Vegan Enchilada Bake, Baked Ziti, And Pesto Linguine On The Cheap

October 29, 2010 by Keri

I’ve been really leaning on Vegan on the Cheap lately to fill in some of my weeknight meals with more affordable dishes.  I was slow to get started, but now that I’ve cracked this cookbook I just can’t stay out of it!  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a hardcore enchilada fan, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to like taking shortcuts and turning enchiladas into the Deconstructed Enchilada Bake (page 158).   Enchiladas without my sauce?  And not drowning in melted Daiya?!  “We’ll see…”  Okay, okay. We loved it!  And possibly the best part was that the tortilla “crust” kept anything from baking onto my 13 x 9 pan.  Doing the dishes was a cinch, and after a casserole bake, that’s never the case.

Vegan Baking Recipes

Vegan Baking Recipes

Vegan Baking Recipes

I was enticed by the simplicity of Vegan on the Cheap‘s Baked Ziti (page 160).  In fact, I even took the author’s suggestion to make the dish ahead and simply pop it in the oven and relax come dinner time.  Except rather than relax I got some housework done, but it was still nice to have one less thing to worry about!  I chose to go with the author’s “splurge” suggestion and bake a layer of vegan mozzarella on top; our baked ziti just needed cheese!  The dish was simple, quick to prepare, and made enough for plenty of leftovers (hello, lunch!).

Vegan Pasta Recipes

Vegan Pasta Recipes

Vegan Pasta Recipes

Another recipe from Vegan on the Cheap that got me with it’s simplicity was Linguine With Pesto (page 106).  Homemade pesto is so simple to make and you don’t even have to have fresh basil, because spinach leaves can make a mean pesto as well.  This recipe offers a few options, but mine was just basil, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, salt and pepper whirled around in the blender and then stirred into olive oil.  So fresh, so easy, and so much cheaper than store-bought pesto sauces!  After tossing my cooked linguine in the pesto sauce, I finished the dish by sprinkling with toasted pine nuts.  Yum!

Vegan Pasta Recipes

Vegan Pasta Recipes

How tight do you keep your grocery budget?  Are you a “buy what’s on the list and nothing more” kind of person or do you often splurge?

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!

Comments

  1. Gail says:

    Hi Keri! Your review and mouth-watering photos inspired me to run out and buy a copy of this book, and I am every bit as captivated by the recipes contained within its pages as you are! Preparing delicious meals for less than two bucks per serving sounded almost too good to be true. Of course, I couldn’t wait to try the Deconstructed Enchilada Bake, and it was as delicious as you described. I’ll be reviewing Vegan on the Cheap on my Hungry Vegan blog in the next few days! Thank you so much for inspiring me to check out this book.

  2. Lacey says:

    I love experimenting with different kinds of pestos. It’s nice to know that even when free basil season is over; you can still make pesto. My current favorite for mexican food is Jalepeno-Cilantro Pesto. mmmmm.

  3. stampylisa says:

    my grocery budget is all over the place. I buy GF and other things that my husband can have w/his intolerances, and then I buy the stuff I can’t seem to live without, like whatever looks good on the food bar at Whole Foods, or a big ole bottle of balsamic glaze (cuz that’s my new condiment of choice). Now that it’s no longer growing season and there are no more “free” tomatoes or cucumbers, (kale still going crazy) I really need to get a better handle on it, cause we’ve been struggling financially for years. Thanks for unintentionally trying to help me get back on track!

    • Keri says:

      Aww, you’re welcome. I’m so glad the affordable meal posts are helpful. I’m not GF myself, but I shop at places that carry a lot of GF foods, and I see how expensive those are priced! It would be hard to stay on a reasonable budget when one ingredient alone is near or above $10!