A healthy and compassionate lifestyle begins with our food choices. Each purchase we make has deep connections beyond our own self-interests. The workers who grow and harvest our food depend on consumers to buy produce from sources that treat them with respect and pay them a fair wage. The animals who live in anguish each day in industrial animal factories rely on consumers to reject this oppression and needless suffering.

Fortunately, a healthy and compassionate lifestyle can be accomplished on a limited budget. The meals listed below contain fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains- the staples of a vegan lifestyle. These simple ingredients can be combined to form nutritious and satisfying meals that will fuel your body, as well as send an ethical message to food producers. As often as your budget allows, choose organic foods to further promote a safe and sustainable future for workers, wildlife and the environment.

Here are some simple rules to follow that will help you save money:

  • Buy fruits and vegetables that are local and in season. These tend to be the freshest and most affordable produce items. Your local Farmers Market is a great source for high quality and reasonably priced produce.
  • Explore the bulk aisle. You will find many of the same foods here that are commonly packaged and sold at higher prices. Most bulk aisles include oatmeal, beans, lentils, dried fruits, nuts, rice and grains.
  • Choose foods in their natural state. Highly processed foods tend to be more expensive and relatively unhealthy- often containing chemical preservatives and stabilizers.
  • Be a flexible shopper. Be prepared to adjust your meals to accommodate particular ingredients that are on sale.
  • Make extra portions of your favorite meals and freeze them. You’ll be glad you did on those nights when you’re too tired to cook a whole meal.
  • Try preparing your weekday lunches on the weekend when you have more time. This will ensure that you have a healthy, satisfying meal when you need it most.

Here are some simple and nutritious vegan meals and side dishes:

Breakfast Ideas

Toast or bagel with soy margarine, nut butter or jelly
Oatmeal with fruit and or nuts
Pancakes (banana walnut, blueberry, etc)
Cream of Wheat Cereal and soy, rice or almond milk with fresh fruit
Breakfast burrito (beans, potatoes, scrambled tofu, veggies)
Muffins (with carrot, zucchini, banana, raisins, walnuts)
Potatoes/hash browns

Lunch and Dinner Ideas

Peanut butter & jelly
Veggie burgers with all of the fixins
Veggie dogs
Avocado, tomato & vegan mayo sandwich
Falafel wrap (hummus and pita bread)
Prepared tempeh, lettuce & tomato sandwich
Sandwich with vegan ham/bologna, etc.
Baked beans and soy margarine on toast – very tasty and filling!
Pasta with tomato sauce or pesto
Bean burritos with guacamole & roasted veggies
Bar B Que Tofu and rice
Baked potato or yam with a side of beans, rice and greens
Tacos – bean or vegan ground “beef”
Tofu, tempeh or seitan stir-fry with sweet and sour or peanut sauce
Chili and tortilla chips or cornbread
Spinach salad with avocado, nuts, veggies and dressing
Chicken-free patty, with mashed potatoes and gravy
Brown rice and steamed vegetables with sauce
Buckwheat and lentils
Pita pizzas with soy cheese
Tostadas with beans, lettuce & avocado

For more vegan Mexican food recipes see www.veganmexicanfood.com