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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:58 am 
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She definitely isn't using organic ingredients to calculate the cost per serving -- she actually talks about in the beginning of the book how when you're cutting costs, sometimes you just have to be thankful you can afford fresh food and not worry about organic.

I can usually beat her cost per serving when I buy all the ingredients I can at Aldi and fill in the rest with non-organics from the regular grocery store or Walmart.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:24 am 
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I dont see why you would expect her to use organic food for the calculations in the first place?

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:40 am 
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i've made the wheatballs 2 times now. the first time i made them, i followed the directions and added the dry ingredients into the food processor, and they were pretty bad. everything got too finely processed, and then when i went to fry them up, they didn't really get cooked in the center.

the second time, i only processed the wet stuff and then plopped it into my stand mixer with the dry and used the paddle attachment to mix and knead. i also rolled them into tinier balls and also baked them instead of frying. they were much better this time, but i think i might put them into a casserole dish and cover them next time.

(i would also like to incorporate some TVP into them next time. these are a little too smooth for my tastes)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:52 pm 
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I'm pretty sure that Robin lives somewhere out in Virginia, like maybe Shenandoah area, where vegan specialty foods are not as easily available. I think this has, generally, a good effect on her books.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Yeah I find it super cheap, especially if I plan out my meals for the week. But I can usually meet the cost she's talking about or lower.

The only exception I can think of is the cheese sauce, I use the one from Vegan Table instead because it uses less nutritional yeast, which is kinda expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 6:33 am 
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I reread the recipe, and since it didn't say anything about fastbake, I changed the yeast amount from 2½ tsp to 1 TBSP and used my fastbake setting. This bread is delicious! So, I am finally taking some risks in the kitchen!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:05 am 
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annak wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Robin lives somewhere out in Virginia, like maybe Shenandoah area, where vegan specialty foods are not as easily available. I think this has, generally, a good effect on her books.


agreed, i love that all of her ingredients are easy to find at my grocery store and i don't have to go hunting for stuff, or buying an expensive jar of something and only using a little bit of it

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. Just FYI, I'm using super cheap canned beans ($1/can or less) and shopping at Fred Meyer, so I'm not going for super fancy Whole Foods stuff. I think my issue is that while the recipes are accessible, and the ingredients don't seem to be super expensive, there always seem to be some staples in each recipe that I don't have on hand, so I'm not just buying veggies, I'm buying sometimes almost every single ingredient in a recipe, which is more than the calculated cost, even buying super cheap stuff at the cheapo grocery store.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:22 am 
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she probably calculates the bean price on bagged, which is easily 1/3 the price of canned.

(also, she only calculates the price of the exact amount of spices she uses, not the entire container.)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 5:07 pm 
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^That must be it. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that she might be calculating only the cost of the tbsp of rice vinegar or curry powder or whatever in a recipe. That makes more sense.

I made the succotash stew yesterday, and it kicks serious asparagus.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:20 pm 
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I've been cooking from this book a lot lately, and the lo mein is yummy, as is the tofu stir fry, smoky tempeh with cabbage and potatoes, 3 bean loaf and white bean pizza. But my absolute favorite is the walnut crusted tofu with spinach (think the recipe calls for orange, but I never have it on hand and leave it out). Its soooo good. I make it probably at least once every two weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:53 am 
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annak wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Robin lives somewhere out in Virginia, like maybe Shenandoah area, where vegan specialty foods are not as easily available. I think this has, generally, a good effect on her books.


Yep, and groceries are a bit cheaper there. I would estimate a solid 15% cheaper overall than the rest of the state. Depending where she lives, Walmart might be the biggest/only major grocery store.

Should be great farmers markets around though.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:15 am 
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jordanpattern wrote:
^That must be it. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that she might be calculating only the cost of the tbsp of rice vinegar or curry powder or whatever in a recipe. That makes more sense.

I made the succotash stew yesterday, and it kicks serious asparagus.


Isnt that normal, though?

Im trying to write a cookbook at the moment (in german) on cheap vegan food and I also calculate the tbs, not the whole bottle of vinegar. otherwise for every recipe you use a teaspoon of olive oil it'd get crazy expensive.
I think as long as the ingredients are every day ingredients it's okay, or am I wrong? Is there a better way to do it?

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:12 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
jordanpattern wrote:
^That must be it. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that she might be calculating only the cost of the tbsp of rice vinegar or curry powder or whatever in a recipe. That makes more sense.

I made the succotash stew yesterday, and it kicks serious asparagus.


Isnt that normal, though?

