Eat Vegan On $4 A Day: A money-saving book to help improve health and reduce costs. Written by Ellen Jaffe Jones, award-winning investigative reporter turned personal trainer/athlete who wanted to dodge the family cancer epidemic.
Eat Vegan on $4 a Day is an excellent resource for any vegan because it brings the diet down to earth, to the real world where most of us live.
Eat Vegan on $4 a Day is great for vegan families struggling to eat well and still have enough money left for the other necessities. Or for students and singles trying to be healthy with almost no time or money to shop and cook.
The book covers the real costs of not eating well, financial planning for food shopping, top 10 money saving tips, plant based nutrition and cooking, weekly menu plan and low budget vegan recipes for everyday eating.
Many of the cookbooks I've read lately, while they have wonderful recipes, with fabulous pictures, don't address one of the BIG issues in going vegan - how much it costs to eat healthy. In Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Ellen Jaffe Jones shows us how to eat well on a low budget.
Ellen's recipes are just what low-budget vegans like to eat, made with commonly found foods. They're tasty, nourishing, simple, and they don't take long to make. The book is a quick read, easy to understand and practical.
Eat Vegan On $4 A Day is also helpful for food obsessed vegans like myself. To me, food is the number one necessity of life. Food is medicine and pleasure together. Cooking is a creative outlet and what I do for a living. Although I spend more on food than average, I'm always concerned with food costs, how much time I've got, and stretching my budget to get the most nutrition for the money. It's a constant challenge and juggling act.
Ellen Jaffe Jones main low budget strategies are to base her recipes on beans and whole grains, cooked from scratch, and to build her menus around the recommended number of servings from the four plant food groups: fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Simple!
Ellen's Top Ten Money-Saving Tips, developed over years of thrifty shopping, are the most effective ways she knows to save money on food and get rock-bottom prices, week after week. I'm all for that!
From my own experience, I know these tips will save you money, stretch your food budget to include more healthy foods, and get more variety in your diet.
It's worth it to take a few extra minutes a week to plan, do a little research, make lists and shop carefully - instead of running in the store on the way home from work when you're tired and starving and blowing your whole week of food money on 2 days worth of food.
Ellen's Weekly Menu Plan is real-world, including many quick one-dish meals (my kind of cooking!), and plenty of variety. Really, this book should be called, "How to Eat Better Than You Ever Have in Your Life on $4 a Day".
I like that Ellen recommends a pressure cooker for cooking legumes and whole grains quickly. Pressure cookers aren't cheap and you can't buy a good one at Giganto Mart. But it's a once only lifetime investment, and the best money you'll ever spend on kitchen equipment.
As Ellen points out, pressure cookers save time, and energy - the cost is quickly offset by the reduction in your utility bill.
I use my pressure cooker every day, for pressure cooking and as a regular pot. I recommend the Fagor brand, which you can buy at a good price on Amazon.com. I have an 8 qt and 4 qt combo with interchangeable pressure cooker and glass lids. The 4 qt is the most useful for grains and veggies, and the 8 qt is great for cooking big batches of beans or lentils, which I freeze for future meals.
$4 a Day has easy everyday recipes that most people will enjoy. There are some ingredients Ellen uses a lot, which I don't eat much. Many of you will wonder how I could possibly cook without tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic. I just leave out the ingredients I don't want or substitute something else, like lemon juice or herbs. There's still plenty of flavor in the $4 recipes, so no problemo!
I picked Black Beans and Greens Stir Fry as a sample recipe from Eat Vegan on $4 a Day. I had most of the ingredients on hand, so it was quick and easy. I liked that the recipe is for 2 servings. Then again, the combo of black beans, collard and broccoli was so satisying, it would have been nice to have it for supper too!
Since I had collards and parsley in the garden, and beans in the freezer, broccoli was the only ingredient on my shopping list. So I felt comfortable in my budget, increasing the amount of brown rice to 1/2 cup and doubling the amount of greens in the recipe.
I recommend Eat Vegan On $4 A Day as an excellent resource for budget conscious vegans who want to eat healthy, and have enough money left over to support their active lifestyle.