Author Topic: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?  (Read 15718 times)

kittenwhiskers

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Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« on: October 07, 2015, 07:45:38 AM »
My DH has been a great sport with all the changes we have been making since I started developing my peach fuzz mustache. We are making great progress, but we still have lots of room for improvement.

Our single largest grocery expense by far is meat. Do you have any favorite vegetarian dinner recipes that could satisfy the most dedicated carnivore? I am aware there are various recipes across this forum, but I'd like to bring out the big guns for the next round of budget cuts!

Thanks again for all your input! I have been so grateful for all your helpful and generous advice.

Tremeroy

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 07:58:12 AM »
Have you tried making black-bean burgers? There are a variety of recipes online; I usually make some budget-friendly variation of Sandra Lee's recipe on food network.com (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/black-bean-burgers-recipe.html?_escaped_fragment_=#!)

Also, while it is not vegetarian, I have found that I can get tremendous flavor out of smoked sausage. They come on sale regularly enough & just a little big goes a long way. Red beans & rice, jambalaya, etc. are all fantastic options.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 08:04:46 AM »
I don't feel like I have eaten (dinner at least) unless I have had meat.  The two notable exceptions are pinto/black beans (although a ham bone doesn't hurt!) and meatless spaghetti (carb fest I know...).  Otherwise we eat a lot of chicken leg quarters, whole chickens, pork (boston butt is good and usually cheap), and ham.  Can't remember the last time I bought beef.

bluejay

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 08:07:12 AM »
Homemade pizza once a week (cheese, cheese, cheese), or pasta with a hearty red sauce or vegetables and lots of ...cheese (for him). My husband grew up on a dairy and beef farm and was used to eat lots of meat, so I understand the complex. If I make a meatless soup (butternut squash) I just supply lots of breads and butter and a homemade dessert maybe?

We also made vegetarian Pad Thai the other night and didn't miss the meat a bit. All of the vegetables, peanuts, and scrambled egg with noodles are supper filling. Recipe here: http://pinchofyum.com/rainbow-vegetarian-pad-thai-with-peanuts-and-basil

Good luck!

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 08:23:15 AM »
if meat is your biggest expense you're likely purchasing it incorrectly.  wait til it goes on sale and buy it in bulk and freeze it. 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 08:48:56 AM »
if meat is your biggest expense you're likely purchasing it incorrectly.  wait til it goes on sale and buy it in bulk and freeze it.

+1
Get a chest freezer, it will totally pay for itself if you use it properly (turn your inventory).  Most meat I buy is much cheaper than fruit/veg per pound.  I aim for around $1/lb for both. 

MissStache

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 08:49:30 AM »
A good thing to do is re-think how you use meat, too.  It should only be a small portion of your actual meal and should be treated more as a flavoring than an main ingredient.  I will still use ground beef in something like pasta sauce, but I also use a lot of other veggies to make it more robust- mean is not the major element.  I do the same thing with Chili.  I will use maybe a pound of ground beef but the bulk is made up of beans and crushed tomatoes.  And a +1 to the person who mentioned sausage- red beans and rice, butternut squash and sausage risotto, sausage and cabbages...yum!

I tend to do a lot of casseroles and stir-fry as well, where the main thing is vegetables and rice, but you have a few slices of chicken or pork in there as well.  Of course these are delicious without meat as well.

We do a lot of asian foods in general- pad thai, fried rice, indian curries.  Those cultures have mastered the art of eating meat-free, so you'll do well in learn how to work those into your cooking rotation.  Delicious, cheap, healthy, and lots of leftovers!


honeybbq

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 08:54:52 AM »
What about heavy meals like veggie lasagna or eggplant parmesan?

csprof

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 09:03:44 AM »
"Snobby Joes" from veganomicon (lentil-based sloppy joes) - http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/

Just about anything involving seitan, but seitan isn't all that cheap unless you make it yourself.  (If you do, the cheapest source of wheat gluten I've found is buying in bulk from Amazon, oddly enough.  They sell a three-pack of Bob's Red Mill.)

Lots of tempeh-based recipes are also pretty filling, like:  http://www.food.com/recipe/baja-style-grilled-tempeh-tacos-396217

(If you're noticing the theme here, Terry Hope Romero, the co-author of veganomicon and author of vegan eats world, is really good at cooking up veggie recipes that are stick-to-your-ribs.  I *love* VEW -- http://amzn.to/1Q7Eodx -- , but beware that the binding on the hardcover version fell apart on me in under 3 months.  I don't know if the softcover version is better, but so many of their recipes are around the Internet that you can also just google many of them.)

