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Once-a-month Vegan Cooking [Aug. 6th, 2009|12:27 pm]
cheap vegan eats


I've been getting ready to try once-a-month cooking for a long time now, but there are no vegan books on the subject. The principle of once-a-month cooking is that you set aside one day a month to be the cooking day. You perhaps do a bit of chopping the night before and put something in the crockpot overnight, and then the day of you have something else going in the crockpot and at least one big stew going on the stove while you do all the chopping, then all the sauteeing, then all the putting together-ing for a few other dishes. (Makes for a heavy day, but saves time overall.) At the end, you label big freezer bags, then put meal-sized portions in each and put them in the freezer.

Then throughout the month, instead of having to fix dinner when you come home, a homemade dinner is waiting for you and you only have to heat it back up. While you're heating it back up, you pick what you want for dinner the next night and put it in the refrigerator to thaw.

It's perfect for my lifestyle, but since none of the omni once-a-month cooking guides were even remotely adaptable for vegan use (I tried!), I'm going to get together two or three different monthly menus of my own and post them, grocery lists, instructions and my results somewhere. Maybe other small vegan groups/families/couples could use it.

Currently, my list includes: Black Bean Burgers from Veganomicon, Crockpot Vegetable Curry, Mexican Gumbo, and Mexcian Red Beans.

Question: Can you suggest any other freezable vegan recipes? I have Veganomicon, VWAV, Vegan Brunch, Peta's The Compassionate Cook, and Vegan Planet, so I can use anything you like from there - but bonus points for being a recipe easily found on the internet (so I can repost it somewhere without copyright guilt.)

Any soup recipe you love would be appreciated - they're the easiest things for me to freeze - also would love some casserole/lasagna recipes, or anything done with a slowcooker. Thanks!

[User Picture]From: ehhhhnotreally
2009-08-06 06:04 pm (UTC)
The tomato/roasted garlic/white bean soup (I thiiiiiink it's from Veganomicon? One of Isa's books) is fantastic and keeps really well.. I think it'd freeze nicely.

Another idea that I do quite frequently is make a big ol' batch of rice (if you eat rice), and then spoon cooked rice into muffin tins. Freeze them like that, then take them out and put them all in a big freezer bag. Perfectly-sized individual servings ready to reheat at any time! It might help with variety too--make add some to a soup you've been re-heating for a while to make it seem new.

Best of luck with this! It sounds like a great idea, and it'd be nice for my husband and I to be able to do it, but we live in an apartment with a tiiiiny freezer, and there just isn't room. I do like to make big pots of soups/stews weekly and eat leftovers all week though...
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[User Picture]From: deed_11
2009-08-06 06:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's a great idea! I know what soup you're talking about, it's really good. Makes a lot, too, if I remember right.

The rice idea is genius, I'm definitely using that.

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[User Picture]From: crackdmoonlight
2009-08-06 11:24 pm (UTC)
Do you reheat the rice in the microwave?
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[User Picture]From: afufle
2009-08-06 06:20 pm (UTC)
I used to make a one-pot meal consisting of brown rice, lentils and any vegetables I had on hand, a tablespoon or two of olive or canola oil to lend flavor and to be "nutrionally correct" (you need a bit of healthy fat) and garlic, onion, chili powder and maybe a bit of cumin. Add salt when serving.

The lentils would cook in an hour, the brown rice I then bought would cook in 1/2 hour, I'd put the spices and oil in with the rice, then added veggies 15 to 20 min. before the rice was to finish. I just cooked on the stovetop, don't even have a crockpot, though I guess that would be easy to convert.
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[User Picture]From: ehhhhnotreally
2009-08-06 06:21 pm (UTC)
lol icon twins ;-)
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[User Picture]From: afufle
2009-08-11 02:36 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I noticed that. I didn't see your comment till I'd posted mine, so the nitpicker inside my head is like, 'person will think you're a copycat!!' :D
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[User Picture]From: emiwenis
2009-08-06 06:38 pm (UTC)
lasagna is great frozen and heatedback up. anything else like that too, vegan manicotti or shells. the sauce keeps it moist. so dont skimp on the marinar sauce before freezing it!
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[User Picture]From: mcsassypants
2009-08-06 06:41 pm (UTC)
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From: juana_guysh
2009-08-06 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm a huge fan of eggplant parmesan. Here's a basic recipe, and you can just substitute soy milk for the eggs, and "cheeze" for the cheese. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Eggplant-Parmesan-II/Detail.aspx

I've been interested in the once-a-month cooking thing also, but haven't tried because I don't have the patience to be in the kitchen for so long! I'd be interested in knowing how it goes for you. :)
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[User Picture]From: rainamoon
2009-08-06 07:53 pm (UTC)
I always answer this the same way but really it was absolutely delicious. I made it in individual portions when I had my daughter. I didn't even use half as much sauce as they call for tough and used oven-ready noodles.

