Vegetarian Eats - Saving Money

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Over here in South Africa, the one thing that is really cheap is produce. We go to a little produce store by our house weekly and stock up on tons of farm fresh vegetables and fruit. We can buy huge bags of avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut, apples, bananas, naartjies (similar to clementines), etc - all for about 60-80 Rand, which is equivalent to about $9-$11. We can only buy what's in season. So too bad if I'm craving strawberries (I am) because those won't be out for another few months. But it's a great way of eating healthier and saving money. We've decided the last several weeks to go meatless in our groceries to save money even more. We aren't vegetarian but the last few weeks have shown us we could be. Ok, Andy would object to that - he still sneaks out every so often to the meat stand in Masi, the local township, where he can buy a ton of pork for about $3 and have them grill it for him.
Anyway, here are some of the simple meals we've made meatless:

  • chili - just canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, tomato puree, canned red kidney beans, sugar, and a taco seasoning packet from the States. 
  • vegetable and white bean chowder - I did a play on our white chicken chili, using potatoes instead of chicken, and using canned white beans, chicken stock (I get chicken bouillon cubes cheaply here and use them in just about everything), and adding butternut and frozen corn.
  • pasta with veggies - this is a favorite we have been making awhile, and each week we adapt it. We just saute whatever veggies we have and serve over spaghetti. We serve it also with either shredded cheddar cheese or feta. Our favorite veggies to eat this way are mixed peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and baby marrow (mini zucchini). 
  • baked veggies with sauce - my mom always baked veggies and served with a cheese roux. So I did the same but did a play on the roux by using an old packet of cream of chicken soup I had in my pantry. I served it over a mix of roasted potatoes, butternut, sweet potatoes, and carrots. It was delicious. I added in some leftover mac and cheese, and liked it with the sauce. It also encourages Norah to eat more veggies when mixed in with pasta and sauce.
  • rice and veggies - just sauted a whole bunch of chopped veggies and cooked with rice and stock and curry 


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