Veganuary budget meal plan – part 1

Veganuary budget meal plan – part 1

by Joy Richardson.- 

Every year The Vegan Society promotes January as a time to try being vegan and many people enjoy the challenge of taking part. However whether you want to try joining in with Veganuary, or would just like to incorporate more meat free meals into your diet, vegan food can be wholesome, filling, healthy and more environmentally friendly. I’ve picked out a typical week of meals to share with you so some of them are wholefoods, some use meat substitutes, some are very healthy and some not quite so much but overall a pretty balanced selection. 

Unless stated otherwise prices are all based on January 2023 Asda prices using their own brand products. I actually managed to make quite a lot of additional savings by using the Olio app. This is where people collect unsold food from supermarkets (and some café’s etc) and then list it for you to collect for free. There is always plenty of bread available, I almost never buy it as there’s usually plenty in my freezer, and often fruit and vegetables too. I adjust my recipes all the time to accommodate what I’ve managed to find for free. But these recipes are costed assuming for no free food. 

 

Monday

 Total Daily Food Cost Per Person £3.04

Breakfast (Serves 1)

Baked Plums

Halve 2 plums person, place in an ovenproof dish and top with 40g Porridge Oats. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 mins serve with 100g soya yoghurt and a few fresh blueberries

Cost 75p (per person)

Plums 20p

Oats 5p

Yoghurt 25p

Blueberries 25p

 

Lunch

Mushroom Pate on Toast (Serves 2)

This recipe works best if you make it the day before and will serve 2 people generously. If you are on a budget really have a look at the price of the different brands of bread. The cheapest 800g load in Asda is 39p (white or wholemeal) but an almost identical branded version is £1.40!

Chop roughly 2 small shallots (or 1 small onion), 4 cloves of garlic and 250g Chestnut mushrooms (any mushrooms will do but I find these give the best flavour for pate) and fry in a few teaspoons of oil (I’m using olive as I love the flavour, but you can use whatever you have) for 5 minutes.

Add half a bunch of fresh sage (but keep aside 2 small leaves), again roughly chopped but include the stalks (if you can’t get hold of fresh sage rosemary also works well, or you can use dried herbs too, and 50g of plant based butter such as Flora or Naturli blocks. (It’s best to use the blocks wrapped in paper rather than normal margarine in a pot as it will help the pate set. If you do use margarine your pate may just be softer but it will still taste good).

Then reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Once everything is cooked leave it to cool. Once it’s cool it needs blending, a smoothie maker works well but a stick blender will do. Put all the buttery mushroom mixture in with 50ml of Oatly Creamy Fraiche season with salt and pepper and blend until fairly smooth. At the same time melt another 25g of butter gently. Once the butter is melted transfer the pate into 2 ramekins and top with the melted butter. Add a small sage leaf to the top and put in the fridge to set. 

Serve on some freshly buttered toast.

 

Cost (per person) £1.58

Recipe Cost £2.70

Shallots 20p

Garlic 10p 

Mushrooms 95p

Olive Oil 8p

Sage 30p (Sainsbury’s)

Butter £1.00

Oatly Creamy Fraiche 44p

Toast 8p

 

Dinner

Spaghetti Bolognaise (Serves 2)

This family favourite is by no means a classic Italian recipe however it is tasty with plenty of vegetables and using the dried mince means it’s very budget friendly. You can substitute with frozen soya mince which increases the cost but is easier to find. 

A great way to save time and money is to batch cook so I’ve cooked twice as much mince as I need for this meal, then I can use that as the base for a different meal later in the week. 

Finely chop 4 shallots, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 pepper (any colour) and 1 courgette and fry in a couple of spoons of oil (feel free to substitute the vegetables with anything you have in the fridge which needs using up, carrots work well too).

Once the shallots have started to go see-through add 200g of dried soya mince, and 2 tins of tomatoes.

Dissolve a vegetable stock cube in a mug of hot water and add that too. Turn off the heat and leave for at least 20 minutes (You could do this the night before even). 

Once you are ready to have your dinner remove half of the mixture and put it in the fridge (or freezer) for another day.

Add dried basil, rosemary and black pepper to the remaining half and cook for about 15 minutes.

At this point you can start cooking your pasta (about 75g per person), whichever shape you prefer, as per the packet instructions. Once your pasta is ready check on the sauce, serve once most of the liquid has been absorbed so it is just right for topping your pasta.