Most generally, tempeh/seitan/tofu-based recipes can be very protein-dense.  And tasty.  As others have suggested, recipes involving smashed beans -- such as black bean burgers, possibly augmented with some wheat gluten (which is nearly pure protein) -- also have that "I'm eating something with a lot of oomph" to it.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 09:33:14 AM »
if you are okay with carbs, go with comfort foods as stated by previous posters - lasagna, pizza, pasta with fresh tomatoes/mozarella/garlic bread, homemade mac and cheese, stirfries ( with noodles or rice). most non vegetarians don't even realize some of the most popular/favorite foods are actually vegetarian until you point it out to them.

if you are looking for something less wheat/noodle heavy, think hearty vegetarian chili with tons of black and kidney beans (top with cheese for that fattier taste), stuffed squashes, etc.

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 09:41:16 AM »
just use the meats.  i buy pork butts for 99c a pound and smoke em... then i make enough chili out of 1/8 of that butt to last my wife and i a week and a half of lunches.

votu

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 09:43:55 AM »
You could cook some of your regular dishes, but replace meat with Boca All American Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers.  This very specific brand and flavor is the only veggie burger I've found that actually tastes good and like meat.

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2015, 09:48:01 AM »
You could cook some of your regular dishes, but replace meat with Boca All American Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers.  This very specific brand and flavor is the only veggie burger I've found that actually tastes good and like meat.

so you're replacing meat with highly processed crap in a frozen card board box.  this makes logical and healthy sense.

Unless you're making it all yourself from scratch you're going to be going down a path of highly processed crap when you switch meat out... if you're going to try to replicate it.

FYI those burgers are 54c an ounce !!!!!!!!!!! 

Thats 9 DOLLARS A POUND -  you should be eating gas fed beef steaks at that price.

votu

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 10:07:18 AM »
You could cook some of your regular dishes, but replace meat with Boca All American Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers.  This very specific brand and flavor is the only veggie burger I've found that actually tastes good and like meat.

so you're replacing meat with highly processed crap in a frozen card board box.  this makes logical and healthy sense.

Unless you're making it all yourself from scratch you're going to be going down a path of highly processed crap when you switch meat out... if you're going to try to replicate it.

FYI those burgers are 54c an ounce !!!!!!!!!!! 

Thats 9 DOLLARS A POUND -  you should be eating gas fed beef steaks at that price.

A lot of people couldn't stick with a vegetarian diet (no animal of any kind) at the beginning.  I don't know if you're a vegetarian or have any experience with eating only vegetarian food, but a majority of vegetarian dishes left a person feeling very light, insubstantial and lacking in energy.  The adjustment period is pretty long too.  So until the body adjusted to it, meat substitutes are needed, whether these veggie burgers or those soy protein things that vegetarian restaurants use.

I'm not saying OP need to base entire meals around these things, but to add bits of these into mostly carb and veggie dishes will make the eaters think there's actual meat and trick their mind into feeling more satisfied.  OP is asking about satisfaction and that's the only part I'm addressing.

NotJen

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2015, 10:27:25 AM »
It depends on how open-minded your carnivore is.

For example, my BF likes meat with most of his meals, but he is fine with a meal of soup and grilled cheese or tomato sandwich.

I made this Bean and Mushroom Stew last week and it was really good and hearty - but not that cheap because the mushrooms were really expensive!

I also made these veggie burgers, which don't taste like meat but are super delicious (and were gigantic when I followed the recipe)!

I'm a sucker for anything topped with an egg, like sauteed greens, hot sauce cabbage, or sweet potato hash.  Lots of options for scrambled egg, quiche, or frittata recipes.

I also do a lot of homemade pizza/flatbread, and they rarely have meat.  I like these pocket sandwiches for eating on the go.

If you're just worried about the cost, I would tend to go in the direction of using less meat instead of completely cutting it out.  Try halving the amount in your favorite recipes, and serve larger veggie or bean side dishes.

iris lily

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2015, 10:39:45 AM »
What do you DO with the meat when you have it?

I know this isn't what you asked, but using small portions of meat cut up,into stir fries and pizza toppings and other dishes where meat is a flavoring is a good idea. It's the large slabs of meat at dinner time that are costly.

Edited to add:

Oh wait, I see that others have mentioned using bits of neat.

I agree, stay away from the heavily processed soy burger products, ugh.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 10:42:42 AM by iris lily »

MicroRN

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2015, 10:53:33 AM »
Indian curries made with chickpeas and a ton of vegetables are hearty and flavorful.  I make a vegetable korma that uses frozen vegetables, canned chickpeas, canned coconut milk, canned tomato.  We keep the ingredients on hand and it's fast and tasty, plus you can use any fresh vegetables you have.  If you have more time, soak dry chickpeas yourself.  The coconut milk makes it very satisfying, and it's even vegan.

