Earlier this month I hosted my first live Q&A on Tallulah – a sixty minute opened forum for you to ask any and all questions about nutrition, plant based eating, meal planning, veganism, and where to grab a bite, and for me to answer. What struck me most was not only your thoughtfulness, inquisitiveness, and overall positivity and support, but how so many of you, like me, are actively trying to navigate the world of healthful eating and living on a tighter budget. Limited resources- financial, space, or otherwise- shouldn’t have to put a damper on our nutrition needs or access to a delicious meal, below you’ll find a brief recap of my tips.
Q: Do you have a grocery budget or have tips for budgeting when buying healthy foods?
A: My biggest suggestion for healthful cooking on a budget is big batch, make ahead, cooking. Making one big pot (or casserole) of something wonderful, like a minestrone soup, stew, chunky tomato chili, curry, etc. and just keeping it handy in the fridge or freezer is not only so much more cost effective, but time saving. And the same goes for breakfast! I always buy grains and beans from the bulk section, utilize canned beans and tomatoes, and purchase frozen veggies when they’re not in season. I also always try to shop in season –in season produce tend to be more affordable and nutrient dense.
Incorporating those basics of bit batch and make ahead cooking, bulk and seasonal purchasing, and the utilization of canned products, today I couldn’t be more excited to share my Everything in the Pot Stew, a one pot vegetable stew packed to the brim with autumnal root vegetables, canned tomatoes and cannellini beans, and fiber and protein rich brown rice. Requiring only minutes of chopping, this hearty vegan stew simmers to stovetop perfection in less than half an hour, not only getting dinner on your table in minutes flat, but provides enough leftovers to last you through the busy week. Easily customizable, feel free to substitute ingredients with what you have handy, for example swapping equal parts brown rice for farro or quinoa, or chard for kale or spinach. I keep my Everything in the Pot Stew frozen to defrost at my own convenience, served with a crusty knob of fresh baguette.
Everything in the Pot Stew [makes 8 servings]
inspired by: 101Cookbooks, White Chard Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into half rounds
1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes, quartered
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups filtered water
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans
1 bunch green chard, stems and leaves well chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until just shimmering. Stir in onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and potatoes, and sauté, stirring frequently until vegetables begin to soften, but not brown (about 10 minutes).
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and filtered water and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in the brown rice, cannellini beans and green chard and stir until chard has just wilted. Season to taste then serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving]
225 Calories, 4g Fat, 42g Carbohydrates, 7g Fiber, 5.5g Sugar, 7.2g Protein