I learned to cook when I went to university. I was vegetarian and started to cook from jars, boxes and spice mixes, with the instructions on the package as a guide. Soon I was adding so many vegetables and other stuff that I figured I should try to make the base myself and save some bucks.
I did a lot of this, too - so
many gussied-up cans and boxes of chili, pilaf, tabbouleh mix, etc.!
I'm going to order Vegan on the Cheap
and Vegan with a Vengeance
and make him a gift of them (along with whatever surplus pots, pans, and other kitchen apparatus I can rustle up). I doubt he cares about pictures, and both of those seem like good bets for someone trying to eat well for not much $$ without spending hours in the kitchen!