The Cheap Vegan

A common argument people use against veganism is that it is more expensive. And it is, if you use lots of prepackaged foods and meat analogues, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. People who switch to a vegan diet rich in homemade meals and whole foods find that their grocery bills are smaller when they stop buying meat.

When you look at the history of food eaten during economic hard times, you will find a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. In Japan, flour was expensive so they used cabbage as a filler in pancakes, creating okonomiyaki (recipe below). Beans and rice is a staple in many low-income countries. Potatoes are a common cheap food that fills you up. And you don’t need meat to add flavor to them, just add spices! While spices may be expensive at first, they last you a while… or you can always go to an ethnic foods store to get them dirt cheap!

My mom made a vegan St. Patrick’s day soup a few weeks ago, and when I did a quick Google of St. Patrick’s day soups the first thing that came up was this (NV) recipe which stated that “Irish bacon is a gourmet treat.” It’s more expensive, and used in small amounts just to add flavoring instead of massive, ridiculously cheap (in comparison) slabs we see in present day America.

And yes, meat is cheaper than ever before. This is due in part to factory farming “technology” (read: inhumanity), but also to the huge government subsidies given to the meat, dairy, and egg industries. This is in my opinion a huge waste of government spending, as pointed out in this article. We can’t all be like Ana Pascal in Stranger Than Fiction and refuse to pay that part of our taxes, but we CAN all stop directly supporting these industries by going vegan!



This food was introduced to me by a friend at Farm Sanctuary. She made it for us once and it was wonderful, so a few weeks ago I texted her asking how to make it and this what she gave me:

“Mix [the shredded cabbage] with some flour and water and some spices maybe like curry and ginger and fry it in a pan”

Wonderful! Simple! And I apologize for not having a more specific recipe for you hard-core recipe followers. Once you have your okonomiyaki fried up, drizzle some okonomiyaki sauce on it (or make your own cheap substitute by mixing ketchup with some soy sauce) and add a dollop of Vegenaise on top if you swing that way. Then, say “okonomiyaki” 10 more times because it’s just so fun to say!



9 thoughts on “The Cheap Vegan

  1. Pingback: The Cheap Vegan « Loony Louzilla Lovegood Letters | Cheap Quick Recipes

  2. lazysmurf

    It boggles my mind that people constantly say veganism is expensive! It is SO MUCH CHEAPER to eat rice and beans (and tofu and buy shoes at payless)

  3. Great post; I’ll have to try the okonomiyaki sometime–it sounds nice and simple which is just what I like when it comes to recipes! Also, your reference to Stranger Than Fiction just made my day. 😀

  4. Pingback: 100 cooking blogs for students

  5. Okonomiyaki….

    Shred the cabbage as fine as you can and fry them up in a hot pan so some parts are nicely browned..also can do with red cabbage.

    You mix the cooled down, warm cabbage fry with some sourdough or yeastdough for binding and keeping the pancake together.

    I use some pancakelike batter made from sourdough, it adds a delightfull flavour.

    Use a bit of salt in the dough and spices to your liking, not too much because..there will be more

    Put corn,peas, shreeded carrots, pumpkin or whatever you like in the cabbage-doughmix.

    Put a glob of it in the pan on middle heat, they are thick pannys and need some time to cook through.

    Decorate the top with sliced, filled olives so you get some more colour..flip the pancake when it is nicely browned.

    Cook on low heat or bake some more in the oven if you are not sure if it is baked through.

    Decorate with v-mayo, bulldog sauce, sprinkle nori flakes over it, some fried onions, mushrooms, chooped green onions..ready to serve.

    Dust some spice powder over it or drizzle soy sauce over it, but if you used some pickled, shredded or chopped veggies or even sourkraut mixed with the fresh cabbage you need less it is important not to oversalt the doughmix.

    Also especially nice when you add nutritional yeast to the dough-cabbage fry up.

    I used 2 cups of thick pancakebatter-like dough on 2 pounds of shredded, fried cabbage. Use more or less to your liking.–experiment. You can not make much wrong..even when the pancake beaks up through not enough batter-glue, it still tastes good.

    You do not need to fry the cabbage but it adds more flavour and cooks through faster and more evenly in my opinion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s