Food & Drink

Dinners Are Served: 10 Vegetarian Meals for Less than $50


And she’s back! Once again our contributing food editor Lara Matos brings you five quick and easy recipes with the cost of ingredients totaling less than $50*. The twist? They are all vegetarian! Fear not, hamburglars. These meals are hearty and delish.

Remember, the food measurements are designed to give you ten meal portions; perfect if you and your roommate decide to go 50/50 on the grocery bill, you’re cooking for you and your significant other, or you decide to pack up leftovers for the following day’s lunch. The recipes are easy enough that anyone can do them, regardless of cooking experience; and you’ll notice ingredients from your shopping list wisely used in more than one recipe. No wasting when you’re trying to budget and curb your spending vice of ordering take-out!

So join us as we head to the store and prepare a week’s worth of tasty vegetarian meals without spending a fortune.

Download or print off the shopping list and recipes in the Everygirl Handbook. There you’ll also find our last feature of 10 Meals for Less than $50.

*ingredients prices based off Trader Joe’s in Chicago

Monday – Black Bean Burger with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

1 16oz. can of black beans, divided
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
½ avocado, sliced
½ cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 large sweet potatoes, sliced into “fries”
2 pretzel buns (or buns of your choice)

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add corn and sauté until slightly browned, stirring every so often (about 5-7 minutes). While corn is browning, use hands (or fork) to mash ¾ of the can of black beans until smooth. Add in breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, cayenne pepper, corn, shallot, cilantro and red bell pepper. Stir well to combine. Finally, add in remaining black beans and combine. Form into 3-4 large patties (depending on size). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in both directions to form spheres (fries). Coat fries with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, cook black bean burgers. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook black beans burgers about 4 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Assemble burger on bun and top with sliced avocado. Top with melted cheese, tomato, onion and/or lettuce (optional).

Tuesday – Risotto Primavera

1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
1 shallot, finely chopped
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 zucchini, chopped
1/4 red bell peppers, chopped
½ frozen peas, defrosted
1 head of broccoli, chopped
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil

Chop all of the vegetables: zucchini, red bell pepper, broccoli, tomatoes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes. Defrost peas. Set aside all vegetables.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Add shallot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in rice and toast over heat for 1-2 minutes. Add in white wine and stir to combine. Once wine has reduced by half, add in ½ cup of the vegetable stock. Stir consistently until completely absorbed. Continue to add stock, ½ a cup at a time, stirring constantly, until all stock has been absorbed. This will take 20-30 minutes. Once all stock has been absorbed, remove from heat.

Stir in parmesan cheese and stir until completely melted. Gently fold in all of the vegetables. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (optional).

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