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Eating well on a budget

With so many of us needing to pinch pennies these days, some of us have been talking about sources of economical plant-based recipes that could help people avoid the cheap but unhealthy calories that come with fast food/processed food. Here are some of the suggestions:

The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook... recipes which take 15 minutes or less. They do include lots of ingredients that people with limited means wouldn’t necessarily have on hand, but the recipes I’ve tried have been quick, easy, delicious, and vegan. ---Nancy in California

something very, very practical for those searching a guidance in planning a vegan life:
I love this easy approach. The recipes in and at Engine 2 are also a good source of nonexpensive and easy to cook
meals. ---Christel in Germany

"Vegan Cheap" by Robin Robertson.---Christel in Germany, Betsy in California

I think the two cookbooks by David Gabbe (Wendy's father) have easy, inexpensive recipes: From David's Pure Vegetarian Kitchen (© 2002) and David's Vegan Home Cooking (© 2011). ---Susan in Portland

Since my last note, I joined the Vegetarian Resource Group, the Baltimore-based organization, and I can now expand a bit on what Betsy from California wrote in her e-mail to you. Even though their publications tend to use the word "vegetarian," they actually seem to mean "vegan" specifically. I've been getting the free VRG on-line monthly newsletters for years, but the $25 annual membership includes their printed magazine Vegetarian Journal and their cookbook, Vegan Meals for One or Two. The publications arrived in the mail a few days after my order, and I've looked through them but have not yet tried any recipes. The magazine isn't as slick as VegNews, but it has a lot of interesting articles (example from current issue: "Soy-Free Egg Substitutes," and "What Is It Like to Be Vegetarian in the Military--Read What Some Service Members Have to Say!") short news items, nutritional briefs and lots of recipes. The current issue, vol. XXXI, No. 1, has an article, "The Ghetto Vegetarian" by Holly Green, who leads off by saying "Since I became a vegetarian in 2003, I've been creating and inventing cheap and easy-to-make vegetarian recipes," some of which are reproduced in the article. Holly has a blog, also called "The Ghetto Vegetarian," to further share recipes and ideas. The paperback VRG cookbook looks useful, with sections devoted to stocking the vegan kitchen, meal planning, nutrition, food storage and more. The recipes are simple, using easy-to-find ingredients, which tends to make them economical. The book overall has a nice and somewhat chatty tone that might serve to encourage the efforts of a person new to vegan cooking. The book has three indexes: By subject, which includes the discussion topics mentioned above; by recipe, listed beneath a section heading, e.g. Barbecue Dishes, Beverages, Breakfasts, etc., and by major ingredients, such as baked beans, comprising four recipes, and corn, with six. The hand-drawn, decorative illustrations add to the readability of the book but don't specifically illustrate the foods or methods used in the recipes.