With 6 people, cheap easy meals involve ordering pizza. Are there any cheap, easy vegetarian meals that don't make you gain weight? - T.L.
I'm 25 years old, and have had a vegetarian diet - by choice - for 14 years. I have a 1 year old daughter, a 6 year old son, and two step-children.
I am no longer breastfeeding because my milk production slowed to a halt several months ago. I drink some milk, very little eggs, some fish, but no chicken or meat.
Here is my problem: I'm rapidly gaining weight because in a house of 6 people it's easiest to order pizza, cook pasta, or have hotdogs (mine are non-meat). It's fast and cheaper.
We are not a poor family, by any means, but it does get expensive going to Whole Foods to shop for the healthier foods in life. I will get fat by eating pasta 4 or 5 nights a week.
For all the "poor" college students, single mom's/dad's, or busy parents, is there any easier and cheaper way to be a vegetarian and not gain weight from all the breads in our diets? Types of food, recipes, anything will help! THANKS!
Dear T. L.,
Whether or not you shop Whole Foods, or the local Super Valu, the cheapest way is to cook your own food from scratch, which I'm sure you already know! It's also healthier, which will save time and money over the long haul. If you're set up and organized for it, and used to doing it, then it can be easier and faster.
I can understand how you might not have much time and energy to spare. So here are a few resources and suggestions that will make it easier to eat healthier:
30 Minute Vegan, a fun and healthy fast food vegan cookbook, with nutritional info and easy kid-friendly recipes.
'5 Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet' and 'The Complete Vegetarian Family Cookbook', by Nava Atlas: Vegan, and calorie conscious - she gives a nutritional summary for each recipe, as well as serving suggestions.
Quick Fix Vegetarian, and 'Fresh from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker' both by Robin Robertson. Also vegan, but no nutritional info.
'The New Becoming Vegetarian' by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, a complete vegetarian nutrition manual that I recommend to all vegetarians.
Savvy Veg has lots of kid friendly recipes. Try tofu burgers, black bean veggie burgers, hummus - serve them in wraps, or with a grain and without the bun. They're quick to make, so is vegetarian chili, and various other soups and stews.