 

Cost (per person) 71p

 

Recipe Cost £1.42

Shallots 10p

Garlic 5p 

Pepper 25p

Courgette 23p

Olive Oil 4p

Soya mince 53p (Holland and Barrett)

Stock cube 3p

Herbs 5p

Pasta 14p

 

Tuesday 

Total Daily Food Cost Per Person £2.24

Breakfast

Overnight Oats (Serves 1)

This is the easiest breakfast, just remember to do it the night before. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of days so I usually prepare 2 at a time.

In a lidded container layer 40g uncooked porridge oats, 100g soya yoghurt (I like to use a lemon flavoured one) and 80g frozen berries (I like the summer fruits as then you get a mixture). Pop the lid on and leave overnight in the fridge. 

 

Cost (per person) 69p 

Oats 5p

Yoghurt 25p

Berries 39p

 

Leek and Potato Soup (Serves 3)

Soups are my absolute favourite lunch, it’s a great way to use up any veggies you have hiding at the back of the fridge. I use a soup maker which makes me blended hot soup in just 19 minutes. Although there is an initial outlay it is much cheaper to run than boiling the ingredients on the hob. Always have a look in charity shops for unwanted cooking equipment at really good prices. The recipe below is for on the hob but you can just pop it in your soup maker if you have one, it should make 3 portions which you can save in the fridge or freezer. 

Roughly chop 2 shallots, 1 leek and 1 large potato place in a large saucepan add a stock cube and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and allow to cool.

Blending boiling soup can be dangerous so wait until any splashes won’t scold you and then blend using a stick blender (you could also put it in a smoothie maker). I like my soup really smooth but you can do this as much or as little as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with bread and butter. 

 

Cost (per person) 36p

Recipe cost £1.07

Shallots 10p

Leek 40p

Potato 25p

Stock cube 5p

Bread 12p

Butter 15p

 

Mushroom Risotto (Serves 4)

You can use any mushrooms for this recipe, you want about 300g in total. I’ve chosen chestnut and mixed wild mushrooms for flavour but you could save around £1 by using white mushrooms instead. This freezes and microwaves really well so I often make extra to take to work for lunch. 

Start by finely chopping 2 shallots and 4 cloves of garlic and frying in a couple of teaspoons of oil.

Quarter 300g of mushrooms and add to the pan once the shallots have started to turn transparent.

Add 300g of arborio rice and a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs and stir through.

Now make up 1 litre of vegetable stock using a stock cube and add half to the pan. You should keep it to a low simmer checking regularly. 

Once the rice has absorbed most of the stock add the rest. Do keep checking the pan but after about another 10 minutes all the stock should be absorbed.

Add a few handfuls of baby spinach, stir through and it’s ready to serve.

 

Cost (per person) £1.19

Recipe Cost £4.75

Shallots 20p

Garlic 10p 

Chestnut Mushrooms 95p

Mixed Mushrooms £1.60

Herbs 5p

Olive Oil 8p

Arborio Rice 90p

Stock Cube 5p

Spinach 90p

 

Wednesday

Total Daily Food Cost Per Person £2.83

Wednesdays are always busy for me so it’s great to be able to grab breakfast and lunch from the fridge to take to work and dinner is already half made too!

 

Breakfast

Overnight Oats which I made yesterday

Cost (per person) 69p

 

Lunch

Leek and Potato Soup which I made yesterday

Cost (per person) 36p

 

Dinner

Tacos (Serves 2)

(pictured top)

Remember that mince left in the fridge from Monday? Now we’re going to turn it into tacos but you could also use it as the base for burritos or chilli and rice. As it’s mostly cooked this is really quick!

Take your mince mixture and add to a pan – if it’s a little dry just add a splash of water. The addition of spices here is quite personal but I like dried chilli flakes, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Combine with a drained tin of sweetcorn and warm through gently.

Whilst your mince is heating put 6 taco shells into the oven at 180 degrees, these only need about 10 minutes. Chop about a handful of lettuce per person, a couple of fresh tomatoes and mash a ripe avocado. Once the tacos are ready serve everything together so you can stuff them how you like. I also like to top with a dollop of Oatly Creamy Fraiche. 

 

Cost (per person) £1.81

Recipe Cost £3.61

Shallots 10p

Garlic 5p 

Pepper 25p

Courgette 23p

Olive Oil 4p

Soya mince 53p (Holland and Barrett)

Stock cube 3p

Spices 10p

Sweetcorn 45p

Lettuce 17p

Tomatoes 30p

Avocado 95p

Oatly Creamy Fraiche 44p (Sainsbury’s)

 

For part 2, click the link below:

Vegan budget meal plan – part 2

 

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