Inexpensive Vegetarian Recipes

February 20, 2009

Garden SaladThis is a recipe I found somewhere on the internet and adapted it. It's really filling and makes enough for 6 people and costs about 50 cents per person :) I made it tonight and it was very filling and tasty!




To make polenta, bring the water and salt to a boil. Then add the cornmeal very slowly so it doesn't clump. Keep stirring on low heat until it's really thick. Be careful because it will bubble and splash! This might take 20 minutes or so.

When it is thickened, and comes off the sides of the pot, spread onto a 9X13 greased pan. While polenta is sitting, combine black beans and salsa in sauce pan on medium heat.

When polenta is cooled a bit (10 minutes or so), cut into 12 even pieces. Place two pieces of polenta on a plate and scoop some black bean mixture on top.

This is really filling and tasty! I used the zucchini salsa that I made at harvest time. Feel free to add other veggies if you like.

Source: Adapted from a recipe from

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 5,887 Posts
August 12, 2010

Combine tomato soup and water; bring to a boil. Break egg carefully into soup. Drop bread in toaster. When egg is poached, remove pan from stove.


With a slotted spoon, carefully lift egg from soup and place on toast; plain or buttered.

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July 29, 2008

This is a quick and easy recipe from my mother.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 203 Posts
August 30, 2010

In 10 inch skillet, heat beans, salsa, corn, and carrot to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. In 2 quart saucepan, heat water, milk, butter, and salt to boiling.

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May 8, 2008

Heat skillet, dice tomato and mix with macaroni and cheese. Place in frying pan and cook until brown on both sides.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 2, 2010

Does anyone have any good, really cheap, meatless meals. I am in desperate need. Thanks to all.

By JJ from TX


March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Eating meatless is probably the cheapest way to eat, so you're already halfway there! We're not vegetarians but I make veggie meals 2-3 times a week to save money.


For low cost buy staples like dried beans, lentils, rice and pasta. Lots of protein and fiber for pennies. Frozen vegetables work in many recipes and are often cheaper than fresh. Invest in some cookbooks or check out recipes online if you need some ideas. Here's a couple of quick dishes:

Golden Vegetable Rice

2/3 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup chopped vegetables-carrots, peas, mushrooms, peppers, etc
1 clove minced garlic, or dried garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Dash salt and pepper
Vegetable stock (optional)
1 teaspoon margarine or olive oil

In a saucepan saute rice and garlic in butter or oil over medium heat until lightly golden. Add 1 1/2 cups water, or one cup water and 1/2 cup vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil and add chopped vegetables and seasonings. Frozen vegetables are fine if the pieces aren't too large. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.


Lentil and Tomato Soup

1/4 cup dried lentils, washed
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic, or garlic granules
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable stock or boullion

In a large saucepan saute carrots, onions and garlic in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add undrained tomatoes, 1 cup stock or 1 cube boullion, and 2 canfuls of water. Add other ingredients and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are tender. If soup is too thick add more water.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
March 3, 20100 found this helpful
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I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years & I generally don't use any special recipes. But for someone who is just quitting the meat habit the basic rule of thumb is "ethnic" foods.


For example:
Mexican Foods: Are, by far the easiest to change to vegetarian. Just substitute no-fat beans in place of meat in most any recipe

Chinese, Thai and Asian: with fried rice, you need no meat or you can substitute Deep-fried tofu or dense regular tofu in place of meat in most Asian recipes.

India Foods: Most Indian Hindu's are vegetarian, so you can use almost any Indian cookbook to make many spicy Indian dishes. Make a simple curry then pour over rice & on-sale veggies.

Japanese Foods: Noodles with veggie-broth & fresh sliced veggies. Just heat the broth then add the big fat noodles & whatever veggies (fresh or frozen) a bit of soy sauce & serve with bread.

Italian Foods: Spaghetti, Lasagna, Ravioli, Manicotti can all be made using cheese in place of meat. And don't forget Eggplant Parmesan. Eggplant makes a wonderful meat substitute because of it's texture. A trick to make Spaghetti sauce look like it has meat in it, simply grate up half of a carrot & add it to the sauce & simmer! The carrot will give the sauce a meat texture.


* If you get a craving for meat, buy a wheat gluten based boxed mix at any health food store & make this. You can make most anything from gluten including barbecued "ribs" & "meat"-loaf.... Sometimes this gluten mix is called "Seitan".

Lentil meat Loaf: make lentil burgers the same exact way you'd make any meat-loaf except use cooked (fairly thick) lentils in place of hamburger. Do this by using cooked lentils, & onions, garlic powder & spices & some cracker crumbs & an egg to hold the mixture together (& maybe ketchup, Worcestershire, A-1 &/or soy sauce) then place the "meat" loaf in a greased loaf pan & bake as you would any meat-loaf for about 45 min to 1 hour in a 350 deg. oven.

Lentil Burgers: or you can take the same mixture & cool it in the fridge for an hour or so then fry (using Pam) in a big skillet. When the burgers are done on both sides & the pan is still hot, splash on some soy-sause to caramelize then add a slice of cheese to each lentil-burger then cover with a ceramic plate or a big pan lid & remove from burner & wait several minutes until the cheese has melted. I like cheddar cheese, but any kind will do. Putt these on a bun or eat on a plate with a fork. My kinds all loved these lentil burgers!

Minestroni Soup: I make the best (& easiest) homemade vegetarian soup by using a big can of generic V-8 soup as the base, then adding garlic powder, onion powder & Italian seasoning (from $1 store), then add 2 packages of frozen "stir-fry" veggies (each pack should be different kinds of veggies) & the same amount of water as the V-8 can or more. Add 1 or 2 can's of beans (I like kidney beans). To make this go further, add some noodles (like alphabet) but they swell, so go sparingly. Instead of salt, I use soy sauce. Add pepper if you like. Serve this big pot of hardy soup with day-old crusty bread or toast & a dollop of plan yogurt on top or you can add a bit of grated cheese over the top of this soup.

