requires a lot of spices which could be problematic if you are on a tight budget. I make sure that that’s not an issue to me, by keeping my spice rack well stocked at all times and I find the best way to achieve a good range of spices, without spending a great deal all at once, is to pick up one or two spices here and there, as you shop from week to week. I usually get in a refill of something each shop and I firmly believe that the value in terms of flavour and variety that a well stocked spice rack can impart when used along with otherwise frugal staples, makes it worth every penny. A quick note on ginger, do buy it whole and not in those little dried up chunks that come in packets, it’s generally much cheaper to buy it in larger roots, and they last for ages. As for Basmati rice which is an essential companion to any curry, we get ours in bulk from Lidl where it can be found in huge bags along with lots of other bargain world food ingredients.
This blog appears to be dormant at the moment, so I’m going to have to copy this recipe just in case it ends up getting deleted..
Third up is another exceptionally frugal but flavourful dish, this time originally hailing from Macedonia. The blogger states that they found it in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook, which like many others is one on my ‘must get sometime’ list. If you haven’t tried them already, then wheat berries (also more pragmatically named whole wheat grains) can be found at wholefood suppliers; I got mine in an incredibly good value 3 kg bag for a little over £4 from the online supplier Goodness Direct HERE. What’s even more impressive is that they’re organic too!
Wheat berries are super filling and satisfying. Being a whole unprocessed grain they also last ages in the store-cupboard. They are chewy little niblets of numminess, a great addition to the wholefood store-cupboard, and perfect combined with a rich spicy sauce like the one in this recipe. Another blog that’s in stasis here, I must make an effort to type the recipe up as well!
NOTE: While I have credited the authors and linked to their blogs, I haven’t asked permission for the use of these images. If any of the authors object for any reason to me posting their images, do let me know and I’ll take them down!