A few weeks ago, I received a copy of Ellen Jaffe Jones' new book, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day. The slim book features simple recipes designed to save you a buck or two. And most of the recipes do look pretty cheap to make. But naturally, I was drawn to perhaps the most costly recipe in the book — Chorizo-Flavored Scramble:
The recipe supposedly makes 10 servings, but I only got five servings from it. Maybe I eat a lot, but honestly, the recipe calls for one package of tofu and one 12-ounce package of frozen veggie burger crumbles to beef up the dish's volume. And that's not a lot of food.
Although the recipe claims to cost only 75 cents per serving, I'd say it cost me more like $3 per serving or $15 total since I had to buy vegan bacon, vegan burger crumbles, tofu, and raisins. I already had the rest of the ingredients, like Mexican spices, agave, and soy sauce, in my pantry.
But don't let that turn you away from this book. This recipe, which was super tasty served with corn tortillas, seems to be the expensive exception. Many of the other recipes are so simple, they cost only pennies per serving. The Hearty Potato Soup is made with veggies and soymilk and costs 50 cents per serving, and the easy Billfold Saver Black Bean Burgers (made with beans, oats, nutritional yeast, and veggies) are only 50 cents for eight burgers. Unlike the Chorizo Scramble, most of Ellen's recipes don't call for costly fake meat.
Now, the point of this book is to be a cost-saver, so don't expect gourmet stuff. These are simple "idea" recipes that most experienced vegan cooks could make without a recipe. But I appreciate ideas ... especially ideas that might save me money.
Check back tomorrow for another photo from Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, one that I promise was far cheaper to create than today's scramble.