For your health, your budget, and your taste buds, blend some beans instead of cream!
One of the hardest things about eating on a budget and being vegan, is the sheer amount of rice and beans that I consume. There is no getting around it. Full of protein and fiber, and usually only about $2/pound organic, I can often make 10 meals for $10 if I am not being too fancy. Yet it can get… monotonous after awhile. There is only so many things you can do with beans, right?
I’ve just had another cooking revelation, that has made me once again think that I have only touched the surface of vegan, budget baking cuisine. It all started out with trying to make a vegan risotto. I had heard of vegan faux alfredo, and after doing some searching online, found this recipe by Healthy Recipe Ecstasy. Vegan parmesan being one of the only vegan cheeses that is not terribly chemically (and it is also a garnish, not the mainstay of a meal) I decided to give it a try to use in my risotto. Of course, I didn’t do that whole vegan margarine thing. Yeck!
After blending the white beans, crushed garlic, and parmesan, I took a taste and was blown away. It tastes like alfredo sauce. Truly. Totally. Like fuck, I am eating alfredo but it isn’t terrible for me because I am mainly consuming white beans.
WHY DOES NO ONE ELSE DO THIS?
I mean, seriously. It blows my mind that you can do this with beans, and make a sauce that even a non vegan would love. Furthermore, cream in anything other than modest amounts, is terribly for you. If you even just spiked a non vegan alfredo with half white beans, and half cream, the budget and health savings would be phenomenal!
I immediately started looking for even more possibilities using blended beans instead of cream, and was wowed by the possibilities. I have some brand new recipes to try out in the coming weeks! Check out this sos pwa nwa from the New York Times cooking section, or this vegan black bean chocolate orange mousse from One Green Planet.
Eeeeek! Truly, I am geeking and freaking out over these amazing recipes. Does anyone have any more? Please comment below!
This week in Updates:
It is the final weekend before Memorial Day Murph Day. It is almost time to see if I can do what I previously thought impossible: 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run. My body is looking and feeling pretty good, though incredibly hungry. I put my body through the wringer this week, knowing that I was going to take two days off pre murph, as my own version of a taper. I am dog sitting, and trying so hard not to go to the Porch for brunch and gorge myself on vegan French toast and bean pie. Lunch will be split pea soup, roasted potatoes, and carrots. Dinner hopefully the results of a successful tofu granola bar experiment. But the Porch is three blocks away and it is SOOOOOO HARD! But, I need a motorcycle oil change and some bicycle work. I still might cave. I am saving money on some family reunion stuff….
The recipe: Vegan White Bean Risotto with Broccoli Florets
The most expensive item in this recipe is the broccoli by far. I spent $2 on the rice, $2 on the beans, about $2 for the parmesan, $0.50 on the garlic (half a clove), and about $1 on the Ripple milk. Broccoli was $4. All together, that totals $11.50 for 8-10 servings. Full disclosure, this stuff is rich!
- 2 cups dried white beans
- 2 cups dried white rice
- 1-1 ½ cup non dairy milk (depending on the thickness you want)
- 2-4 crushed and pureed garlic cloves
- ¼ cup vegan parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice and soak then cook beans.
- Blend the beans, non dairy milk, garlic, and parmesan in a blender until creamy.
- Sautee the broccoli florets.
- Combine rice, broccoli, and sauce together.
- Top with salt and black pepper. Enjoy!