Im trying to write a cookbook at the moment (in german) on cheap vegan food and I also calculate the tbs, not the whole bottle of vinegar. otherwise for every recipe you use a teaspoon of olive oil it'd get crazy expensive.
I think as long as the ingredients are every day ingredients it's okay, or am I wrong? Is there a better way to do it?


No, I think you're good doing it that way if they're staple ingredients.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:45 pm 
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yeah, look at it this way. if you were to double the recipe, is it honest to double the price of the spices if you were to take into account the entire bottle? (if doubling it, you'd be accounting for two bottles when you'd really only be using a small percentage.)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:46 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
jordanpattern wrote:
^That must be it. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that she might be calculating only the cost of the tbsp of rice vinegar or curry powder or whatever in a recipe. That makes more sense.

I made the succotash stew yesterday, and it kicks serious asparagus.


Isnt that normal, though?

Im trying to write a cookbook at the moment (in german) on cheap vegan food and I also calculate the tbs, not the whole bottle of vinegar. otherwise for every recipe you use a teaspoon of olive oil it'd get crazy expensive.
I think as long as the ingredients are every day ingredients it's okay, or am I wrong? Is there a better way to do it?


I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm saying that as a reader, it hadn't occurred to me. I guess it makes sense, but when I was grocery shopping to make stuff from the book, it felt more expensive than the amounts calculated in the book. I mean, that tbsp of rice vinegar doesn't exist in a vaccuum - somewhere along the line, you have to buy the whole bottle. Plus, the amounts quoted in the book are sort of meaningless in a per-serving sense if you can't shop per serving, you know? Maybe I'm weird, but that's how I saw it, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:47 pm 
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No, I get that it's confusing. I'd write it in the beginning but it's not like most people read that stuff anyway...

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:52 pm 
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I think they do - I know I looked for some sort of explanation about the cost per serving figures when I used the book. I mean, sure, I suppose if I had gone out and bought everything she speaks about in the pantry section or whatever then it might have felt closer to the figures she quotes in the recipes. I don't have a lot of kitchen storage right now, so I wasn't really in a position to do that.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:44 am 
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i just requested this book from the libarry cause im broke and i keep looking through Isa Does It and telling myself i cant afford raw cashews.

hoping to find some good recipes that are in fact really cheap to make in this book!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:27 pm 
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I had a snow day today, so I was home. I made a double batch of the Peanut Sauce over rice noodles, tofu, carrots and broccoli. I used crunchy peanut butter, and the added crunch was definitely worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:43 pm 
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i borrowed this book from the library and made two recipes from it last night.

i made the sweet potato succotash stew and the garden rotini and chickpea salad with inner goddess dressing

the sweet potato succotash i think was a bit heavy on the soy sauce. my husband said it was a bit too salty but i think it was the soy. i did add a bit more salt at the end so i wonder if it made the soy sauce more prevalent or if it was just too much soy sauce.

other than that we both liked it.

for the garden rotini salad i sort of used the recipe as a basis and did my own thing. i inexplicably didnt have any canned chickpeas in my house so i just did a full cup of frozen peas. i also had no radishes or tomatoes though i think the tomatoes would have been really yummy in this!

i really liked the dressing it was so yummy. i think maybe it needed a bit more lemon juice. when it was freshly made it tasted great but now the next day it's a bit muted.
i also soaked the cashews instead of using them dry.

im going to copy this recipe down because i really liked it! it definitely would be great in the summer!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:54 pm 
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i also pulled this book out again last week. (specifically to make the 3 sisters stew... again.) and adjoining the page was a curried yellow split pea soup that the mr. decided he would like. i usually don't like pea soup because it's always been to dry for me, but i guess those had never been slow cooked. i doubled the carrots, obviously. and it's really tasty! not dry at all! i think next time i will use coconut oil. (this time i used olive, but i bet coconut would complement the flavors well.)

i also made the spinach tofu pie, and that was very tasty. it takes a while, but it's worth it. i made the crust with an oz of vodka for the flakiness. i will never go back to not using vodka in my crusts.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:49 pm 
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i made the walnut crusted tofu with spinach and orange tonight and the roasted sweet potato salad with cashews and kidney beans

both were yummy. we really liked the salad.
the tofu was yummy but i did burn the first three pieces. i stink at the cast iron skillet.

i thought 1 tsp of salt in the dressing for the sweet potato salad was WAAAAY too much and had to add more of the other ingredients to even it out

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:50 pm 
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the savory vegetable cobbler is so good! super comfort food. (reminds me of my mom's beef stew with dumplings from when i was little) i made it with the seitan from vegan crunk.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan on the Cheap
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:25 pm 
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i made the Thai Style Pineapple Rice Salad and served it with the pad thai from IDI tonight.
i thought it was very easy to make and pretty good.i might just want a bit more sauce next time i make it

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