When I tell people my diet is mostly vegetarian and that I’m striving to eat on the plant-based side of the vegetarian spectrum, people often comment about how it must be expensive. Yes, vegetables and fruit are expensive. But they compare in cost to meat. And the cost to my health is much more valuable to me.
Sure veganism can be expensive. When you visit vegan sites on the internet there are so many supplements, chia seeds, flax seeds, tempeh, nuts and seeds to buy. It’s almost a fancier form of vegan, plenty of vegetarian and vegan people don’t have the money for these items. (If you want an inexpensive vegan cooking recipe book check out Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day and Vegan on the Cheap)
There are plenty of delicious vegan food out there that are inexpensive to make at home and pack a real punch of flavor. Some of my current favorites are variations of the basic rice and beans meal (see near the bottom of the page) that so often is found in budget meals.
Today’s dish was inspired by the chickpea curry I had with my mom when we went to Rise Again in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Other than onion and garlic, the ingredients are canned or dried. So it’s easy enough to get the ingredients without huge seasonal fluctuations in prices.
I know some people dislike canned goods, but if my choices are a can of beans or hamburger helper, I’ll take my risks with the beans. You could always turn this into a slower food dish by using dried beans and fresh tomatoes. But I was hungry after the gym. And this dish takes as long as my rice cooker does to make the rice.
Because there’s no raw meat to cook, you can cook the beans as long as you need to get them warm and to get the “sauce” to thicken.
I also use a very basic spice mixture that I buy from the grocery store in this curry. It helps from having to buy all the other seasonings individually. If you don’t make a lot of Indian style food, this can help you save some dough too.
So the spice mix, Garam Masala, makes me feel like I’m cheating on all the other spices in my cabinet. But why not, it’s versatile, it’s a great blend of flavors and it has so many of the other spices I love.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: pot entree soup/stew gluten-free vegan vegetarian beans tomato Budget Indian
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- 2 tablespoons safflower or olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- dried chili pepper chopped (optional)
- salt to taste
In a pan saute the garlic and onion until onion is slightly translucent.
Add ginger, drained chickpeas, garam masala, chili pepper, salt and undrained diced tomatoes to pan. Stir well.
Bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce has thickened.
Serve on brown rice.
Garnish with red pepper flakes.
I’m submitting this post to Diet, Dessert and Dogs’ Wellness weekend. It’s a recipe linkup for healthy, vegan foods. No artificial sugars or highly processed items allowed. Check it out.
What is your favorite inexpensive, quick, vegan or vegetarian meal?