Chili and spaghetti lend themselves well to either going fully vegetarian or just stretching out the meat with beans or diced zucchini/yellow squash.  I make a black bean mix (black beans, chili powder, garlic, onion, salsa, corn) that is also really fast and easy and filling.  This is a weekly dish for us, and we either make it into burritos or serve it over rice.  Again, it can be done with dry beans and fresh corn, or it can be entirely cans/frozen, and it's vegan.  Egg based dishes are also really satisfying.  Sometimes in the morning, I'll heat and mash a little of the black bean mix and plop a fried egg on it.  We also use the black bean leftovers dolloped into quesadillas.

I do a lot of pureed vegetable soups - saute onion and garlic in some oil, throw in all the random vegetables you have, top it up with broth, and cook until soft.  Puree it quickly, salt and pepper, then serve with a small pat of butter or splash of cream, and you can sprinkle grated sharp cheese on top.  Do garlic bread, crackers, or cheese toast/grilled cheese on the side.  You can seriously use anything, including stem pieces and beans.  I do a homemade broccoli cheddar soup like this.  Last night I made one with cauliflower, radish leaves, carrots, celery, and green onions that were all wilting on me.

We eat a ton of meat too, but I usually do a few vegetarian dishes a week.

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2015, 10:56:55 AM »
You could cook some of your regular dishes, but replace meat with Boca All American Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers.  This very specific brand and flavor is the only veggie burger I've found that actually tastes good and like meat.

so you're replacing meat with highly processed crap in a frozen card board box.  this makes logical and healthy sense.

Unless you're making it all yourself from scratch you're going to be going down a path of highly processed crap when you switch meat out... if you're going to try to replicate it.

FYI those burgers are 54c an ounce !!!!!!!!!!! 

Thats 9 DOLLARS A POUND -  you should be eating gas fed beef steaks at that price.

A lot of people couldn't stick with a vegetarian diet (no animal of any kind) at the beginning.  I don't know if you're a vegetarian or have any experience with eating only vegetarian food, but a majority of vegetarian dishes left a person feeling very light, insubstantial and lacking in energy.  The adjustment period is pretty long too.  So until the body adjusted to it, meat substitutes are needed, whether these veggie burgers or those soy protein things that vegetarian restaurants use.

I'm not saying OP need to base entire meals around these things, but to add bits of these into mostly carb and veggie dishes will make the eaters think there's actual meat and trick their mind into feeling more satisfied.  OP is asking about satisfaction and that's the only part I'm addressing.

OP is trying to go vegetarian as a cost saving ... so yeah posting something that costs 2x as much as prime cuts of beef on sale as a way to go vegetarian makes 0 sense.  i'd like someone to show me how its chepaer to be a vegetarian b/c i'd call this a common misconception and missue of sales on meats etc.

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 11:02:10 AM »
bottom line is if the OP has a high food budget and thinks meat is the cause OP is likely wrong.  Poor buying habits are the cause which transcend WHAT you're eating meat or otherwise.

its like looking at a list of all your expenses for a month and then picking on your mortgage b/c its the largest.  Maybe you could go to a smaller house and save some money here but there are probably other areas you're doing bad things in that just what appears to be the largest expense.

votu

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2015, 11:08:50 AM »
You could cook some of your regular dishes, but replace meat with Boca All American Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers.  This very specific brand and flavor is the only veggie burger I've found that actually tastes good and like meat.

so you're replacing meat with highly processed crap in a frozen card board box.  this makes logical and healthy sense.

Unless you're making it all yourself from scratch you're going to be going down a path of highly processed crap when you switch meat out... if you're going to try to replicate it.

FYI those burgers are 54c an ounce !!!!!!!!!!! 

Thats 9 DOLLARS A POUND -  you should be eating gas fed beef steaks at that price.

A lot of people couldn't stick with a vegetarian diet (no animal of any kind) at the beginning.  I don't know if you're a vegetarian or have any experience with eating only vegetarian food, but a majority of vegetarian dishes left a person feeling very light, insubstantial and lacking in energy.  The adjustment period is pretty long too.  So until the body adjusted to it, meat substitutes are needed, whether these veggie burgers or those soy protein things that vegetarian restaurants use.

I'm not saying OP need to base entire meals around these things, but to add bits of these into mostly carb and veggie dishes will make the eaters think there's actual meat and trick their mind into feeling more satisfied.  OP is asking about satisfaction and that's the only part I'm addressing.

OP is trying to go vegetarian as a cost saving ... so yeah posting something that costs 2x as much as prime cuts of beef on sale as a way to go vegetarian makes 0 sense.  i'd like someone to show me how its chepaer to be a vegetarian b/c i'd call this a common misconception and missue of sales on meats etc.

My bad then for answering this while distracted and only address the question in the title.

rugorak

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2015, 11:09:10 AM »
As others have said where/how you buy meat is something to look into. We found a semi-local butcher. We stock up every few months and fill our chest freezer. Quality is soo much better than any grocery store. And price is far cheaper. Plus you can even find some more non-standard cuts. We picked up some beef heart on the most recent trip. We spent about $400 our last trip for about 100 lbs. of meat. Yes there was a fair amount of sausage and ground beef, but there was also a bit of steak, goat, and lamb too. Around me grocery store ground beef (which is crap compared to what we get at the butcher) is about $4.50 a pound. Steak closer to $8-12. Pork around $5. Sausage around $4 as well.

