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7 budget-friendly vegan recipes

by Malou Herkes

published on 18 December 2019

The vegan diet has an unwarranted reputation for being expensive. In reality, not only is it a diet based largely on cheap pulses, grains and vegetables rather than much more costly meat and fish, but the recent proliferation of vegan products in supermarkets, from dairy alternatives to meat substitutes, has driven the price of many of these innovative ingredients right down. It’s more affordable than ever before to make the switch.

Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary, attempting to reduce your meat intake or embracing a seasonal vegetable-led diet, these recipes celebrate a bounty of plant-based ingredients that are not only kind to your budget but full of flavour and nutrition.

Dal: Pe Hin

Dal: Pe Hin

Bulked out with cheap lentils, dal is among the most economical of dishes. This Burmese version from The Rangoon Sisters has it all: it’s filling, nutritious, budget-friendly and, best of all, it’s absolutely packed with vibrant flavour. Top it with crispy fried onions for an added flavour boost. 

Meera Sodha’s Sprout Nasi Goreng

Meera Sodha’s Sprout Nasi Goreng

from EAST

This winning combination of fried rice, shredded, zingy Brussels sprouts and umami sauces is what author Meera Sodha describes as “all the joy of a takeaway, but without the wait or delivery charge”. Yes please.

From the book

Meera Sodha

One Pan Mushroom and Spinach Pie

One Pan Mushroom and Spinach Pie

by Denise Smart

With only five ingredients, this creamy, nutritious one-pan pie is incredibly easy to throw together and with the added promise of minimal washing up, it’s a great one for midweek. Pack up any leftovers for work the next day.

Ainsley Harriott’s Minestrone with Fregola and Herb Oil

Ainsley Harriott’s Minestrone with Fregola and Herb Oil

This classic hearty Italian soup champions storecupboard staples beans and pasta, cooked in one pot with a medley of vegetables. This version is given the Sardinian treatment with the addition of fregola, a type of pasta similar to couscous, but you can use other short pasta here instead. Make this fully vegan either by swapping the Parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast or leaving it out altogether. 

Groundnut Stew: Sweet Potato in a Peanut and Tomato Sauce

Groundnut Stew: Sweet Potato in a Peanut and Tomato Sauce

This super easy sweet potato traybake features an addictive tangy, nutty sauce that can easily be made using mostly store cupboard ingredients. Serve with chopped salted peanuts and hot rice.

Indian Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad

Indian Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad

by Jérôme Eckmeier, Daniela Lais

This nutritious salad is bursting with flavour thanks to the fresh red peppers, spicy root ginger, and tart, juicy pomegranate seeds, finished with an Indian cusine-inspired yoghurt and mint dressing. A brilliant way to get the most out of a tin of chickpeas.

One-Pot Cajun Rice and Beans

One-Pot Cajun Rice and Beans

by Denise Smart

This one-pot dish is comprised of only five basic ingredients but still packs a Cajun-inspired flavour punch.

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