Cheap & Easy Vegan Meals: My (Current) Top 3

As the final weeks of my Masters Program commence, I’ve been slacking in other areas…like the kitchen.

The good news?

It means I have some more cheap and easy go-to vegan “recipes” to share! (For more vegan food hacks, click here and here.)




1 can pureed pumpkin + 1 can full fat coconut milk + 1 onion (+ other veggies if you’re feelin’ fancy) = angels singing Justin Timberlake songs

STEP ONE: Sautee a roughly chopped onion (any kind) in a saucepan over medium high heat until the onions are translucent.


STEP TWO (OPTIONAL): Add your other favorite vegetables like broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and/or baby spinach. I even added black beans to this batch!


STEP THREE: Dump in your canned pumpkin and coconut milk. Stir and let it simmer for a few minutes (it’ll likely thicken up a bit).


STEP FOUR: Season to taste.ย Some of my favorites with this combo include: white pepper, curry powder, garlic salt and nutmeg.

Voila! Now you can: 1) eat as is as a creamy pumpkin soup, 2) pour it over rice, gnocchi or pasta, or, 3) make a potato bowl.

As a potato bowl – with some cauliflower added.
Over gnocchi.
Just make sure to save some pumpkin for the pooch.



1 container of any pesto-like thing + vegan protein (veggies, tofu, tempeh, etc.) = Jason Bateman being Jason Bateman-y

This new Zhoug Sauce from Trader Joe’sย (pictured above) is my everything. Basically it’s a cilantro pesto, minus the cheese, with a very respectable zing.

Slather your “pesto” (however much you please!) over your vegan protein and then roast the crap out of it (for vegetables I do up to an hour, for tofu, 30 minutes, both between 350-400F, stirring or flipping halfway). The grill works great, too!


You can eat this as is…


…over pasta…


…or hey, maybe put it on…



1 pita + your favorite toppings = frolicking baby goats in sweaters

I have so many pictures of pita pizzas, it’s bordering on concerning. (In fact, I’ve already featured them here, but they’re so easy, fun and versatile that I felt they deserved a stand-alone mention.)

My go-to “sauces”:

Some of my favorite toppings include:

Bake directly on the oven rack for 8-10 minutes @ 350F and you’re (literally) golden.

Any kind of pita should work – when I’m feeling healthy, I use whole wheat.

pita-pizza-1Speaking of healthy, for anyone counting calories, even my vegan cheese-a-rific version comes out to less than 500 calories, so it’s a fantastic alternative to any frozen pizza (serving size = 1/3 pizza? Are they kidding?).


And there you have it! A few recipes you can whip up without breaking a sweat, and still feel like you’re fully adulting!

Or not.




33 thoughts on “Cheap & Easy Vegan Meals: My (Current) Top 3”

  1. I’m strangely disappointed there were no pictures of baby goats frolicking in sweaters…..
    But more importantly, are those Johnson Brothers dishes? I have the same set!!

    1. Apparently our taste has a name. “Granny chic.” How do you feel about that?

      I got mine at a garage sale just before moving to the tiny apt (my old set turned out to be neither dishwasher nor microwave safe, despite claims to the contrary…) and was so excited.

      1. Mine has a strange provenance. My SIL has a huge collection of this pattern and is always on the look out for more. So when the husband’s uncle was visiting us years ago, he went to an antique store….found a full set, and bought it for her. Turns out she already had those pieces and didn’t want more of the same, so my husband felt bad the uncle had wasted his money and bought it for us. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it does look nice in the china hutch.

  2. The problem with this was, then my husband thought I wanted all the accompanying pieces and that’s what I got for birthday and Xmas’s for years until I yelled STOP! But I do have the antique monster soup tureen and the SIL is dying of envy, so that’s a plus.

      1. As your guru of sleep depriving questions, I will enlighten your inner selfie with the answer to that question. No. Selfies must be taken by the self, unless it’s a group selfie. In that case, it’s a group selfie.


    1. Hi! Thanks for reading! I agree some of the cream cheese alternatives taste too sweet, and I’m not a huge fan of any of the Daiya or SODelicious cheeses (though I like their ice cream!). My favorite cream cheese so far is Trader Joe’s brand. I LOVE Field Roast Chao creamy original slices, and all of the Follow Your Heart cheeses. The Miyokos mozzarella is quite good on pizza, and I just tried a new brand of smoked provolone slices that I found at Whole Foods that was really good: Violife. Slowly working my way through them all, and excited for whatever’s around the next vegan cheese bend!

    1. Ha! That is AWESOME to hear and nice to meet you, Angie!! I’m currently caffeinating in preparation for this Sunday’s batch cook – coucous-spinach-cashew cream stuffed tomatoes, ‘cheezburger’ pita pizzas, creamy corn chowder, and black bean burgers with avocado! YAAAAS!!! …I am way too into this.

        1. Oh Angie, I have let us both down – I’m SO bad about taking pictures of the process! The black bean burgers turned into a loaf because they were too wet, HA, but other than that it worked out! I am planning to do food videos from my new The Vegan Dollar YouTube channel, which will get off the ground in the next month or two, WOOT! Thanks for much for all of the encouragement/inspiration!!!

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