And on top of all of that since the butcher is local we are helping to support the farms in our region. Save money, better quality, and support local business. Can't get much better in my book.

TealBlue

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2015, 11:13:34 AM »
Great thread!  I have this same issue as my husband and daughter are big meat eaters, my son hates it and I am don't love it.  I started making far more veg meals about a year ago to cut back on our grocery budget and I second what the others have said about making your meat go further.  I am a bigger supporter of buying good meat and making it go farther and supplementing those meals with vegetarian meals then buying crappy cuts of meat just for the sake of having meat.  I meal plan religiously and here's an example (this is a past menu from a few weeks ago) of what one of my weeks might look like:

Sun - Lemon Roasted Chicken with veggies/potatoes and green salad
Mon - Chicken and wild rice soup (with leftover chicken from night before)
Tues - Stacked Enchiladas (these were delicious) http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/stacked-roasted-vegetable-enchiladas/
Wed - Beans and Rice with Mango Salsa http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2010/09/14/black-beans-coconut-rice/#_a5y_p=813895
Thurs - Fried Rice - I do this almost weekly to basically clean out my veggie drawer.  I also used to occasionally buy like 3 strips of bacon from the deli, cut it up and add it.  It only costs $2 maybe but adds a ton.  If I don't have meat then I go heavy on the eggs.
Fri - Stuffed Poblanos with black beans (these take a bit but are incredible, black beans leftover from Wed) http://heartbeetkitchen.com/2013/recipes/main-dish-recipes/sweet-corn-risotto-stuffed-poblanos/
Sat - Sweet Corn Egg Drop soup with salad with Asian vinaigrette http://www.runningtothekitchen.com/sweet-corn-egg-drop-soup/

As you can see I spend about 70% of my meal budget in produce, 10% in bulk (I buy beans/lentils/rice in bulk section)and the other 20% in meat/dairy/other.   If I am making something like black beans I always plan to have it twice because I cook them in the crock pot so there is always lots.  The only meat I bought that week was a whole chicken (organic was around $11) and a few pieces of bacon.

Also, I agree that curries are a great way to skip the meat and keep the flavor!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 12:32:50 PM by TealBlue »

Fishindude

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2015, 11:15:11 AM »
Portabella mushrooms make a good meat substitute in dishes like spaghetti, on a burger, etc.
However I'm not sure it's any cheaper.

FrugalWad

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2015, 11:27:21 AM »
I can live with vegetarian - even straight vegan - meals for a while, but when the craving for meat hits, it's meat or I'll binge on crap until I get some. What keeps me happiest are veggie burritos, meatless chili, oatmeal with protein powder, and eggs.

-Protein powder and oatmeal is stupid cheap, and can be made in just about any combination by adding cocoa powder, fruit, nuts, almond or peanut butter, spices, different protein powder flavors, etc. They can be made to soak overnight, microwaved, eaten raw like cereal, just about whatever.

-Eggs are cheap, if you don't eat several at once. A simple egg and oatmeal breakfast is less than $1. A flavorful egg and oatmeal breakfast is also less than $1. Eggs also get stretched a good amount when scrambled up with veggie stir-fry. At $4/12, a single egg is $0.33. Egg salad sandwiches are great.

-I keep wanting to love black bean burgers, but simple ones that I've found or made don't have a lot of protein for the amount of calories. I like firm tofu with the same spices I'd add to chicken or beef much more.

If he still craves meat, having a chest freezer like others have mentioned is fantastic. Buying whole turkeys, ham, whole chickens, seriously discounted things at $1/lb or less during the holidays and sticking them in the freezer is a fantastic way to have cheap meat. Chicken wings and thighs here are often $1/lb or less normally. The upfront cost sucks, but you save a ton in the long run.

zsmith

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2015, 12:19:50 PM »
I'm fully vegetarian and I find that shopping veggie is way cheaper as long as you are cooking from whole ingredients. Even tofu can be a great addition to a meal and often comes in cheaper than meat (freeze tofu when it's on sale).

A few recommendations I had that echo some of the comments:

Black bean burgers http://chefchloe.com/entrees/mexicali-sliders.html (I don't make all the slides, just the patties and they freeze well)

Chana Masala http://www.theppk.com/2011/08/chana-masala/

Squash tacos - cube a butternut squash (in season and on sale right now) and saute with onions, garlic and taco seasoning (make your own blend with chili powder, cumin, etc.) It comes out with a look and texture similar to pork

Black bean enchiladas - I make my own enchilada sauce from scratch and freeze it so these come together very quickly

I'll post some more recipes as I'm doing my own meal planning because I'm always planning with budget in mind.

madgeylou

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2015, 12:42:17 PM »
my standby cheapie/veggie meals are:

- cauliflower cheese (just like mac and cheese except sub steamed cauliflower)
- baked potato with something yummy on top (baked beans, chili, curry, whatever)

little_brown_dog

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2015, 01:00:14 PM »
OP is trying to go vegetarian as a cost saving ... so yeah posting something that costs 2x as much as prime cuts of beef on sale as a way to go vegetarian makes 0 sense.  i'd like someone to show me how its chepaer to be a vegetarian b/c i'd call this a common misconception and missue of sales on meats etc.

