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Posted By Amanda Riley
Hello, I've been vegan for two years, but I live in a dormitory and cooking is such a pain that I usually either don't get enough calories, or eat overprocessed, unhealthy convenience foods. I would really like to cook more and eat healthier. Do you have any specific tips for me? Think limited cupboard/freezer/fridge space, limited budget, and limited shopping trips. My suite does have a full kitchen though. I also want to share food with my roommates without breaking my budget or using up all the food. Thanks in advance for whatever help you can give me!
Congrats on hitting the vegan two-year mark! I have much respect for people who start young and not in the easiest of circumstances. College would definitely qualify.
I constructed this week's mission with these circumstances in mind. To accomodate your limited space, limited shopping trips, yet desire for larger quantities of food, I'd say pare it down to the super basics. Beans, grains, and select veggies that you know you'll use.
At the same time, as you simplify your pantry/fridge in terms of produce, etc., I would not simplify your condiments or your spice rack. You'll need them to make simple foods more exciting, and one bottle of cumin or one big bottle of salad dressing will go a long way. Add dressing to your veggie wraps and pasta salads to make them more exciting. Experiment with spices in your bean and rice dishes. I like L.O.V.E.'s suggestion to shop "at African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets if there are any in your area." You can get sweet deals on spices, and even their produce and bulk foods are "significantly less expensive than other markets." So true.
Do read their L.O.V.E.'s Vegan on a Budget page. One of their other suggestions is to buy frozen veggies, which are cheaper (and easier to store) than fresh veggies. Toss frozen veggies into just about anything for added nutrition: noodle dishes, soups, whatever.
Finally, I hope you're getting good sources of omega-3's for brain food. You'll need it. We're talking ground flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, and Omega-3 supplements like the ones I highlighted in Mission # 29.
Let me know if you have any more questions and let me know how things go for you.
Have a great semester!
Posted By Admin