What $60 can buy for vegan kitchen

Purchase set up design and photo by Suzanne

This is always an interesting exercise for anyone to undertake. What is the cost of your food? Do you know? What makes up your purchase of food, what are you really buying and what is the cost? How can you save $$$ is there room for that? Of course depending on your own unique situation this will be an eye opener. If you have never truly looked at your purchases and the costs I highly recommend this as a great way to truly take stock and control of supplies.

This was $60 worth of food which will add to our storage supplies e.g. can’s of chick peas are great for whipping up a quick houmous anytime or a can of kidney beans can be quickly added to any meal without having to wait for the dry ones to be prepared.

This supply will be for 3 adults (1 is a teenager) for the week. That being said we will not use the 3 Silk for coffee in the week however they were are sale by .60 cents so I bought a few (we have more in the fridge so we are well supplied). When we see items that we use alot of on sale we buy as much as can afford at the time. It makes cents 🙂

The oranges will be juiced and mixed with perhaps some soda water to thin it out and spread it out for longer use. We may add some of the lemon juice to that and we have lots of limes in the fridge already so perhaps we will juice up orange, lemon, lime shots of goodness.

It is interesting to note the most expensive item on this purchase is the Mesa Sunrise which we use for breakfast as a base and that was $7.98. That will last use for likely 2 weeks as we only use small amounts and add other items to our breakfast that we have in stock such as chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower, cacoa, lavender flakes, fresh mint, dried fruits such as cranberry and so on. It does go a long way.

  • Mesa Sunrise Breakfast $7.98
  • Oranges $5.97
  • Tortilla Chips $3.99
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk $3.97
  • Dried Prunes $3.47
  • Bags of onions $1.99

The next expensive item on the purchase is the oranges coming in at $5.97. These should last into next week – we have already juiced half and have that juice in the fridge to be ready to take a shot or dilute with other juices we make. Beet, carrot apple and orange we could make that right away with a shot of lemon for zest.

Dried prunes – we love these – just one a day is so good for you helps fill you up with fiber and other goodness.

The least expensive item on the this purchase is the garlic coming in at .21 cents for 6 heads of garlic.

Let’s not forget that we live in Vancouver – an expensive city. We have found places that offer really good prices as green grocers, farmers markets and at times we go to one box store. The reason we like the box store is that these companies actually watch the clicks of purchase. This is important in my opinion as they will adjust their purchasing power to the items sold and that can really help the consumer in the long run.

So in summary this is a great way to explore what you are buying what you are spending and exactly then giving you ideas on how to explore new ways to save while adding value to your nutrition home and happiness.

We may spend a few more dollars perhaps up to $20 for some additional items that maybe we need however we have become shelf stockers in our home. We have supplies or rice, rice noodles, beans galore, dried fruits & nuts and all kinds of things because not of it is animal meats or products our food doesn’t go off. We use the fresh first and have storage of items that we could survive in should emergency strike and as a way to save.

Believe you me it has been a learning curve however now we are in full swing and settled into a groove the food shopping works really well and is much more enjoyable experience. Of course there are weeks when we will spend more as we need different things however we are much more conscious of what we are doing and this came from the whole food plant based lifestyle for sure as it made us review what we are doing, why and the costs.

Savings come with less time in the stores. This $60 purchase took me around 45 minutes total to get so huge time saving – I know what I need and want and where to get it – no wandering around the isles anymore. Plus of course savings of gas to get to the stores and then much less stress trying to navigate that whole store system which I find depressing and awful. Farmers markets and your local green grocers are the way to go. Support them and they will bring you great food for your kitchen. Use the big box stores diligently to get the right clicks – its like voting you are voting with what you buy in the stores for food.

PS) the items with marketing will be put into jars or Tupperware for easy storage in our cupboards. We try to not have much however there are things you want that you feel are worth the marketing such as the Mesa which is non gmo recycled packaging etc. It’s a work in progress always tweaking to find better and better results.

Natures Cup

Here is a little avocado bowl of blueberry that I made at the beach. Who needs a man made bowl when nature provided one for us? Super easy to scoop out the avocado meat chop it up mix with blueberries and perhaps add some hemp hearts / mango / fresh garlic finely diced and perhaps a dash of coconut oil – ok this is seriously delicious and fun. I took a tiny chopping board in my handbag to make this. Voila a fabulous easy super healthy anti-oxidant rich snack for the beach or a picnic. BONUS: once finished this delightful high powered treat you can rub the avocado bowl on your face and then jump in the ocean / pool or simply wipe off with a towel – beautiful for skin health and total use of natures gifts. Many savings being afforded such as you know exactly what you are eating; you are in complete control of what you are putting in your body; no packaging; minimal if any waste; huge anti-oxidant intake for your body; skin care as nature intended and so on. Have fun make your own, experiment and definitely have fun.

