daily links: affordable veganism and other foodish things

The Economics of Veganism (+ Proof A Fine Vegan Meal Can Be Made Cheaply) – I promise even if you’re a skeptic of veganism ,you won’t hate this piece. Gena Hamshaw gives plenty of recognition to the high cost of produce and lack of accessibility for some while also showing some good idea of how it can be affordable. Gods love her for stating some of the flaws in SNAP challenges,too

In some of our leaner times, we’ve become what I termed “accidental vegans” and as a general rule we eat a lot of vegetarian meals because plant based proteins are so much more affordable. I feel like the disadvantage many might have making veganism work on a low budget is that time is a huge factor in preparation, and it does require a bit of food and cooking knowledge beyond the basic.

Fall Chili, Soups & Stew Recipes and Learn How to Make a Freezer to Slow Cooker Meal ~ Weekly Round-Up – 31 days of soups and stews. I say it all the time…soups and stews are some of the most inexpensive meals you can make and you can stretch a pot through the week . My other tips is to substitute beans if a recipe calls for meat you can’t afford.

21 Budget-Friendly Recipes Starring Rice — Recipes from The Kitchn – essential reading for me this week. Oh,boy.

33 Bowl Recipes to Keep Your Belly Full and Life Easy – I made one of these recently for myself to eat during the week for lunches. Really ideal if it’s just you or you and your partner and maybe one or 2 non-picky kids that can deal with their food not touching .

The Middle-Eastern Cookie That Caused a Panic in Pennsylvania– I’m glad the recipe is included in this article because I immediately knew I had to have some but didn’t want to create hysteria by having something written in Arabic hanging around my house.Heavens no..


I have an enormous bag of chickpea flour to use up, so I’ve been making things like this (basically pakora) . I might make this one this week but commit some pantry anarchy by using a buffalo wing sauce my local produce guy gave me as a free samples.

Recipe: Parsnip & Potato Hash


Parsnips are one of those root veggies people ask me about a lot. As in,”What are these and what do I do with them?”
From what I gather, they are a staple in CSA boxes and also plentiful in the winter months at food banks that are fortunate enough to be able to distribute produce.

Full disclosure here: I am not a huge fan of parsnips. They are a bit too close to a carrot for my liking. Carrots are the only veggie I truly don’t like. I know. I’m a weirdo. BUT… I will still eat both carrots & parsnips, especially if the price is right.

Parsnips do have a lot of  nutritional stuff going on for them. Just half of a large parsnip has 50 units of vitamin A, 541 mgs potassium, 16 mgs of vitamin C , and “healthy increments of phosphorus and iron” (Thanks, Bert Greene for that info ). Way back when, Roman aristocracy were the only ones who ate parsnips, usually highly sweetened and as a dessert. And now, here we are in modern times where the noble parsnip is now “second-class citizens of the vegetable world, ordinary, peasant-like and low in price.”

So, if you’re not a fan of the taste, you can comfort yourself w/ nutritional information and pretend you’re a Roman aristocrat to help get you through.

My trick for food my kids (or myself) aren’t crazy about is to cook it with something that helps mask it. This weekend, this is what I decided to use parsnips for… a simple hash with eggs. Basically, just peel (or don’t ) and dice both potatoes and parsnips.

The beautiful thing about this (as a non-fan of parsnips) is that you can’t really tell the difference between the taters & snips.

I also added a few cloves of garlic, chopped.

In a skillet, heat oil and throw the veggies in. I seasoned with rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper. You can use whatever herbs you happen to have. My daughter likes to use cumin and hungarian paprika for a bit spicier version.

Cook until both potatoes and parsnips are tender, about 10 minutes. That’s it!

And you know why I will never be a food blogger? My food is a mess and I don’t care. Look at this unsightly egg.

Still delicious.

Leftover Makeover: Corned Beef & Cabbage turned into White Bean & Potato Soup

Sometimes leftovers are great for lunch the next day or a Leftover Night. Sometimes they need a makeover. Especially with bigger than average families where what’s leftover isn’t enough to feed everyone.

