Two Vegan Boys Weblog

A journey of cooking vegan food for my family.

The Big Cook-Through!!!

May is here.  With a new month, comes a new challenge/project here at TVB blog.  We are cooking our way through a whole cookbook.  Straight through.  Every dinner we make or cook for the us or the dinner co-op will be from this one cookbook and only this cookbook.  “Which cookbook?” You are asking.  Well, I will tell you.  The cookbook is Vegan on the Cheap.  By the great chef Robin Robertson. 

I have been a fan of Robin for quite sometime now.  If you are a vegan or vegetarian, then you know who Robin is.  She is the author of several books, to many to list. She was a 2009 VegNews Veggie Award winner.  She is a chef, caterer, columnist, cooking teacher, and food writer.  All around awesome if you ask me.  

The publishing company kindly sent me a complimentary copy of Robin’s new book Vegan on the Cheap when I expressed an interest in the book and my project/challenge.  As most of you know, we are all about being cheap, or politely said, “frugal” here at the TVB blog.  So, when I saw Robin’s new book and the word “cheap” in the title.  It sparked my interest. 

Just thumbing through the first few pages of the book, Robin offers tips on saving money, grocery shopping, food preparation, going out to eat, and even a cost comparison chart.  Browsing through the recipes, the ingredients are easy to find items you would see at you local grocery store.  As well as a cost per serving for each recipe .  No recipe is more than $2.00 per serving.  Wow!  This is my kind of book. 

When I decided to take on this project/challenge, I kept in mind my grocery cost and my kitchen.  Meaning that before I shopped for food, I planned on taking stock of what I already had in the pantry, fridge, or freezer.  That way, I would not be purchasing more than I needed.  If I already have the ingredients whether it is from the kitchen, our CSA, or even the garden, then it is no cost to me for that meal.  Our CSA is prepaid, veggies from the garden are free, and whatever stock I already had in the kitchen had long been paid for.  With each meal I cook from Robin’s book, I will list the cost per serving that she quotes in her book.  The cost per serving we paid, any changes I made in the recipe, tastes, and comments from my family about each dinner. 

Now on with the first meal from Robin’s book.  Last night I made the Stovetop Cheezee Mac recipe.  I served it with a side of roasted broccoli from our CSA.  For this recipe she lists the cost per serving to be $1.50 or less.  For us it was no cost at all.  After checking the fridge and pantry, we had all of the ingredients, so nothing was purchased from this grocery store this week to make the meal.  As for the taste, one word, TERRIFIC!  Being a vegan and seeing what seems like a million mac and cheeze recipes, I am always a bit skeptical about trying a new one.  I am glad I tried this one.  It was creamy, perfectly spiced and made a ton, 6 servings.  Six very large servings.  Everyone in my family loved it.  Little bear Adam ate a bowl full, as well as our picky guy Arthur and Josh went back for seconds. 

Here is our meal plan for the week.

Monday-Linguine with Variations on a Pesto

Tuesday-Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup

Wednesday-White Bean and Barley “Risotto” with Kale and Tempeh

Thursday-Roasted Root Vegetable Salad w/French Lentils and Walnuts

Fri-Pepperoni Mushroom Pizza

Sat-Better Than Takeout Tofu Stirfry


So, needless to say, for the next few months I will be busy cooking with Robin.  Well cooking with Robin through her cookbook.  Though it would be super cool to cook with her in person.  For my recipe testers and readers who look forward to new recipes, not to worry.  There will still be new recipes, just not ones I cooked for dinner.  Our dinners will be Vegan on the Cheap

Remember when making your meal plan for the week, take stock.  Check your fridge, freezer, and pantry before buying ingredients.  It will save you money.  There is no need to buy or pay for something you already have. 

Well, I am off to work in the garden.  Hope you each have a lovely Monday.

peas and love….
Krys and the boys


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10 thoughts on “The Big Cook-Through!!!

  1. This looks like a great idea, Krys, and that looks like a very interesting book! Do I need another recipe book??? Well… if it’s available in Scotland and if buying it will save me money….. I’ll just have a wee check on amazon! The mac cheese looks gorgeous, but not as much as the boys do!

  2. Great idea! I always wanted to try every recipe from each of my cookbooks, but I haven’t succeeded so far…

    I am planning to get Vegan on the cheap soon, so your blog will be very helpful in deciding what to cook. The macaroni looks awesome!

  3. I can see I will be buying a new cookbook again!

  4. What a cool challenge, I will be following along with interest! Your menu sounds delicious this week, and that’s a great recommendation for the cookbook.

    I often wonder what my cost per serving is. I do my non-produce shopping in giant trips to the coop because every other month they offer a 20%-off coupon. So I stock up on all my bulk oils, vinegars, spices, grains, beans, etc. And then my CSA comes with my produce, but it’s prepaid. So it’s hard to tell what each meal costs, since it was paid for at so many different (and distant) times.

    Perhaps reading that information for the meals you’re making will help me guesstimate!

  5. Oh Krys, I loved yoru new challenge and I wish I could have time and patience to do something like that too! And, seriously, the boys are so big! They’re always lovely too ;D

  6. Great, now my wife wants that cookbook! Haha..thanks for the share.

  7. Man, it’s almost like you sent this tip to me psychically (since I’ve been slacking online). I just started doing this and helps so much.

  8. i love recipes! and i think i would love your cookbook.
    the pasta seems so delicioussszzz.
    the menu for wednesday: White Bean and Barley “Risotto” with Kale and Tempeh is a great idea. Tempeh is good, i often eat tempeh to gain my protein.

    peas and love too..

  9. I very glad to find this web site on bing, just what I was searching for : D too saved to fav.

  10. dekang 聽liquid The Big Cook-Through!!! | Two Vegan Boys Weblog

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