French Black Beans and Mushrooms with Gravy Vegan

There's something really satisfying about mushrooms treated in a french preparation. Wine, mustard and thyme are one of those classic combinations that evoke a fine dining experience without the fine dining price tag. 1 pint baby bella mushrooms chopped small 1 can black beans, rinsed 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbl tsps soy sauce 2 tbl spicy mustard 2 tsps  prepared, jarred, horseradish (horseradish, vinegar and salt) 1 tbl hot sauce 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 tbls olive oil 2 tsps dry thyme 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsps salt When you cook down mushrooms some kind of molecular magic happens that turns bland, spongy fungi into a delectable culinary powerhouse. Add some wine and a few other components and you've got a deep, dark saucy ragout that will make anything you cover it with irresistible.  It's a simple mixture that yields complex tastes and textures.  It won't take up a lot of your time to make, but you'll have a hard time not eating it all in one sitting.  Start yo

The Frugal Vegetarian

I recently did a price comparison on vegetarian eating versus meat eating. My mom and I went to the supermarket together and we each bought the foods we wanted to eat. I got a bag of dry lentils for $1.45. She got a tub of turkey cold cut for $2.68. My immediate savings: $1.23. But it's also of note that the bag of lentils will provide roughly 10-12 servings and will not go bad for several years. While the tub of cold cut will only provide about 4-6 servings and will go bad in about a week.

I got two cans of beans. One of black and one of garbanzo at $0.83 each. She got a package of perdue breaded chicken cutlets at $2.98. My initial savings: $1.32. Beyond just the dollar outlay, she got 4 servings of chicken. I got about 8 servings of beans.

I purchased two bags of store brand frozen vegetables at $1.68 each. One bag of 16 ounces of peas and one of broccoli. She opted for a package of turkey sausage at $3.99 for 16 ounces. I only saved 63 cents over her purchase, however I came home with roughly 10 servings and she got only 3.

She bought 2 crab cakes at 98 cents each. I got a package of cheese at $2.48. Her initial monetary outlay was 52 cents lower. But I got 8 servings of cheese while she came home with just 1 or 2 servings of crab cakes depending on your appetite.

She bought a rotisserie cooked chicken breast at a very fair price of $1.69. I chose a jar of peanut butter at $1.99. She saved 30 cents on the purchase price. But she got only just 1 serving of food while I came away with at least a dozen.

So don't fall into that trap where you think eating vegetarian is more costly. Quite the opposite is true. It's good for your body. It's good for the animals. It's good for the environment. And it's good for your budget too.