I have been a carnivore/omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan in my adult life. It actually is far cheaper to eat vegetarian because the production and shipping costs of beans/lentils/tofu are much lower than that of meat. It simply takes more resources (grain/seed, water, space, antibiotics/other synthetic inputs, slaughter/refridgeration resources) to bring meat to the consumer for purchasing.
It is true that loading up on processed vegetarian meat substitutes can be expensive, but the whole food staples of vegetarianism are as a rule, typically much cheaper than even factory farmed, cheap meat. They are definitely cheaper than buying high quality grass fed meat from responsible farms where the production costs per animal are even higher due to better safety and ethical standards. I have also found in my experience that vegetarians also don't necessarily consume larger amounts of dairy or eggs than their carnivorous counterparts, eliminating the assumption that they just spend more money on dairy/eggs to make up for the lack of meat.


I found switching to vegetarianism to be a breeze - going vegan from vegetarian is a much harder leap in my opinion.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 01:33:27 PM by little_brown_dog »

sloth bear

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2015, 01:29:12 PM »
OP, I feel your pain! My boyfriend is a total carnivore and he eats enough for two adults.

A few things that work for us (not recipe-specific, sorry!) ...

- cooking a hearty pasta dish at least 1/x per week
- enjoying our weekly ritual of making oven fries and covering them with cheese (super delicious, super cheap)
- only buying meat that is on sale (as such, we pretty much never buy any red meat except ground beef)
- bulking up the meat recipe with extra vegetables (i.e. fajitas -> add more peppers and onions)

Good luck to you! And please post any good recipes that you find. :)

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2015, 01:35:22 PM »
OP is trying to go vegetarian as a cost saving ... so yeah posting something that costs 2x as much as prime cuts of beef on sale as a way to go vegetarian makes 0 sense.  i'd like someone to show me how its chepaer to be a vegetarian b/c i'd call this a common misconception and missue of sales on meats etc.

I have been a carnivore/omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan in my adult life. It actually is far cheaper to eat vegetarian because the production and shipping costs of beans/lentils/tofu are much lower than that of meat. It simply takes more resources (grain/seed, water, space, antibiotics/other synthetic inputs, slaughter/refridgeration resources) to bring meat to the consumer for purchasing.
It is true that loading up on processed vegetarian meat substitutes can be expensive, but the whole food staples of vegetarianism are as a rule, typically much cheaper than even factory farmed, cheap meat. They are definitely cheaper than buying high quality grass fed meat from responsible farms where the production costs per animal are even higher due to better safety and ethical standards. I have also found in my experience that vegetarians also don't necessarily consume larger amounts of dairy or eggs than their carnivorous counterparts, eliminating the assumption that they just spend more money on dairy/eggs to make up for the lack of meat.


I found switching to vegetarianism to be a breeze - going vegan from vegetarian is a much harder leap in my opinion.

yep if all you eat are rice and beans i'm sure being a vegetarian is cheaper .... there is your answer OP.  eat beans and rice.  nothing else dont use spices or anything and you will be living as cheap as possible

Jeremy E.

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2015, 01:38:33 PM »
Rice Bean and Cheese burritos.

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2015, 01:42:22 PM »
Rice Bean and Cheese burritos.

if they can afford cheese at one dollar a lb on sale they can afford meat at the same price ...

catccc

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2015, 01:53:44 PM »
A good thing to do is re-think how you use meat, too.  It should only be a small portion of your actual meal and should be treated more as a flavoring than an main ingredient.

I like this idea.  1/2 of my family is vegetarian, so DH and DD1 do meat as a topping, if they have it at all.  Like, we'll have a veggie soup, and they'll top off theirs with a sprinkling of sausage.

pbkmaine

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2015, 01:58:25 PM »
If you have not discovered this website, Theprudenthomemaker.com has some terrific vegetarian recipes. They are not vegetarians, but for economic reasons they tend to eat low on the food chain.

Cole

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2015, 02:05:28 PM »
A good thing to do is re-think how you use meat, too.  It should only be a small portion of your actual meal and should be treated more as a flavoring than an main ingredient.  I will still use ground beef in something like pasta sauce, but I also use a lot of other veggies to make it more robust- mean is not the major element.  I do the same thing with Chili.  I will use maybe a pound of ground beef but the bulk is made up of beans and crushed tomatoes.  And a +1 to the person who mentioned sausage- red beans and rice, butternut squash and sausage risotto, sausage and cabbages...yum!

