Thursday, November 3, 2016

Veganmofo: Day 3: Treat yourself to a break!

Well I had a giant epic post done up, but blogger and firefox crashed and I lost a huge post. I dunno if I can really devote more time to writting today so sadly here is the abridged version with less photo/details.

Veganmofo daily theme today was give yourself a break so I decided to take a my instagram daily food gram self appointed mofo theme and tie it in. So here are my lazy go to for breakfast lunch and diner, these are the ones I turn to again and again although they are not the absolute easiest they are pretty close and still fill me up without getting boring.

Breakfast: Cereal

Now cereal isn't my favourite breakfast but it is one I like to have around for sheer speed and ease. If I don't know what I want cereal saves me from having just coffee and nothing else. But the cost around here is a turn off even while favouring the usually cheapest option of a plain grain flake or puffed grain in the eco bags/family kilo bags. This bag still cost me 10$ so while it as the cheapest option, twice the cereal for only 1-2$ more it is still quite expensive compared to other foods  (stay tuned for my grocery haul video this cereal came from!) but it is the easiest.

So, anyway I get a plain cereal and I try to vary the grain/kind for variety and I mix in stuff to add flavour and crunch and nutrients that more expensive mixes have. For a way cheaper version of this lazy meal you would simply make your own granola or other cereal in advance. I have on hand silvered almonds, and hemp hearts to boost it up with non-dairy milk and bananas will always be the cheapest fruit but any fruit addition adds minimal effort with maximum pay off for elevating your cereal.

Thanks to @Veganmofo for sharing my breakfast post btw <3 p="">
Lunch: Leftovers

What could be easier then simply eating something you already fricken made! Bonus points today because this is actually a freezer soup that my mom made me so double whammy I didn't even make it. I also took out a frozen bun and tossed it into the oven while I nuked the soup.

Whether its just last night dinner or a single serving of soup/stew you froze ahead like a boss leftovers are perfect for lunch because it a) Uses up stuff you already have and b) is just so fast and easy.

Since most recipes make 4+ servings I like to take at least one portion of a meal to freeze for later like a frozen dinner and to use during times I cannot decide what to make or just don't have the energy. It also saves me from my biggest money pitfall which is ordering food (which I know is not frugal but often expensive premade food wins over not eating at all). So save yourself from this by keeping a steady supply of frozen stuff from when you did have energy to cook and reduce waste.

Dinner: Protein, potato, veg

It is not even funny how often I eat this but it is fast basically throw it all in the oven and the variations are endless. I try to keep gardein stuff in the freezer for this and stock up when its on sale but this is still obviously way more expensive then cheaper proteins you make yourself like baked tofu/lentil loaf/burgers/setian/tempeh etc. So change it out based on your costs and preferences.
Broccoli is great frozen or fresh just nuke for a bit or nuke then toss into the same cast iron as the rest to roast. I typically used a single cast iron pan in the oven for all these style meals. Potatoes in this one are smashed and baked (nuke potato, toss in cast iron pan and squish then bake to finish)

Typically I preheat the oven grab a frozen vegan burger/chicken/mock fish/baked tofu/indian veggie patty and follow the directions or 350-400 is a typical range for any homemade stuff to reheat. chickpea cutlets are great for this and potatoes are my go to because they tasty and really don't care if you bake them within that range.

Frozen corn and peas are a cheap and classic standby. These indian patties are amazing and basically chickpea flour mix vegetables and bread crumps so making them from scratch and freezing would save $$

This meal has loads of downtime sine you preheat the oven with a rinsed potato or two then add you protein to cook and steam a fresh or frozen veg and your done. But the variations are endless based on what you have stocked in the freezer or previously made or just simple tweaks to the potato like minimal slicing for hasel backs makes it feel fancy.

Also so much of the cook time is just waiting for the oven so it is great for week nights. In fact with my old flat mates we ate this 80% of the time or more because it easily allowed us to accommodate everyone crazy food allergies and/or how many people where home 1 vs 8 was basically the same amount of work.

I like to bake everything because it helps with the cost of the oven but in the summer for example I might opt to microwave and pan fry everything, since I am not paying to heat the oven I will often do mashed or steamed potatoes.

If you like grains, you could easily sub potato for grains I just usually don't. It would be slightly healthier and cheaper depending on how much your potatoes are but both grain and potato are pretty frugal. Rice cookers will save you energy, time and again money if you opt for the grain variation.

In all instanes you can cheat to speed this up for the times you debated what to eat until 8pm or 9pm and you need food fast by simply nuking the potatoes and finishing them up in a pan/oven (or not at all!). You can defrost your protein before hand (or if you have tinned baked beans use those instead and microwave all the things).

Unless I am boiling the potatoes I usually microwave the veggies or nuke then roast them in the oven, it saves time $ and energy this way but you still get the glorious roast veggie taste.

Seriously, I eat so many variations its not funny.

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