Budget Vegan Meals Series

Somehow eating a plant-based diet has developed a reputation for being expensive. I think it's just one of those assumptions that goes along with the word "vegan." Last time I checked, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and seeds weren't terribly expensive. Some are more expensive than others. And of course the prepackaged vegan food is expensive, but a whole foods plant-based diet is not expensive. We'll share 7 budget friendly vegan meals during this series. Each meal is less than $5 per serving.

Let's start with the easiest...

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce, TVP and Vegetables

Servings: 4 Cost per Serving: $2.81

If you're inspired you can make your own marinara. Although the savings isn't significant, I like knowing that I've controlled the ingredients and it's really quick.

For this version, I use TVP. You can leave this out if you like and just have veggies. TVP does a great job of providing the same chew that you get when you eat meat. Some people might prefer this.

Spaghetti (or whatever pasta you prefer, I like angel hair and thin spaghetti)
1, 16oz package of sliced mushrooms
2 zucchinis, sliced
1 cup TVP
1 cup water

Marinara Sauce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon basil
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 28-oz ,can crushed tomatoes

  1. Saute your mushrooms and zucchini in a small amount of water or oil until they are tender and season to taste.
  2. Set them aside.
  3. Cook the pasta.
  4. Boil 1 cup water.
  5. Pour boiling water over TVP and allow it to absorb the water for 10 minutes.
  6. In a cold medium saucepan, combine all of the marinara sauce ingredients except the tomatoes and vinegar.
  7. Turn the heat to medium high and sauté for 1 minute, until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant.
  8. Add the tomatoes and vinegar.
  9. Bring to a gentle boil for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  11. Add the TVP to the sauce.
  12. Plate as you normally would, placing the pasta on your plate and topping with the sauce and vegetables.