I tend to do a lot of casseroles and stir-fry as well, where the main thing is vegetables and rice, but you have a few slices of chicken or pork in there as well.  Of course these are delicious without meat as well.

We do a lot of asian foods in general- pad thai, fried rice, indian curries.  Those cultures have mastered the art of eating meat-free, so you'll do well in learn how to work those into your cooking rotation.  Delicious, cheap, healthy, and lots of leftovers!

I couldn't agree with this more. Asian cultures definitely know how to make meat and other expensive things last.

Tofu can be good also.

EDIT: Look at the meat substitute ingredients. Normally all oil and fat. Definitely not healthy. Tofu is a different story entirely. I'm talking about the vegan hot dogs, tofurkey, etc...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 02:08:53 PM by Cole »

marcela

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2015, 02:39:23 PM »
I'm actually working on this with my husband too. I don't think we'll be cutting out meat any time soon and we are pretty good about working sales to get our meat cheaper, but I want to see if I can stretch it out a bit more.
I've been trying to do more things where I would have used a whole chicken breast and using half or a quarter of one chopped up and mixing with pasta or in hearty soups. Or when we make tacos/burritos, using half a lb of meat and making more rice and beans and mixing it all in together.
For pork, we tend to buy boston butts and I will shred them and freeze in smaller portions or we will buy a ham and I'll freeze it chopped up to use in salads or pasta carbonara. Much cheaper than bacon and it still gives you that meaty flavour.

Jacana

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2015, 03:22:25 PM »
1. Curried chickpeas is a favorite at our house served over rice. http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/12/curried-chickpeas-spinach/ (you can leave out the spinach if kids object). Fast, cheap, yummy.

2. Gallo pinto (a Costa Rican dish) is delicious and filling. It's usually a breakfast food, but I love it for dinner. It's basically fried rice (use leftover rice from the fridge) with black beans, and can be served with a fried egg. Lots of recipes out there, this one is pretty good but greatly reduce the amount of Worcestershire sauce (more like 1-2 tablespoons) if you try it: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/05/dinner-tonight-gallo-pinto.html

3. Minestrone soup with digitali or elbow pasta and cannellini beans is cheap and filling without meat. If you cook the pasta separately, you can make enough for 2 nights.

4. Veggie hash: just chop and saute whatever you have around and season. For example, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, mushrooms, kidney beans, and corn.

Now all four of the above are meatless and filling as is. But if you were to let's say buy a pack of 5 italian turkey sausages on sale (around here, under $5), you could use that one pack to make all 4 meals. Remove the casing, brown and break into small chunks before adding the onion in each recipe. Use 1 sausage each for the chickpeas, gallo pinto, and hash, and use 2 for the minestrone. Or do the same with 1 lb. ground meat if that's what is on sale. Or instead of minestrone make a big pot of jambalaya rice. A week of meat meals from $5 of meat.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2015, 03:37:25 PM »
Rice Bean and Cheese burritos.

if they can afford cheese at one dollar a lb on sale they can afford meat at the same price ...
Can't tell if you're being serious or trolling?

kittenwhiskers

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2015, 05:01:07 PM »
Wow, you guys all have really great ideas! Thank you so much for all the input! I like the idea of making dishes where you can get by with less meat, crumbling little bits into other dishes (mmm bacon in fried rice!) and the Indian curry ideas sound amazing as well! Unfortunately we have a small place, not enough space for a chest freezer.

Once we use up what's still in the freezer I'll try some of these awesome new ideas! (And look forward to whatever other awesome new ideas you have! )

Thanks for all the help everyone!

boarder42

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2015, 06:37:57 PM »
Rice Bean and Cheese burritos.

if they can afford cheese at one dollar a lb on sale they can afford meat at the same price ...
Can't tell if you're being serious or trolling?

Serious. Op trying to cut costs by cutting meat. Meat on sale and cheese on sale cost the same. 

georgialiving

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2015, 07:06:52 PM »

OP is trying to go vegetarian as a cost saving ... so yeah posting something that costs 2x as much as prime cuts of beef on sale as a way to go vegetarian makes 0 sense.  i'd like someone to show me how its chepaer to be a vegetarian b/c i'd call this a common misconception and missue of sales on meats etc.

I have been a carnivore/omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan in my adult life. It actually is far cheaper to eat vegetarian because the production and shipping costs of beans/lentils/tofu are much lower than that of meat. It simply takes more resources (grain/seed, water, space, antibiotics/other synthetic inputs, slaughter/refridgeration resources) to bring meat to the consumer for purchasing.
It is true that loading up on processed vegetarian meat substitutes can be expensive, but the whole food staples of vegetarianism are as a rule, typically much cheaper than even factory farmed, cheap meat. They are definitely cheaper than buying high quality grass fed meat from responsible farms where the production costs per animal are even higher due to better safety and ethical standards. I have also found in my experience that vegetarians also don't necessarily consume larger amounts of dairy or eggs than their carnivorous counterparts, eliminating the assumption that they just spend more money on dairy/eggs to make up for the lack of meat.