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[User Picture]From: deed_11
2009-08-06 08:16 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm definitely using that. I was looking for a great lasagna recipe, and that has everything. Perfect. Thanks!!
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[User Picture]From: rainamoon
2009-08-06 09:05 pm (UTC)
Before I gave birth I spent an afternoon cooking, I made the lasagna, some enchiladas and 2 pans worth of shepherds pie. Instead of making them in big pans we bought some mini-loaf tins and made them in those. Baked, cooled, labeled and froze. I made almost a months worth of food. Was a little tedious having so few options but I was happy not to have to cook while trying to take care of our newborn.
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[User Picture]From: fresh_paint
2009-08-06 08:54 pm (UTC)
You can totes have my vegan chili recipe to use:

1 can kidney beans (undrained)
1 can black beans (drained)
2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained, and I usually get the kind with green chilis)
1 pkg. cooked faux beef crumbles (I use Boca)
1 packet chili seasoning
2 teaspoons of cinnamon (Just trust me on this.)

Throw it all into a pot and simmer until it's heated through. It's the easiest chili ever, and it makes omnis weak in the knees. Plus, it gets better as it sits in the fridge or freezer.

It's really great with a dollop of Better Than Sour Cream and some chopped chives on top.

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[User Picture]From: robiewankenobie
2009-08-06 08:55 pm (UTC)
you have GOT to keep us updated on this! my friends do oam cooking and i'm mad jellus.
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[User Picture]From: catnip13
2009-08-06 09:22 pm (UTC)
The VWAV Spanakopita freezes well, as will black bean sweet potato enchilada casserole:

The sweet potato-black bean enchilada casserole is pretty basic. Four cups of steamed diced sweet potatos, 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained, a dozen corn tortillas and an enchilada sauce. The one I make is something like this:

2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tbs cumin
2 tbs chili powder
1 large onion, diced, olive oil to saute
lime juice
1/4 cup toasted ground pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chipotle powder

I saute the onion, add the spices, then the tomato products. Add the garlic towards the end, and puree the whole thing.

You build it like a lasange- sauce, tortilla, beans, potatoes, sauce, tortillas ...

Bake (covered with foil) it for about 1 hour at 350.
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[User Picture]From: deed_11
2009-08-07 03:08 pm (UTC)
I really like that recipe - simple, and it sounds awesome.

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[User Picture]From: zimknits
2009-08-06 10:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, please keep us updated with this! I have been considering this for months but was getting annoyed with lack of ideas for stuff to make!!
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[User Picture]From: crackdmoonlight
2009-08-06 11:29 pm (UTC)
This sounds like a great idea! I'd love to hear how it works out for you.
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[User Picture]From: xfinally_free
2009-08-07 01:56 am (UTC)
Thanks for this post! I'm a college student and don't have that much time to cook...and never thought about freezing vegan meals.
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[User Picture]From: petienka
2009-08-07 05:11 am (UTC)

Have always adored the concept of OAMC....

Indeed, I've been wanting to try this very thing myself for years--YEARS! -- have checked out all the books I could find (as you said, not terribly translatable for vegan use) and looking up everything to be found on the internet. I've come up with very general outlines over the years -- but in the end always became paralyzed when it got down to actually attempting to coordinate my very own shopping/cooking day "plan of action" -- with regards to figuring out actual ingredients, necessary quanitities, plus streamlining all cooking instructions and steps in order to effectively prepare everything in one non-insanity-producing chunk, while keeping repetition to a minimum (sauteeing ALL onions at the same time, for example -- though some even just omit that step, using chopped fresh, non-sauteed onion in all dishes, etc). Yikes, very daunting...!

So indeed, anything you might care to share with us would be lovely...!
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[User Picture]From: bettywannabe
2009-08-07 06:12 am (UTC)
i was literally talking to my friend 2 days ago about trying to do a vegan version too!
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[User Picture]From: veggiesueh
2009-08-07 04:14 pm (UTC)
I would love to do something like this. I researched it once, but as you say, everything I found was geared to omnis. I would love to hear how it goes, and your recipes and tips.

BTW, The chickpea-broccoli caserole from VWaV freezes well. From conversations with friends, it seems to be one of those recipes where you either love it or hate it, no middle ground. (I love it, especially with some saraccha.)
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From: xinyearstocome
2009-08-10 12:28 am (UTC)
Here's a really good soup recipe that I love to make.


And I was thinking, vegan chili and pasta sauce would be easy too.

I second the black bean burgers, I just made some today! mmmm!
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