Published on April 13th, 2012 | by Tanya Sitton2
Cookbook Review: Vegan on the Cheap
I recently added Vegan on the Cheap to my cookbook shelf, and after three weeks it’s already indispensable. If you’re interested in plant-based cooking, delicious meals, low-fuss recipes, and efficient budgeting, it’s highly recommended!
We’ve all heard the objection from traditional cooks, regarding healthy/ real-food/ organic/ vegan eating: “But that kind of food is too expensive!” Robin Robertson, also author of Vegan Planet, does a beautiful job showing why that’s not necessarily so.
Some of Robertson’s advice for keeping costs to a minimum echoes EDB resources for new-veg cooks: buy in bulk where possible, keep a pantry well-stocked with basic staples, plan ahead, strive to reduce waste, cook more (rice, beans, broth, etc.) than you need and freeze leftovers for later use, and similar strategies. Happily, these ideas tend to save time as well as money!
But Vegan on the Cheap goes much further, with delicious recipes for staples that could otherwise skyrocket your grocery totals. Especially for newly veganish cooks, things like Vegenaise, seitan, vegan sausage, vegan cheez, vegan sour cream, and other specialty items can quickly overtake your grocery budget.
Instead, recipes for Make Your Own Mayo, Vegan Sour Cream, Simply Simmered Seitan, Cutlets on the Cheap, Wheatballs, Big Stick Pepperoni, and Close to Mom’s Sausage patties can be made with pantry ingredients at a fraction of the cost. Best of all, these things are all delicious! Honestly, if I owned the Vegenaise company, I’d be buying up copies of this cookbook and hiding them!
Using these and other basic ingredients and recipes, all the recipes in Vegan on the Cheap cost no more than two dollars per serving. Robertson includes excellent tips and advice on what ingredients shouldn’t be skimped, such as nuts, pure vanilla extract, and real maple syrup, as well as many ‘cheapskate’ ideas for getting the most out of your grocery budget.
Best of all, every recipe I’ve tried from Vegan on the Cheap has been delicious. My favorites, so far:
- Make Your Own Mayo
- Easy Peanut Sauce
- Pasta Slaw
- Cheezee Sauce
- Thai-Style Pineapple Rice Salad
- Dan-Dan Style Linguine
- Smoky Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
- Cajun-Spiced Seitan Po’Boys
- Chocolate-Cherry Bread Pudding
I haven’t had time to try every recipe yet, but I am downright tickled with this book. If you’re newly herbivorous, or newly veg-curious, Vegan on the Cheap is now my top recommendation for ‘first vegan cookbook.’ However, even proficient veg cooks will find valuable ideas, tips, and recipes here that will quickly catapult Vegan on the Cheap to the ‘most used’ section of your cookbook shelf.
Vegan on the Cheap is highly recommended for anyone interested in good, nutritious, plant-based cooking that doesn’t break the bank.
With the money you save, you can buy more vegan cookbooks: perfect!