I found switching to vegetarianism to be a breeze - going vegan from vegetarian is a much harder leap in my opinion.

yep if all you eat are rice and beans i'm sure being a vegetarian is cheaper .... there is your answer OP.  eat beans and rice.  nothing else dont use spices or anything and you will be living as cheap as possible

Your etiquette is terrible. Every comment from you  on this thread is pretty rude. I call trolling as well. That or you are seriously offended by vegetarians


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Kaikou

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2015, 07:15:36 PM »
just use the meats.  i buy pork butts for 99c a pound and smoke em... then i make enough chili out of 1/8 of that butt to last my wife and i a week and a half of lunches.

lol pork butt

Sean Og

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2015, 07:57:30 PM »
Myself and my wife are both vegetarian and I find we are at both extremes in terms of costs and healthfulness of a vegetarian diet.

I generally eat Indian,Thai or Mexican derived meals with plenty of rice, lentils, chickpeas, beans, potatoes, mushroons and veg. Someone posted a similar meal above but this is my quick go to if I don't have time to cook up something time consuming http://www.budgetbytes.com/?s=channa+saag My go to eating out is a veggie bowl at Chipotle.

My wife on the other hand loves meat substitutes and probably wouldn't maintain a vegetarian lifestyle without (she is more for animal welfare than health reasons). These can get expensive and definitely ups the grocery bill if bought in quantity. She likes to buy crumbled meat substitutes to make chili or sloppy joes etc. Mac and Cheese and other general vegetarian processed foods are her go to as shes not a huge fan of my curries.

I'm a believer that if I am eating meat substitutes then I just might be better off eating meat, Im in it for health reason (although animal and environmental benefits are nice).

In terms of what people consider meat substitutes, Tempeh and Tofu I don't have any issues eating. Seitan I have both made and bought and I enjoy but I don't eat much, TSP/TVP I have eaten but have reservations and don't generally eat. Quorn is new on the market here but has been popular back home in europe for years, don't eat much but wife likes it.

When you get into the swing you will learn about things that you might never have thought of. Take Jackfruit (young/green)....something I never once considered years ago as a meat substitute but these two recipes are great.....

Sloppy Joes     http://minimalistbaker.com/bbq-jackfruit-sandwiches-with-avocado-slaw/
Philly Cheesesteak     http://www.onegreenplanet.org/plant-based-recipes/vegan-jackfruit-philly-cheesesteak-sandwich/

Between the two of us our grocery bill is about the same as it was as meat eaters.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 08:00:35 PM by Sean Og »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2015, 08:17:55 PM »
Chickpeas are great. Walmart sells them store brand dry. You can make your own hummus, and they are great in the crockpot- we like to make chole (not a typo) in the winter.

We also find sweet potatoes satisfying.

Had black beans, cheese, and acorn squash last night, but as boarder42 said replacing meat with cheese isn't cheap. Was good, though.

Sean Og

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2015, 08:30:09 PM »
Chickpeas are great. Walmart sells them store brand dry. You can make your own hummus, and they are great in the crockpot- we like to make chole (not a typo) in the winter.

We also find sweet potatoes satisfying.

Had black beans, cheese, and acorn squash last night, but as boarder42 said replacing meat with cheese isn't cheap. Was good, though.

Chole is great!

I'll also second anything with squash, love butternut squash soup

bacchi

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2015, 08:38:30 PM »
"Snobby Joes" from veganomicon (lentil-based sloppy joes) - http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/

I made this tonight and it's delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Bee21

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2015, 09:00:31 PM »
I live with a dedicated carnivore who demands huge chunks or (preferably red) meat with each dinner, so going vegetarian is not an option for us. He even complains if the chicken have bones in it, the bastard. There are very few vegetarian meals he is willing to eat. The major battle I won was around lunches at the weekend, when I can serve a frittata or flatbread with beans and sweet potato or a substantial soup if he knows it is followed by a meaty dinner. He also likes cauliflower,  pumpkin or zucchini fritters for said lunches, does not mind lentil croquettes (=huge secret), or pasta bake w veggie sauce and lots of cheese.

Here are some tricks to keep the costs down without turning vegetarian.

