Vegan Polenta Provençale Copycat Recipe – $2.36/serving

I love Trader Joe’s frozen entrees, and the Polenta Provençale I had last month was really delicious. This copycat recipe is vegan naturally.

The cheese sauce is made from nutritional yeast, not fake vegan cheese. I was looking at the ingredient list of one of the fake cheeses at the store, and guess what the second ingredient was? CASEIN! Cow milk protein!!! Have you read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell? Read the chapter on casein, afloxin (a carcinogen), and rat cancer, and trust me you will never want to consume dairy again. Plus I think it’s a little deceitful to advertise vegetarian cheese when it’s really made from a dairy product, just more processed.

This recipe does not taste exactly like the Trader Joe’s version, but it’s pretty tasty and comforting!

Note on nutritional yeast: If it seems really expensive, try finding it somewhere else. About 16 oz was $1.25 more expensive at Kroger than Annie Kay’s Whole Foods! If you’ve never used it before, here’s a really good guide. If you’re still skeptical, try getting it from a bulk bin at a health food store, that way you can buy only the amount you need.

You do not need to be specific with this recipe (but you kind of do with the cheese sauce). Add more spinach, add less, use broccoli instead or whole wheat pasta (hey that sounds really good… wait I made that last night when I discovered the cheese recipe).

Makes 2 bowls ($4.72 total — slightly more than the Trader Joe’s version, but way less sodium and it’s vegan. I’ll take it.)

  • 1 serving of cheez sauce from Oh She Glows (I whisked the flour and margarine while the margarine melted until it got a nice rich nutty flavor, then I added some of the dry ingredients with some of the almond milk, whisked, heated, added more, whisked, heated, etc. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.)
  • 8 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 1 heaping cup of polenta, balled with a teaspoon (or more)
  • Salt, black and red pepper to taste
  1. Create the cheese sauce according to recipe above.
  2. Once simmering, add remainder of ingredients, heat through. Serve.




Dumpling and noodle soup – 90¢


Monday was our first chilly and overcast day, and all I wanted was some pho from our local Vietnamese restaurant. Unfortunately they were closed, but fortunately the international store (conveniently located next door!) was open and had all of the ingredients I needed to make my own.

I’m not sure if it’s technically pho, but it sure does remind me of one of my favorite comfort foods.

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Summer pizza with roasted garlic, baby greens and tomato – 99¢ This summer pizza perfectly combines light and indulging with goat and parmesean cheeses; sweet, vine-ripened tomatoes, homemade roasted garlic; and zesty baby greens. And, once the roasted garlic is made (or purchased) prep time to eat time will take about 10 minutes. Continue reading

Follow @cheapvegetarian on Instagram

nicecream is now on Instagram as @cheapvegetarian! Follow for recipe ideas and inspiration, like this “nice cream”: an ultra-thick smoothie with frozen bananas. I don’t know what it is about frozen bananas, but it makes the texture shockingly similar to ice cream — but with no added sugar, fat, or dairy.


Roasted golden beets

Golden beets are all the deliciousness of regular beets, minus the earthy flavor and staining.


  • 1 golden beet, peeled and thinly sliced (keep slice thickness as consistent as possible) with top removed
  • ~3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepepr


  1. Whisk olive oil, parsley, and garlic. Coat beets in mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Evenly layer beets on a parchment paper cookie sheet and cook at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  3. Place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Broccoli and quinoa patties with roasted garlic aioli

I love a good black bean burger, but nothing is quite like a quinoa burger. They are slightly crispy on the outside, and the perfect texture on the inside.

This was so good. The aioli has a quarter cup of mayo, but if you eat it all in one sitting, I will not judge you.

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