* If you shop at a farmers market or hit a good sale on veggies, use fresh veggies instead of the frozen stir-friy veggies, but I like using the frozen veggies because they are already cleaned & cut up, so I can whip this soup together in minutes!

Potato Soup: (hearty & inexpensive!) Make regular potato soup using big chunks of potatoes & uses boxed potatoes to thicken. You can add "bacon" bits for extra "ham" flavoring.

Eggs: Don't forget eggs, they are one of the best sources of protein around. Sometimes I make scrambled eggs using only one yoke to 4 or 5 eggs, for a wonderful high-protein, low-fat meal. For a extra Protein add eggs to your Fried Rice & other meals, simply pour this scrambled-egg mixture (with salt & popper added) into a large skillet & cook. When done, remove the cooked eggs & roll them up & slice into tiny slivers & add to your fried rice &/or soup.

The Least Expensive Foods: Lentils are cheap & high in protein & folic acid. Noodles & rice are also cheap. Buy your fresh veggies on sale or buy the store-brand frozen stir-fry veggies. When I was layed-off & very poor, I lived on Brown Rice with re-hydrated dried beans (any type). I added onions, garlic powder, salt & pepper for flavor & this was a healthy, filling & tasty meal!

* Go to Saturday Farmer's Markets at the end of the day & tell the farmers you have very little money & ask for their "throw-away" bruised foods. Sometimes you can get these fruits & veggies at a great discount or for free. Do not ask in front of other customers or they will want the same "deal".

* My grandmother raised a large family during the depression ere & her secret was to always serve a big basket of bread along with every meal. This way her family could at least get full on the bread. For breakfast, she would often make old-fashioned oatmeal with ground cinnamon added & sometimes she would cut up an apple into tiny pieces or add a handful of raisins for a tasty treat. You'd be surprised at how inexpensive regular oat's are. No need to buy the tiny little flavored packages that cost a fortune! Just serve these hot oats with honey or sugar & milk on the side.

* Awesome Vegan Cookbook: Here's the BEST vegan cook book out there! It's written by a bunch of old hippies that live on "The Farm" in Tennessee. It is a community farm with all vegan's living there. They make so many healthy & low cost foods. Splurge & buy this unusual cookbook, you can buy a used copy for only $3.50. (Affiliate Link)

Feel free to write me here on ThriftyFun with questions or for other Vegetarian Recipes & ideas. Tell me your exact needs, likes & dislikes. I always have many ideas.
* As long as your family takes a good multi-vitamin & drinks lots of nonfat milk & yogurt, they will get enough vitamins, protein & calcium.

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March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cabbage fry up-feeds 2 as entree

1/2 head cabbage cut in narrow ribbons
2 onions cut in half then in half rings
2 potatoes cut julienne
2-5 (to taste) cloves of chopped garlic
enough vegetable or olive oil to cover the bottom of your skillet

2 pats (about 2 teaspoons) butter
Melt butter in oil in skillet or electric frypan
on low heat.
Add potatoes and cook until they begin to soften and brown lightly, add onions and cook until translucent. add cabbage and cook until cabbage is cooked. Stir regularly. This takes about 20 minutes in my electric frypan to cook.
If you wish, you can add cubes of firm tofu or cut up veggie burgers with the onion and potatoes.

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March 7, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

1 cup rice, boil with cinnamon stick, clove, and cardamom and salt. When it's cooked drain and keep aside.
1/2 frozen veggies or fresh like carrots cubed, sliced green beans, peas, or corn
1 onion sliced, 2 green chilies[optional]
2 Tbsp oil.
Fry onion and chilies till light brown, add your veggies and salt to your taste, cook for few seconds when liquid has evaporated add the rice and place on stove to heat through. Sprinkle some herbs, serve with salads or fried or grilled potatoes, soya, paneer, or tofu.

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March 7, 20100 found this helpful
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2 potatoes. Peel, slice, and boil till tender and drain. Punnet (small basket) of mushrooms, clean and slice. Boil some pasta with salt and a little oil. Salt, pepper and mixed herbs, white sauce, and cheese for sprinkling. Layer the potato, mushroom, pasta, salt,,herbs, pepper, white sauce, and cheese and bake and serve with salad.

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March 7, 20100 found this helpful
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2 large potatoes, wash, dry, and wrap with foil and bake. When it's done slit and add filling. Sweet corn, soya sausage chopped, heat in the microwave and mix with mayonnaise and serve with salad. These fillings are simple and go well with potato. Boiled eggs and mayonnaise. Sour cream and chives. Cheese filling.

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March 11, 2008

I'm looking for vegetarian recipes for one or two people that are easy to prepare and to digest. Soups, salads, and smoothies would be ideal.


March 11, 20080 found this helpful

Check out this link:

I'm not necessarily thrilled with PeTA, but this website is full of great recipes. The recipe on the homepage is an apple beet salad, looks yummy.

Here is the link to the rest of the recipes:

(I've been vegetarian/vegan for almost 30 years)

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Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 59 Requests
March 12, 20080 found this helpful

I've made this with honey as the sweetener and I really like it:

1 cup Silk Chocolate Soymilk
1 sliced, frozen banana
2 Tbsp. sweetener of choice (optional)

In blender, combine Silk®, banana and sweetener. Blend until smooth and creamy.

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March 13, 20080 found this helpful

Try the Vegetarian Times magazine website. The recipes in their magazine are good and you could probably get them at your local public library, including back issues.

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July 7, 2022

These taste just like hot dogs! They are plant based and very economical. I halved the recipe and just put mustard on with no bun.

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