Thrifty Thursdays I

*Disclaimer: I wrote and prepped this all yesterday, but forgot to publish! It's still Thrifty Thursday and Taco Day in my opinion*

A lot of folks are under the impression that being vegan means shelling out an exorbitant amount of cash on  organic meat and cheese analogues, frozen entrees, and triple-filtered coconut elixirs, but that simply is not true. While it's unfortunate that some of the aforementioned prepackaged items' price tags are higher than their non-vegan competitors, they aren't vital to a healthy vegan diet. If you have a basic knowledge of kitchen and cooking skills (how to wield a knife, boil water, use a whisk, etc.), you can eat pretty healthy vegan meals on a small budget, no problem.

In response to such claims by the media/internet/anti-vegan meanies, many resources have started to appear that combat the myth that healthy foods cannot be inexpensive. A quick search for "cheap vegan" populates thousands of articles, blogs and recipes for inexpensive vegan meals and spending tips.

If it's a cookbook you're looking for, try Ellen Jaffe Jones' Eat Vegan on $4 a Day or Robin Robertson's Vegan on the Cheap. Both cookbooks not only provide all sorts of recipes, but offer tips and techniques for getting those most out of your dollar and grocery trip.

If you couldn't already tell, today's mofo theme is Thrifty Thursday, where I share a cheap vegan meal that's also tasty and healthy. Since today is also National Taco day, I couldn't think of a more fitting way to celebrate. Happy taco day!

Taco's are so versatile, so it's easy to find a tasty combination that doesn't cost you much. Store-bought corn and wheat tortillas usually aren't very expensive, but it's even more cost effective to make your own. Choose your fillings based on availability, the seasons, and sales. Potatoes, tofu, cauliflower, eggplant, bell/hot peppers,  onions, mushroom, squash, beans, rice, corn, lettuce, and/or tomato all work wonderfully hugged between a corn or flour tortilla. Add whatever spice you have on hand - chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt/pepper - and saute.

2 bell peppers, jalapeno, yellow squash, zucchini, cauliflower (not pictured)
After a $15.00 trip to the grocery store, I managed to make enough taco filling for about 30 tacos. A portion of that money went to the tortillas (about $3) and a can of beans ($1), which, had I made them from scratch, would have dropped the price down a bit. The remaining $11 was spent on vegetables and some TVP (bought in bulk).
all chopped up and ready to be seasoned
paprika, cumin, chili powder, nooch, oregano, s&p

Chopped veggies were coated in olive oil and the aforementioned spices, and roasted for 15 minutes, as were 3 russet potatoes. I also individually sauteed black beans, chickpeas, corn and mushrooms using a combination of the same spices. The TVP was leftover from yesterday's Chorizo and Potato Lasagna. Throw in some shredded spinach, diced tomato, and sliced red onion, and you'll have yourself quite a spread for the perfect taco bar!

I had enough filling for almost 30 tacos (my boyfriend, Matt, consumed at least 7), all for about $10-12 dollars. By no means was this food unhealthy - I limited the amount of oil when roasting, opting for a few spritzes of the spraying variety. A wide variety of vegetables and proteins were consumed, because it's always good to eat a variety of things. It's also always good to eat tacos.

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