Budget-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes

Budget-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes

Prep Time: 15 mins            Cook Time: 40 mins          Total Time: 55 mins

 

WHAT IS CURRY POWDER?

Since curry powder is responsible for all of the seasoning in the bowls, let’s take a minute to chat about it. If you’ve never had curry powder, it’s a warm blend of spices that are pre-ground and blended to mimic the fresh spices used in Indian cuisine. This blend usually includes cumin, turmeric, coriander, and other spices. Every curry powder blend is unique, so you may need to experiment with different brands or recipes to find one that suits your palate. If you’d like to try making your own curry powder, try this recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Upp.

ADD MORE TO YOUR CURRY ROASTED VEGETABLE BOWLS

I kept my curry roasted vegetable bowls simple because I like simplicity, but you can add more to make them a little more fancy, if you’d like. I think a light sprinkle of raisins would add an incredible pop of sweetness to contrast the savory curry powder and tahini dressing.

Slivered almonds would offer an amazing crunch to these bowls without competing with the already strong flavors.

If you want to add some meat, rotisserie chicken would be great, as would some Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

SWAP OUT THE VEGETABLES OR GRAINS

This recipe is super flexible. You can swap out the vegetables for anything you like. Try broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, sweet bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, or whatever vegetable you like.

The same goes for the “bed” for these bowls. If you don’t like brown rice you can swap it out with white rice, couscous, quinoa, your favorite grain, or even salad greens.

HOW LONG DO THE LEFTOVERS LAST?

Simple bowl meals like this hold up in the refrigerator for about four days, with the dressing kept on the side. Your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the conditions within your fridge. I’ll link my favorite meal prep containers for meals like this in the recipe below.

Side view of a fork lifting a bite out of the curry roasted vegetable bowls

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked) ($0.40)
  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.29)
  • 3 carrots ($0.24)
  • 1 red onion ($0.37)
  • 1 cup frozen peas ($0.60)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)

LEMON TAHINI DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup tahini ($1.13)
  • 1/3 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice ($0.18)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Begin the rice first because it takes the longest to cook. Combine the uncooked rice in a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat onto high, and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for an additional five minutes.
  • Once the rice is started, move on to the curry roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice the carrots. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch wide slices.
  • Place the cauliflower, carrots, and red onion on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the curry powder and salt. Toss the vegetables until everything is evenly coated in oil and spices. Spread the vegetables out over the baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Transfer the seasoned vegetables to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes give them a good stir, then roast for another 15 minutes. Next, add the frozen peas and toss together with the roasted vegetables, then return the baking sheet to the oven for the an additional 5 minutes. Taste the vegetables and add additional salt, if needed.
  • While the rice is simmering and the vegetables are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Place the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a blender then blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork. Place about ¾ cup rice into each bowl or meal prep container. Top with ¼ of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing just before serving.

 

NUTRITION

Serving: 1serving ・ Calories: 480.38kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 66.68g ・ Protein: 14.18g ・ Fat: 20.38g ・ Sodium: 579.93mg ・ Fiber: 12.85g

Nutritional values are estimates only. 

 

 

Budget-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes
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Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

Total Time:  Prep/Total Time: 25 min.             Makes: 4 servings

 

These easy slow cooker pork fajitas offer loads of taste appeal. Sizzling tenderloin and veggies are tossed with a bold cilantro sauce and tucked into tortillas for a fun take on taco night. —Rachel Hozey, Pensacola, Florida

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 medium green pepper, julienned
  • 4 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, optional

 

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine cilantro, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin; set aside. In a large skillet, saute pork in oil until no longer pink. Add onion and green pepper; cook until crisp-tender.
  • Sprinkle with seasoning mixture; toss to coat. Spoon onto tortillas; serve with cheese and sour cream if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 fajita: 327 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 299mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

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Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket

12 INGREDIENTS
MAKES 12 SERVINGS
APPROXIMATELY 12 HOURS (1 HR PER POUND OF BRISKET)

Ingredients:

 

1 whole Brisket

6 cups post oak wood chips

2 Tbsp. ground coffee

2 Tbsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

4 tsp. paprika

4 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

Preparation:

INDIRECT SMOKING

1. Season Brisket generously with seasoning mixture.

2. Lightly coat grates with vegetable oil spray. Close cooking chamber lids.

3. Place 3-5 lbs. of charcoal, in center of the firebox. Open the firebox air vent approximately 1-2″, and smokestack damper halfway. With firebox lid open, stand back, carefully light charcoal and allow to burn until covered with a light ash. (Approximately 20 minutes)

4. Once coals have ashed over, add wood chunks. Do not shut firebox lid until the smoke is clean, often called Blue Smoke.