[/list]buy the meat when reduced and stock up the yellow sticker items (of course, this is nothing new)
Reduce the lunch meat items, hams, salami etc, those are more expensive than a decent roast. I put shredded roast chicken or homemade meatloaf in the husband's sandwiches or wraps and he likes them. I take a soup and a salad roll.
    Buy  a large piece of rib fillet every now and then (its cheaper when bought in bulk) and ask the butcher to slice it up. Freeze the portions separately. (don't yell at me about the costs of this luxury item, it has a role, see explanation below).
      buy a large piece of pork roast and use the leftovers in 2-3 dishes: 1. roast w all the trimmings. 2. slices w mashed potato and apple sauce. 3. stripes w peppers/beans on rice or simple fried rice and use the leftovers in sandwiches. I find that a 18$ roast is enough for 3-4 dinners for our fam and 3 lunches for the adults and nobody complains.
      These meals are of course a treat and will be followed by inexpensive dishes during the week, like spaghetti (bulk it up with veggies), pasta bake, fried rice, stir fries, vegetarian shepherd's pie, meatballs (you can mix the mince with potatoes or zucchini) etc. If the carnivore complains about the lack of meat, you just roll your eyes innocently and point out that you have just had beef fillet or roast pork, you can't eat dead animals every day for health reasons, but there will be steak and sausages on Saturday, eat your bean burger honey, I made dessert tonight to make you happy. Keep mixing the expensive meat dishes with the more vegetarian versions and eventually you will get the balance right which works for your family.

      It is a struggle for us, especially that me and the kids would be happy without any meat. I just bought a 6 dollar chicken (on sale), and I am making 3 dishes out of it (2 dinners and 2 lunches): chicken noodle soup w lots of vegetables from the back (kids love it), roast chicken (legs and wings) with vegetables and rice and a large chicken salad with the grilled breast. This way it is very economical and everybody is happy, plus I am not chained to the stove in the next two days.

csprof

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2015, 11:12:04 PM »
"Snobby Joes" from veganomicon (lentil-based sloppy joes) - http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/

I made this tonight and it's delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Glad to hear it, and you're welcome.  Veganomicon -- http://amzn.to/1PjtIKB -- has a bunch of great recipes, but snobbies are one of our big fallbacks.  (Our default cheap travel meal, actually -- for a non-camping vacation in an airbnb-type place, we tend to arrive, go shopping, and make a big vat of snobbies.  They'll keep for a week and freeze well, and we seem to be OK eating them every other night for a couple of days on vacation.  They also scale up very well for big batch cooking.)

Their blueberries & corn pancakes recipe is another one we make all the time, but from a mustachian perspective, there's no real reason to go vegan on pancakes -- but these are tasty:  https://vegetarianchickie.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/vegan-blueberry-corn-pancakes/
They adapt well -- I had a bunch of various flours around the house from when our daughter was born and we were trying to work through some food allergies, and I found that you can swap out 1/2 cup of the wheat flour for just about anything to pretty good effect.

Spaghetti and bean balls are good, too (the bean balls are a lot like the black bean burgers) - https://livingismotion.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/vegan-beanballs-from-veganomicon/  - and might satisfy OP's desire for something "heavy" (the beanballs are very stomach-filling).

Also along that line is the chickpea cutlets, but they do best if you have something to dress them up a little.  They're more mustachian than just going for pure seitan -- chickpeas are el cheap compared to wheat gluten.   http://www.theppk.com/2010/11/doublebatch-chickpea-cutlets/
(Remembering that while it says "a can", you can just soak and cook your own darned chickpeas for far less -- and they're tastier, too.)

Most of the recipes from veganomicon are googleable also.  Be warned that the book, while I love it, has some typos, so read the recipes carefully and make sure there isn't a missing step you need to fill in by hand.  Many of the recipes require a fair amount of work.  The ones I've listed above don't -- I'm too busy to go crazy cooking on weekdays.

TealBlue

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2015, 09:43:56 AM »
Along with the vegan cookbook topic, do any of you have Thug Kitchen? It's so awesome.  We are not vegan or vegetarian even, however my son is lactose intolerant and I was given the cookbook for Christmas last year.  I have made several of the recipes from it and have gotten tons of creative ideas that even my meat eaters love!   Since I was unfamiliar with how to use things like lentils and tempeh it's taught me a lot.  Don't check it out if you are offended by bad language....

http://www.thugkitchen.com/

Jeremy E.

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2015, 10:16:30 AM »
Rice Bean and Cheese burritos.

if they can afford cheese at one dollar a lb on sale they can afford meat at the same price ...
Can't tell if you're being serious or trolling?

Serious. Op trying to cut costs by cutting meat. Meat on sale and cheese on sale cost the same.
OP refers to her husband as a "carnivore", you can assume he eats mainly meat, I'm guessing at least 1/2lb in a meal. Do you think I'm suggesting they put 1/2 a lb of cheese on 1 meals worth of burritos?

Eric

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Re: Vegetarian meals that can satisfy a carnivore?
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2015, 02:30:04 PM »
Rice and beans with a couple of fried eggs on top is not only cheap and filling, it's delicious.  It's one of my favorite meals at any price point.