We’re on the same boat here! Despite the common opinion that plant-based eating is expensive, with proper planning and the right type of recipes, you can actually save a lot! Plus, if you’re just transitioning into this type of eating, setting out your menu a week in advance does helps. This way you won’t be surprised by unexpected hunger bangs and an empty fridge that leave you with nothing else but the thought of falling back into your old habits (i.e. grabbing a packaged snack packed with lactose and other scary stuff).
Cooking under time constraints is hard.
That’s why competitors get so sweaty and frazzled during cooking competition shows. In real life, when you’re a student or busy working adult, or just not feelin’ up to spending hours in the kitchen, assembling a healthy meal in a short amount of time can be a challenge.
Luckily, shortcuts exist. Like pre-cut, pre-bagged vegetables and squash, quick-cooking grains, and frozen pre-cooked grains (thanks, Trader Joe’s).
Here are 7 healthy, plant-based meals, all of which take less than 15 minutes start to finish, are budget-friendly (less than $30 total), and most importantly, delicious! You can customize these to your liking (such as by picking your favorite vegetables and beans).
Make one trip to the grocery store, and for the price of 2 cocktails in Manhattan, you can have an entire week’s worth of fast, nourishing meals at your fingertips
(assuming you have cooking oil and salt and pepper at home already).
#SpoonTip: All of these meals are gluten free friendly if you use corn tortillas and swap quinoa for farro.
1 package cut and cubed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, can substitute 3 large sweet potatoes ($2.29)
1 package kale or romaine ($1.99; $2.29 for organic)
1 package arugula or spinach ($1.99; $2.29 for organic)
1 tomato ($0.29)
1 apple ($0.69-$0.79; $0.99 for organic)
1 avocado ($0.99)
1 lemon ($0.49)
1 lime, optional ($0.29)
1 bag Vegetable Medley with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, can substitute broccoli-cauliflower blend, Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix, or Stir-Fry Vegetables ($2.29)
1 large cucumber ($1.49)
1 package firm tofu ($1.69)
1 package Organic 3 Grain Tempeh ($1.99)
1 box frozen Microwaveable Brown Rice, can substitute frozen quinoa, Rice Blend, jasmine rice, or frozen Organic Cauliflower Rice ($2.99; $3.49 organic)
1 can black beans ($0.89; $0.99 for organic)
1 can chickpeas ($0.89; $0.99 for organic)
1 jar salsa of choice ($1.99-2.29)
1 package 10-Minute Farro, barley, or quinoa ($1.79)
1 package Taco Seasoning ($0.79)
1 package seaweed snacks ($0.99)
1 package corn tortillas can substitute whole wheat or white flour ($0.99)
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”