Are you a broke-ass vegan trying to eat healthy on a budget? We’ve got you covered on cheap food hacks, but one cannot live on Fritos and ramen alone! Many people don’t realize how simple (and cheap!) it is to stay healthy on a vegan diet. It MUST be, since vegans live an average of six to 10 YEARS longer than meat-eaters. Whew!
Did you know that MOST cereals are vegan? They are! There are tons of healthy cereal options that are high in fiber as well as iron and other necessary nutrients. Just check the back of the box! Basically, avoid the sugary, artificially flavored stuff, and you’ll be golden. Pour your favorite nondairy milk on top, and you’ve got a yummy, cheap breakfast that will keep you full for hours!
Ready for More?
Another quick, easy meal is a delicious whole-grain bagel topped with peanut butter and fruit! For cheapness’ sake, I used the same kind of fruit for the bagel that I used for the cereal.
There are countless options for healthy bagel toppings, but nothing beats the classic combination of peanut butter and bananas!
Let’s take the bagel concept and “lunchize” it! Pretty sure I just made that word up, but you get the idea. As you can probably tell, we’re trying to reuse ingredients whenever possible in order to cut down on costs. You broke-asses want to keep your ingredients list (and therefore shopping costs) to a minimum!
Toast another whole-grain bagel and add delicious vegan cream cheese! I used GO Veggie! brand. Smear it on, add some sliced cherry tomatoes, and enjoy this refreshingly simple lunchtime munch.
If you are a little more ambitious, there’s always the quintessential tofu scramble! It may feel a little “breakfasty,” but this affordable staple can be the perfect midday feast. While many people add vegan cheeses and meats, you li’l health nuts certainly don’t have to! Just sauté your favorite veggies in a pan with vegetable oil. I used baby kale, onions, and cherry tomatoes. You can also use frozen veggies if you want to keep this meal SUPER-cheap.
Grab some extra-firm tofu (don’t forget to drain it!). Cut your tofu into little cubes and toss ’em in the pan with the veggies. Keep everything in the pan (stirring constantly!) until your masterpiece is done.
There are many ways to serve your creation. One delicious option is to scoop it up into a whole-wheat wrap and gobble that sucker up! I kept it simple and added whole-grain toast topped with Earth Balance butter.
After a long day of school, work, or doing absolutely nothing (whatever floats your boat), you’re hungry!
Most boxes of instant mashed potatoes are vegan! They may not be as healthy as freshly peeled taters, but they are made from real potatoes, cook quickly, and are dirt cheap. This is another recipe that COULD be made unhealthy with the addition of processed vegan cheeses and “meat” products. Those are unnecessary.
Add frozen veggies to make your mash super-yummy (I used frozen peas!). You can also mix in cherry tomatoes or baby kale if you have some leftover from the tofu scramble. To create that creamy quality, stir in a bit of nondairy milk (I went with almond milk again). Dumping Sriracha on this bad boy is also a pretty swell idea.
Speaking of Sriracha …
… our next dish is Peanut-Butter Tofu With Sriracha and requires slightly more cooking “skill.” Basically, make a sauce by mixing together soy sauce and peanut butter (how much of each is up to you, your taste, and the amount of sauce you want) with one tablespoonful of Sriracha. Cut some (drained!!!) extra-firm tofu into thick strips and put in a pan with heated oil. Cook until slightly browned, then add the sauce and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.
It may look a little messy, but it tastes SUPERB.
Let us continue with our concept of fabulously inexpensive, healthy foods. All that is required for this dessert is a few apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut and core some apples (I used 4, and that was more than enough). Toss the apples into a pan and add brown sugar and cinnamon (how much or little is up to you!). Bake for 20 minutes, or until the apples are gooey enough for ya!
That’s ALL, Folks!
As you can (hopefully!) see, eating healthy, quick vegan meals is super-easy! Many of your favorite ingredients can be made into a whole bunch of different meals, frozen veggies are a LIFESAVER, and tofu was pretty much handed to us from God.
Now get your broke-ass out there and whip up some healthy meals!
Want more easy recipes? Check it out!