How To Make 5 Vegetarian Dinners For $10 Each

Money’s too tight for steak? Or just not into eating animals? Feed 4 people meat-free for a week.

Emily Fleischaker

2. Day 1: Whole Wheat Pasta with Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Sauce

recipe by Teri Tsang Barrett

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
1 head garlic
5½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped, plus ½ onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
1½ cups milk
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
One 12-ounce box whole wheat pasta like farfalle or penne
Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

PREPARATION
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rub away any excess papery husks from the garlic, then lop off the top to expose the tops of the cloves and place in the center of a sheet of foil.

Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil on top, then gather the ends of the foil to form a sealed pouch.

Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or dish and roast until very tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes, then separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the contents into a bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, season with salt and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the roasted garlic cloves, lemon juice, 1/3 cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat; cook until the liquid is almost cooked off, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and bring just to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to medium so it simmers and cook, stirring occasionally, until just thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

3. In a large dutch oven skillet, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft to the bite, 9 to 11 minutes. Add the squash, ¼ cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, then lower the heat to a simmer, about medium heat. Cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the squash is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to label directions until al dente. Meanwhile, uncover the squash and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the liquid is cooked off and the squash is just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the roasted garlic sauce into the skillet, turn off the heat and stir to combine; season generously with pepper.

4. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain. Stir the pasta into the butternut squash mixture, adding some pasta cooking water to loosen as needed. Serve topped with parmesan and black pepper.

9. Day 2: Jumbo Spinach and Mushroom Turnovers

recipe by Teri Tsang Barrett

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 8-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
One 17.3-ounce package (2 sheets) puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm, thawed

PREPARATION
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, stir in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer. Cook until browned and the liquid they release has cooked off, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 to 45 seconds, then stir in the spinach and remove the pan from the heat to cool. In a medium bowl, beat 1 egg, then reserve 1 tablespoon in a separate bowl and set aside; season the remaining egg with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and stir in the ricotta. Stir in the cooled mushroom mixture.

2. On a work surface, fold each sheet of puff pastry into a square then roll out it out until it is a 12-inch square, lifting it from the surface often and/or freezing it for a few minutes to prevent sticking and keep it firm yet malleable.

Halve each sheet on the diagonal, then arrange 2 sheets on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Divide half of the filling between the pastry, positioning the filling off center and leaving a ¾-inch border.

Moisten the edges of each pastry using your fingertips dipped in water, then fold the pastry to enclose the filling. Press the edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively using a fork, if desired. Repeat with the remaining 2 sheets and filling.

3. Beat the reserved 1 tablespoon egg with 1 teaspoon water; brush the egg wash onto each turnover. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

21. Day 3: Vegetarian Chili

recipe by Teri Tsang Barrett

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons chili seasoning mix, such as Old El Paso*
1 cup beer
1 cup bulgur
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
Two 15.5-ounce can beans, preferably kidney and black, rinsed and drained
Eight ½-inch-thick slices Italian bread (about ¼ loaf), toasted
Sour cream, for serving
1 to 2 scallions greens, thinly sliced

PREPARATION
In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chili seasoning mix for 1 minute, then add the beer, bulgur and crushed tomatoes, scraping up any bits that stick to the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt—this may vary, depending on your chili seasoning mix—and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes. Add the beans, season with ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with the toast and topped with the sour cream and scallions.

23. Day 4: Caramelized Onion and Potato Strata

recipe by Teri Tsang Barrett

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
3 onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 russet potato
One-half 14-ounce loaf Italian bread, sliced ½-inch-thick
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced*
1½ cups (about 6 ounces) grated cheddar cheese, preferably extra sharp
7 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1 romaine heart, halved lengthwise
Grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

PREPARATION
1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes; remove from the heat.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a work surface, peel and very thinly slice the potato, preferably using a handheld slicer or mandoline. In an oiled 8-inch-square baking dish, arrange ½ of the bread in a single layer on the bottom. Scatter half of the scallions evenly on top, followed by the potatoes, caramelized onions and cheese; repeat the layers.

3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and milk; season with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Carefully pour over the baking dish and, using the back of a large spoon or clean hands, press down to evenly submerge the layers in the milk mixture. Let stand 10 minutes, then press again and let stand for 20 minutes more. Baked until puffed and golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

4. While the strata is cooling, toss the lettuce in large bowl with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter, then sprinkle generously with parmesan and more pepper.

31. Day 5: Scrambled Egg and Roasted Tomato Salad

recipe by Teri Tsang Barrett

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
4 plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
½ extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of ½ lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
¼ loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs, beaten
3 romaine hearts, thinly sliced crosswise (or try frisee, torn into bite-size pieces, or a combination of radicchio and endive, thinly sliced crosswise)

PREPARATION
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, arrange the tomatoes cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Roast until shriveled and just beginning to char, about 2 hours. Let cool completely, then cut each half lengthwise.

2. Meanwhile, put the lemon juice in a large serving bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large skillet, make the croutons: Heat the pan over high heat until hot. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the bread cubes and fry, turning often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes; transfer to a bowl and season with salt.

4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan off the heat and swirl again to coat; lower the heat to low and return the pan to the heat. Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly to break up the curds forming on the bottom, until almost set (the eggs should be barely wet), 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and break up the eggs into small curds.

5. Add the lettuce and fried bread cubes to the lemon vinaigrette and toss; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the scrambled eggs and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with more pepper, then serve immediately.

41. The Grocery List


Fresh Produce
Garlic, 2 heads, $1.58
Lemon, $.59
Sliced mushrooms, 8-ounce package, $1.99
Scallions, 1 bunch, $.89
Onions, 3-pound bag, $1.99
Russet potato, $.39
Romaine hearts, 12 ounces, $2.50
Butternut squash, $1.49
Plum tomatoes, 4, $1.96

Dairy
Sour cream, 16 ounces, $1.67
Milk, ½ gallon, $2.39
Eggs, 1 dozen, $1.99
Grated parmesan, 8 ounces, $2.79
Cheddar cheese, 8 ounces, $2.00
Ricotta, 15 ounces, $3.99

Frozen
Frozen chopped spinach, 10 ounces, $1.00
Puff pastry, one 17.3 ounce box, $2.99

Bakery
Italian bread, 16 ounces, $2.99

Dried/Canned/Spices
Whole wheat pasta, 16 ounces, $1.00
Bulgur, 28 ounces, $3.99
Black beans, 15.5 ounces, $1.09
Kidney beans, 15.5 ounces, $1.09
Crushed peeled tomatoes, 28 ounces, $1.59
Chili seasoning mix, 1 ounce packet, $.99

Alcohol
One 24-ounce can beer, $2.20

Pssst: We’re assuming you have:

Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil

TOTAL: $49.69*
*based on Indianapolis, IN prices at peapod.com

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