One Beautiful Bowl

Take One Beautiful Bowl

Fill it with love for your body – go ahead and build your breakfast – in this case we see pumpkin seeds, goji berries, almond shavings, cacoa/maca/hemp power, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sultanas, currents, flax seeds, dried prune & apricot, mint leaf, sesame seed, sunflower seed.

Add fresh whipped up almond milk from the magic bullet or blender and voila – great way to start the day. Suitable for lunch too. It’s awesome food for anytime really.

Original recipe, design layout and photo by Suzanne

Suze’s Soup

Phase Three of today’s soup –  grand finale – Yum Oh!

Phase Two of today soup – bubble bubble simmer and stir.

Phase one of today’s soup – building your soup.

Suze’s Soup

In the beginning there was .. my soup. Today I prepped my soup before going to the gym. In my opinion a really good vegan soup needs time to simmer.

This soup is all about what you have either fresh or must be used, either dried like beans, rice, legumes or fresh like onions, vegetables. This soup is best made on a low heat and gently brought into a beautiful meal. Please just use this recipe as a guideline and you use what you have in your home and start your journey into the world of soup.

Soup is incredibly healthy offering a wide variety of flavors, warmth and nutrition. One of the beautiful qualities of soups is it can be frozen. I freeze soups in different size containers for easy to grab, thaw, heat and enjoy. Soups can be taken to work in sealed containers are the perfect food for lunch and dinner.

  • coconut oil in the bottom of large saucepan
  • 2 or more chopped onions
  • chopped yam/s
  • chopped carrot/s
  • chopped mushrooms
  • chopped yellow pepper or green or purple
  • chopped tomatoes of choice
  • add a selection of beans, legumes, rice or noodles as you desire in this case I have added
  • kidney beans, dried
  • garbanzo beans, dried
  • french lentils, dried
  • yellow lentils, dried
  • black beans, dried
  • brown rice
  • garlic, crushed, diced or coarsely chopped
  • red miso soup paste – tablespoon or your choice to taste
  • dash of gluten free organic tamari sauce
  • perhaps a dash of red wine for flavor
  • red star nutritional yeast to top with

Phase one: Ok, so here is the skinny and its really easy. Simply put your saucepan on a low heat – dab your coconut oil into the base and add the onions, yams, carrots, mushrooms as you gather up a growing heat which brings out the flavors. Use a wooden spoon for stirring – always be stirring and mixing the flavors together. You can add your peppers then a little water and continue to build out your soup.

Keep adding water, stirring and building out the broth. You can always add more vegetables or beans as you desire once you start to see the thickness and what you want from your soup today.

I try to make this soup the night before and if I can during the day however at a pinch you can make this soup easily on the fly when you get home from work.

The key is to work the heat, the stirring and like a potion bring all the flavors together to make one yummy soup.

The photo with this post is the soup half made. This pot sat with a lid on the stove for the better part of several hours – I will always take the opportunity, if I can, to let this broth sit and simmer together.

Put your lid on and go on with your day.

Phase Two: get back into the stirring and smelling and simmering of your soup. Perhaps a little more garlic, or some greens like parsley or other vegetables or beans you want to add more of. I have discovered that making vegan recipes is about tossing out the cookbook and making up your own recipes. The options are endless. So truly I don’t measure – I just see what I have and make what I will from very little or a large selection of produce.

Making soup builds confidence as you soon realize its not about the pinch of this or dab of that its about the love you pour into your soup, its about the building of your own great broth and your own selection of vegetables and beans to the amounts you want.

No soup will be alike.

Always start on a very low heat and bring it up slowly sort of coaxing it along helping bring out the flavors and the aromas to fill the room. Move the dial from low to hot and get it bubbling not boiling but bubbling – there is a difference.

Always serve piping hot and if you live in a cold climate here is the best tip of all –  do yourself and the people you serve the soup to a favor and heat the bowls. I put my bowls on the stove while the soup simmers and they warm up nicely enough like that over time.

Top off your soup with red star nutritional yeast (vegans need nutritional yeast for B12 – we buy it bulk however there is packages too) – it is recommended to keep red star nutritional yeast in the fridge and away from light. Note: we put it on everything and I will cover this in another post in the future.

You can also add toppings to your soup such as chopped parsley, cilantro. fresh basil, chopped mint, freshly chopped garlic. I sometimes serve my soup on a bed of cooked rice noodles or how about a bed of tortillas. You can also top the soup with tortillas either whole or crushed into a lovely hot broth is really awesome.

Make your soup with love, play and have fun making your new found incredible soup. There is no limit to your soup making but your imagination and what’s in the cupboard. I try to keep everything very simple in cooking these days and I have to tell you the food is awesome, I have more time to enjoy lots of other things and I know we all feel less stressed, more open, more creative, more inspired and definitely much more healthy. It’s fun! So get stirring and simmering right away and make a beautiful batch of piping hot Suze’s Soup today.

Enjoy!