Vegan Pasta, Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie, And No-Bake Cookies On The Cheap
As you may remember, I was very excited to get started when I purchased Vegan on the Cheap. But after coming up short on ingredients a few times, it got pushed aside and spent a few weeks buried in my cookbook collection. When I pulled it from the pile last night, I decided I was going to dust it off and make Vegan on the Cheap this week’s cookbook. I flipped through to find recipes with ingredients I had on hand and found Penne and Broccoli with Tomatoes, Walnuts, and Raisins ((page 118) for today’s lunch. I was so surprised at how quick and easy this recipe was to make. I guess I was thinking “on the cheap” would mean more time-consuming, since I often equate cost with convenience. The author, Robin Robertson, pegged the cost of this yummy dish at under $1 per serving, but I don’t think that accounts for organic ingredients, so it may have cost us slightly more. I loved the combination of penne, broccoli, tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and raisins. The walnuts and raisins really gave the dish a little something extra.
I like to try out a dessert from each book I crack open, so after lunch I whipped up a batch of Vegan on the Cheap‘s Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (page 221) . I actually didn’t even realize they were no-bake cookies until I’d already pulled out the ingredients and realized, “Hey, wait a minute. These ingredients look awfully familiar!” I know I should read the directions first, but I usually figure if I have all the ingredients I’m probably good to go. These cookies were also very easy to make, but for some reason mine didn’t quite “set up”, despite following the directions to the t. Perhaps it was the humidity? But I set them up in the freezer, since I was planning on freezing most of them anyway, which worked well. Just like the no-bake cookies all the moms used to bring to elementary school Christmas parties… except better because these are vegan! The no-bake cookies are quoted at 50 cents per serving.
Dinner was also from, you guessed it, Vegan on the Cheap. I chose to make the Smoky Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (page 153). This dish took slightly longer than the first to prepare, but only because there was quite a bit of steaming and chopping. The “pie” is pinto beans, carrots, onions, corn, and salsa, topped with sweet potatoes mashed with chipotle peppers in adobo for a nice spice. The recipe actually called for black beans, but I decided to use the pintos I had already cooked and stored in the freezer instead. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this or not, but for some reason the recipe screamed to be made, and it was delicious. This twist on shepherd’s pie is so flavorful! The meal is priced at less than $1.50 per serving and since it fills an entire 13″x9″ pan, could serve at least 5 people.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! We just spent some time working on home projects and my little man helped his daddy in the garage. I was excited when the new VegNews arrived, but they either need to become a weekly magazine or I need to pace myself, because I’m always through the thing in no time flat and ready for the next issue…
How did you spend your weekend? Do you like to use weekends to relax, get things accomplished, or a little of both?