4 Plant-Based Meals on a Budget

These recipes from the Frugal Vegan cookbook prove that a healthy, plant-based diet doesn’t have to be intimidating or expensive.

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

If you’re accustomed to cooking with animal products, plant-based dishes might seem too complicated. Cooking without meat, eggs, and dairy likely calls for unfamiliar vegetables and obscure new culinary methods, right?

And then there’s the added cost to consider. Buying plant-based burgers, vegan nut cheeses, and coconut-milk ice cream might strain your grocery budget, especially compared with their conventional counterparts.

At its core, though, a plant-based diet is about eating more produce and whole foods. From that perspective, it can be simple, economical, and tasty — you just need some practical recipes at your disposal.

That’s why we’re sharing these dishes from Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee’s Frugal Vegan cookbook, which offers a vibrant mix of accessible, affordable veggie-centered recipes. It’s full of clever tips and tricks to help you save money while you’re eating well.

Can’t imagine giving up chicken wings for good? Plant-based doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing lifestyle. Even choosing to go meat- and dairy-free one or two days a week can substantially affect the environment, while helping you eat more veggies and trim your grocery budget. These recipes offer a place to start.

— Kaelyn Riley


Sweet-Potato Breakfast Boats

Makes two servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

1 sweet potato
1/2 avocado
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a fork to poke holes all around the sweet potato. Place it on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on size.

Alternatively, microwave the sweet potato for eight to 10 minutes, until cooked through.
Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. With the fleshy parts facing up, cut a slit lengthwise down the middle of each half. Use two forks to split open the sweet potato halves so you’re left with little pockets.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the cumin and cayenne. Fill each sweet-potato boat with the avocado, followed by the black beans, corn, and salsa. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

This originally appeared as “Plant-Based on a Budget” in the March 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

Excerpted from Frugal Vegan. Copyright June 2017 by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee. Published June 20, 2017 by Page Street Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission.

is an Experience Life senior editor

Photography by Allie Lehman

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