Rule number one: Ignore anyone who says being a vegetarian is more expensive than eating meat.
As a former student, I know that being vegetarian was one of my financial concerns upon moving out by myself. I soon learnt that it wasn’t the vegetarian substitutes that were racking up my bill, but the snacks and extras. This can happen to anyone’s bill easily, but maintaining self control played a huge roll here. All you need to do is source out the best prices for the right foods.
I was also concerned about my intake of vitamins in between studying and having some much needed down time. My speedy meals were either pasta and a jar of sauce, toast or a pack of poppadoms with mango chutney. Let’s face it, none of those meals were giving me any form of goodness or vitamins. No wonder I was constantly tired and in a low mood!
There are so many meals you can make that keep your energy levels up as well as your stomach full. And even better, they are simple, quick and super easy, and mostly cost under £5.
As a vegetarian, I can bet that you have heard the ‘meat gives you more vitamins than vegetables’ speil from your relatives. The endless comments about ‘always eating too much rubbish’ when you’re not eating a pepper like an apple.
Well, this post is all about proving them wrong. You can snack, meal prep and sunday roast the hell out of your friends and family, and prove to them that a true vegetarian really knows how to eat well, vitamins and all.
I really believe that you can make anything if you have even just two of these cupboard essentials. Take that from a graduate who is living like a student three years on.
I always make sure I have the following items in my cupboards, mainly because not only can they be the heart of a meal, but they are also full of the correct vitamins, protein, fiber and so forth that you will need for a happy, healthy brain!
- Chickpeas – packed with protein, fiber and vitamins. An amazing main ingredient in currys, or you can spread them on a banking tray in light oil, sprinkle some smoked paprika and garlic over the top and roast for 5-10 minutes!
- Kidney Beans – Vitamins, protein and antioxidants.
Fantastic in a chilli, on jacket potatoes or in a soup!
- Red Split Lentils – Iron, protein, fiber, folic acid. Good for maintaining healthy bones! I use lentils as a ‘replacement’ for minced meat, but it is amazing in a lasagne, chilli or even added into a curry!
- Brown Rice – fiber, aids digestion and reduces risk of blood clots. Can be used as a fried rice based dish, or aside something else!
- Tinned Chopped Tomatoes – Fantastic to make things from scratch- pasta, curry and so much more!
- Nutritional Yeast – This can be bought on Amazon or in Holland and Barrett, but is a perfect addition to almost every meal. I add this into pasta sauces, curries, cheese sauces and so much more. You can even sprinkle it on to of foods!
Nutritional yeast has a cheesy-nuttyness flavour, and is high in protein and added B12.
- Flax Seeds – Again, used much like lentils or nutritional yeast, flax seeds go in most things I make. These are packed with Omega 3, dietary fibre and nutrients, and can play a big part in improving cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
- Mushrooms – great in protein, fiber and B vitamins. A.K.A, the best food in the world! Mushrooms can also be used as a ‘meat replacement’.
- Spinach – high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and very important for healthy skin, bones and hair. I replaced lettuce with spinach a long time ago in salads, and I will NEVER go back!
- Broccoli – high in both vitamins K and C. Vitamin C creates collagen, which forms tissue and bone and aids the healing of wounds. High in antioxidants, also!
- Red (Bell) Pepper – high in Vitamin C and B6 and packed with antioxidants! Another amazing salad topper, and even better baked!
- Cucumber – promotes hydration, high in vitamins and minerals and also contains antioxidants. Cucumber is great for a mid-study snack!
Quick & Easy Veggie Recipes To Get You Started:
- Chickpea & Mushroom Curry (+ Rice)
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Chilli Lasagne Roll Ups
- Stuffed & Baked Peppers
- Chickpea Tikka + Rice
- Broccoli Mac & Cheese
- Mushroom Pasta Bake
- 3 Bean Chilli