5. Close firebox lid. Adjust the firebox air vent and smokestack damper to regulate cooking temperature. The ideal smoking temperature is between 200°F-250°F.

6. Place brisket on cooking grate, fat side up, in the cooking chamber. Maintain a consistent cooking temperature by adding wood chunks as needed. Monitor the internal temperature of the brisket throughout the cooking process. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F.

7. Remove brisket from smoker and allow to rest. (Minimum 3o minutes)

 

 

WATER SMOKING

1. Lightly coat grate with vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray. Close cooking chamber lids.

2. Place 3-5 lbs. of charcoal, in center of the firebox. Open the firebox air vent approximately 1-2″, and smokestack damper halfway. With firebox lid open, stand back, carefully light charcoal and allow to burn until covered with a light ash. (Approximately 20 minutes)

3. Once coals have ashed over, add wood chunks. Do not shut firebox lid until the smoke is clean, often called Blue Smoke.

4. Close firebox lid. Adjust the firebox air vent and smokestack damper to regulate cooking temperature. The ideal smoking temperature is between 200°F-250°F.

5. Place water pan under brisket grate. One gallon of water will last 2-3 hours.

6. Place well-seasoned brisket on cooking grate. fat side up, in the cooking chamber.

7. Maintain a consistent cooking temperature by adding wood chunks as needed. Monitor internal temperature of the brisket throughout the cooking process. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F.

8. Remove brisket from smoker and allow to rest. (Approximately 30 minutes)

 

 

INDIRECT GRILLING:

1. Soak wood chips in water at least one hour.  Drain and set aside.

2. In a bowl combine coffee and remaining 9 ingredients. Generously rub brisket with coffee and spice mixture.

3. Prepare grill for indirect grilling.  Remove grill rack; set aside. Heating one side of grill to high and leaving one side with heat off.  Pierce bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife.  Place pan on heat element on heated side of grill; add 1 ½ cups soaked wood chips to pan. Place another disposable aluminum foil pan on unheated side of grill.  Pour 2 cups water in pan. Let chips stand for about 15 minutes or until smoking; reduce heat to medium-low. Maintain temperature at 225°F.  Place grill rack on grill.

4. Place brisket in a small roasting pan, place pan on grill rack on unheated side.  Close lid; cook for 6 hours or until internal temperature registers 190°F.  Add 1 ½ cups wood chips every hour for the first 4 hours; cover pan with foil for remaining 2 hours. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F. Remove from grill.  Let stand, covered, 30 minutes.

5. Unwrap brisket, reserving juices; trim and discard fat.  Using a large strainer, drain drippings into a bowl reserving liquid.  Skim any fat from the top of the liquid.  Serve with reserved liquid.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 290; Total fat 22g (Sat. fat 9g; Trans fat 0g); Cholest. 75 mg; Sodium 690mg; Total Carb. 2g; Fiber 0g; Total Sugars 1g; Protein 21g; Vit D (0% DV); Calcium (2% DV); Iron (15% DV); Potas. (10%DV)


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One Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice

One Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice

Filled with spice-rubbed chicken breast and brown rice, this hearty casserole casserole is a healthier take on Tex-Mex. Meal planning? Leftovers taste just as good the next day!

 

YIELDS: SERVINGS        PREP TIME: HOURS MINS         TOTAL TIME: HOURS 20 MINS

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 c. brown rice

1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

1/3 c. chopped onion

diced green bell pepper

(7.5-oz) can no-salt black beans, drained

large beefsteak tomato, diced (OR 1 can diced tomatoes)

2 c. red enchilada sauce

1 c. water

3/4 c. shredded cheese (such as Mexican cheese: blend of cheddar, Monterey Jack, and asadero)

Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Avocado, sliced, for garnish

This ingredient shopping module is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on their web site.

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cook rice according to instructions and set aside to cool.
  2. Season chicken breast with smoked paprika, cumin, and dried oregano.
  3. Set a deep (nonstick) skillet on medium heat, and once hot, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the outside of the onion has slightly browned.
  4. Add chicken breast and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Fold in the cooked brown rice, then stir in the black beans, tomato, enchilada sauce, and water.  Mix everything together and bring to a light simmer.   Reduce the heat to low-medium, then cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the top, stir up the chicken and rice and season to taste with sea salt & pepper.  Sprinkle on some cheese (if desired), then bake for 5 to 7 minutes to melt the cheese.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro and avocado, then enjoy!
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Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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