This week, I was talked into making Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner because “it’s what we ate on St. Patrick’s Day when I was a kid!”, said my nostalgic and traditionalist husband. It’s kinda my job to hate everything that everyone else seems to love, and St Patrick’s Day is no exception, as much as I love apocalyptic visions. But I love my husband and hate to hear him whimper about missing out on some food thing, so I made his damned beloved Corned Beef and Cabbage.
(seriously, it’s not even Irish….)

There a bunch of things that can be done to recycle braising liquid into a new dish but soup seemed like a good idea (see my past post about my teeth.Whee.)

I tend to go to my pantry first before running out to buy something specific for a recipe, so that day I happened to have a partial bag of potatoes that were looking sad and DSC_0556begging to be used. I also have 22 lbs of assorted dried beans in my pantry (it’s quite possible that food insecurity has made me a paranoid food hoarder, which might explain why I get along so well with the Doomsday Prepper crowd ), so I decided to add some Great Northern Beans.
Good thrifty score on those recently at my local dollar store…. 75¢ per bag, which is half price.

So, here’s what I did: Threw all the liquid and the leftover veggies from the corned beef back into the crockpot, chunked up potatoes, and added the beans after quick soaking them . I added just enough water to cover the beans and everything else, which also helped dilute some of the saltiness. Threw in some typical herbage… oregano,garlic,a little lovage.  Set temp for 6 hours on high. That was it. I didn’t really even have to add cornstarch as a thickener at all.


Not too much broth in my bowl because I like it that way. It was dee-lish. Fed the whole family plus enough leftover for lunches for the hubby the rest of the week.

Frugal Foodie Digest #1- Fun & Easy Lunchboxes,reducing food waste,vegan crockpot freezer meals,ZUCCHINI BROWNIES, and more

By request, I’m filing all the frugal shopping,tips, and recipes from the Facebook page & Pinterest into a neat digest here.

56 Ways to Reduce Food Waste


How to save money on milk and other dairy products


Bacon Apple Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Bacon-Apple Brussel Sprouts


Zucchini Brownies







Cauliflower and Broccoli stems and leaves

11 Nutritious Reasons To Eat Food Scraps

Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens

Late Summer Minestrone with Butternut Squash and Fresh Corn

Late Summer Minestrone with Butternut Squash and Fresh Corn

11 Meals for $50 and a little bit about Freezer Cooking


Freezer Meals Boot Camp – Freezer Meal Recipes in 3 Hours for about $50! | Lamberts Lately.


The recipes at the link above  are intended to be recipes for a freezer cooking day but they’re great, economical meals even if you’re not doing freezer cooking. If you’re not familiar with Freezer or Once A Month Cooking, it’s  just simply taking a day to cook a bunch of meals that you freeze ,then thaw and reheat throughout the month. Usually it’s a main course and then all you have to do is throw together an easy salad or side dish while it’s heating.  I found it to be really wonderful to do late in my pregnancy so there would be full meals ready to go during my post-partum “babymoon”.
When I have had time to do a once a month cooking day, it’s made life a lot easier. It’s like having convenience ,boxed meals but at the fraction of the cost and as healthy as you like them to be.

The disadvantages to freezer cooking is that it’s a little more difficult when you only have that tiny freezer on top of your fridge to store meals. Years ago, we scored a upright freezer for $30 at a yard sale and it was one of my best purchases ever made. If you’re struggling with not having enough food, a freezer can save your butt. When you find a good sale on produce and meat or have leftovers that can’t be used right away, freezing them can be a good food insurance for later. Sometimes on Freecycle or Craigslist , you will find freezers for completely free.

Freezer cooking can also be really hard when you have young children, especially babies. One of the tips those who usually give to people who have kids is to give them small jobs to keep them occupied and help. I found it easier just to send them out of the kitchen entirely! It was just easier for me personally to have a cooking day when my partner had a day off or someone else could help out.