November 04, 2011
How many times have you read or heard that eating a healthy, plant-based diet may be ideal, but it's too expensive and time consuming for the average person to handle, and eating a fast-food diet is the inferior but more economical choice. It's too complicated, too much trouble, too expensive to buy all those healthful fruits and vegetables. Ellen Jaffe Jones has made it her mission to teach people "how easy it is to prepare delicious, healthful, inexpensive meals at home."
With a long family history of health problems, as well as personal health issues, Jones chose a plant-based diet to improve her health, and her quest to make a plant-based diet affordable, healthy and delicious for anyone, has led to her to write Eat Vegan on $4 a Day. She says it was press references to Twinkies and boxed mac and cheese as being the only things some people could afford, that finally pushed her over the edge and made her do it; she wants to show people that they can make six servings of delicious, high quality plant-based protein for the cost of just one Twinkie. To accomplish her goal of helping people to eat better while spending less, Jones includes chapters on Financial Planning for Food Shopping, and Plant-Based Nutrition and Cooking 101. She also offers advice on stocking the pantry, and provides daily and weekly menus and costs.
I didn't actually try to replicate any of her meals to see if I could match her costs, but I did try one of the recipes to see if it tasted good — the recipes are very simple and contain common pantry ingredients. I handed the book to my husband and asked him to choose and prepare one dish, and he picked greens-and-beans stir-fry. He used kale instead of collards and broccoli because that's what we had, but otherwise he followed the recipe exactly. It was delicious — the kind of healthy, simple but satisfying food I crave for everyday meals. Not only was it great tasting, it took almost no time to prepare. If you are trying to cook more economically, or more healthfully, you may want to pick up a copy of Ellen Jaffe Jones' book for inspiration and guidance. I'm looking forward to trying more of her delicious, quick-to-prepare, recipes.
For more ideas on how to eat beautifully, healthfully and happily on a strict budget, check out Melody Polakow's blog Melomeals.
Printed with permission.
Here's a video about eating frugally based on Ellen Jaffe's book.
Full disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided to me free of charge by Book Publishing Company. I was not paid to write a review, nor was I required to do so.