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