Eating healthy does not have to break the bank, and that's why we created a list of our favorite budget vegan meals. This recipe round-up is focused on legumes—beans, peas, and lentils.
Nutritional Benefits of Beans
Beans and lentils are staples in the diet of the longest-lived communities around the world, called the Blue Zones.
Legumes are nutritional powerhouses. Eating a diet rich in beans—and other legumes like lentils and peas—has been shown to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and improve heart health, insulin sensitivity, and gut health. Nutritionally, beans are high in fiber, antioxidants, and are a good or excellent source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and other B vitamins. If you want to learn more about the nutritional benefits, check out this article, The Health Wonders of Beans.
Cost of Beans
Many of the recipes below are made with dried beans and lentils—which is the most cost-effective way to buy beans. According to the Bean Institute, the average cost of dried beans is $1.79 per pound. However, areas with a higher cost of living can expect to pay around $2.50 per pound for dry beans. One pound of beans will give you about 10 to 12 servings.
Canned beans are a convenient option, but they tend to be more expensive. You're encouraged to get the no-salt-added or low-sodium canned beans if you opt for canned.
Tips for Saving Money
To save money on spices and seasonings, it's best to shop at ethnic markets or in the bulk section of your grocery store. Much of the cost for spices and seasonings is in the packaging and marketing. So, buying what you need in the bulk section of your grocery store will save you a lot of money.
Finally, meal prepping or batch cooking is another way to save money. Be sure to portion out your servings and freeze some for later.
These recipes cost about $5 (US Dollars) or less per serving in most geographic markets. Without further ado, here are our favorite budget-friendly (and healthy) legume-based recipes that are delicious and easy to prepare.
Our Favorite Budget-Friendly (and Healthy) Bean Recipes
This tasty, one-pot red kidney bean soup is the perfect healthy comfort food. Made in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, this red kidney bean recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, oil-free, low-fat, grain-free, and vegan.
Easy Cuban Black Beans are made in a slow cooker or on the stovetop with only five ingredients. These delicious and healthy beans are oil-free, vegan, and a meal-prep favorite!
These creamy curried butter beans are packed with protein, fiber, and flavor. This budget-friendly bowl of goodness is loaded with comforting Indian spices and will make you want to go back for seconds. It's gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, oil-free, low-fat, and vegan.
This Red Lentil Dal recipe is vegan and super easy to pull together. It's great on its own or over rice. If you want to take it up a notch, wilt a handful of baby spinach or baby bok choy and top with diced tomato. But you can't go wrong with this dish. It's loaded with protein, fiber, iron, and zinc. Since there's no added oil, it's also low in fat. This budget vegan meal is a great dish to add to your routine for weight management and heart health.
This one-pot split mung beans recipe is high in protein, high fiber, and low fat and takes 30 minutes to make. It's oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and satisfyingly delicious. This budget vegan meal is a meal-prep favorite!
Are you in a pinch and need something super fast and tasty? This 7-Minute Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup will do the trick. This budget vegan meal is soy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, low-fat, and nut-free.
This delicious, vegan white bean chili is loaded with healthy whole plant food ingredients. Packed with flavor and fiber, this budget-friendly vegan meal is high in protein, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, low-fat, and a meal-prep favorite.
This deliciously creamy one-pot white bean kale soup will warm you up on that chilly fall or winter day. This budget-friendly vegan meal is packed with protein and fiber. It's also low-fat, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, and a meal-prep favorite.
This sweet and smoky black-eyed peas and collard greens meal is a soul food favorite. The sweetness from the dates and smokiness from the smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder hit the taste buds in all the right places. This delicious, healthy, budget vegan meal is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and oil-free.
We hope this article inspires you to add more beans to your routine. Your feedback is important to us. Please leave a reply below and share.
Sersie & Gigi
Beloved, I pray you prosper concerning all things and to be in good health just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2