Maximum cost: £50 for 4 meals (4 portions)

I’m a fan of the “meat free Monday” idea – cutting down on meat is better for the environment, your waistline and bank balance, whats not to like?

That said, I’m aware that most of my vegetarian dishes are pretty cheese laden – Although this is not a bad thing; I would prefer to buy less cheese and if possible, ethically sourced cheese (is there such a thing?) The trouble is, I struggle to find vegan recipes that I find appealing…

Below, I’ve listed 4 recipes that avoid meat and dairy AND are really tasty. 

The dal takes a fair amount of time to cook although it can be frozen so potentially double ingredients and cook in bulk. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients  – although I have built up a pretty decent store cupboard of spices (ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric are musts), simply use what you have and avoid buying too much if you’re concerned you won’t re-use them.. I would say that the curry leaves are a must, as you also use them in the green bean curry.

Having made the recipes below, you will be left with a handful of basil stalks (great to chop up and fry off with garlic for a tomato based sauce) and some lemons halves (you only need some strips of rind or juice from half – use the remainder in any salad dressings)

 

 

FRUIT & VEG:

  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes (£1)
  • 1 large bunch of coriander (£1) – stalks to be used seperately
  • 5 lemons (£1.20)
  • 6 bulbs of garlic (50p for a bulb)
  • 150g podded broad beans (roughly 300g in pods) (£1.50 for 500g)
  • 150g podded peas (roughly 300g in pods) (£1.50 for 500g)
  • 25g basil leaves (70p for a bunch)
  • 1 small root of ginger (20p) – to be used in the curry and dal dishes
  • 340g okra (£1.50 – Nour in Brixton)
  • 2 small onions (40p)
  • 2 red chillies (60p for a bag of 4)
  • 250g french beans (£1.35)
  • mange tout  / shitake mushrooms / sugar snap peas (approx £1.25)
  • 2 carrots (20p)
  • 2 stalks of celery (£1 for a bunch)
  • 1 white onion (20p)
  • 1 bunch of rosemary
  • a small handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (50p)

 

MEAT & FISH:

None!

 

FRIDGE  & BREAD:

  • wraps or flat breads or rotis (£1) – Use most for the falafel but save a few for the dal and okra (if you’re lucky enough to live near Nour in Brixton, they sell fluffy naans or rotis for £1.10 a packet)

 

CUPBOARD:

  • ground coriander (55p for a packet)
  • 120g gram flour (£1.40 for 1kg)
  • a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds (55p for a packet)
  • red cabbage salad (fresh or jarred) (approx £2) – to accompany the falafel
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (£3)
  • a handful of toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds)
  • mustard seeds (55p for a packet)
  • 2 or 3 whole dry chillies (£1)
  • 3 or 4 curry leaves (£1.89 for a large bag)
  • ground turmeric (55p for a packet)
  • red chilli powder – I’ve subsituted a pinch of cayenne pepper here before (55p for a packet)
  • ground cumin (55p for a packet)
  • coriander seeds (55p for a packet)
  • sugar
  • 210g Tuvar dal / split yellow peas (80p)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (80p)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (£1)
  • 100g cashew nuts (£1.20 from Nour)
  • 1 x 440ml tin of coconut milk (70p)
  • jasmine rice, to serve (£2 for a large bag)
  • 500g pasta (£2)
  • 1 can of cooked green lentils (55p)
  • 2 tablespoons of  rapeseed oil 
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste 
  • a small glass of red wine (vegan wine is available) (£10 for a bottle)