© 2014 Green Kitchen Stories Mung_bean_stew_0

Mung Bean Stew on a Budget

Buying and eating healthy vegetarian whole foods is often a painfully expensive pleasure. Organic products, fresh fruits and vegetables, plant milks, special flours, nuts and seeds can easily crash any family budget. We can definitely vouch for that. For the last couple of years, our food expenses have doubtlessly been our highest cost each month. We have prioritized paying more for food and less for clothes and other stuff. But this doesn’t mean that we are just splurging away without looking at the price tag of that organic coconut oil. It’s quite the opposite. We make constant efforts to plan how, where and what we buy and what we eat, in order to reduce expenses.

With this in mind, we have decided to start a new series on the blog called Healthy Eating on a Budget. We will share tasty and wholesome recipes that are affordable, along with some tips on how to eat well without blowing your savings away. First out is this hearty Mung Bean Stew that will keep you warm and nourished during the cold months. Dried pulses, frozen spinach and only a can of coconut milk makes it a very affordable recipe. Adjust the recipe with any beans or lentils or your choice.

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Here are some general tips on how to eat healthy vegetarian whole foods on a budget:

  1. Choose dried. Dried pulses like lentils and beans are always cheap and easy to bulk up on. Soak, cook and freeze in portions.
  2. Remember the season. Vegetables and fruit in season are always more affordable. Adapt ingredients in recipes after what are in season in your country. If a recipe calls for sweet potato you can use carrots instead, etc.
  3. Double the recipe. Cook and bake large batches of your meals, freeze the leftovers and use for lunch/dinner throughout the week.
  4. Alternative organic brands. Most large supermarkets have their own organic or fair-trade product line which is cheaper than other small brands.
  5. Natural super food. Skip the fancy super food powders. Go for kale, apple, carrot, sweet potato, potato, leek, onion, pumpkin/squash, broccoli, beet, tomato, tomato concentrate, cabbage, egg, banana, almonds, rolled oats, whole grain rice, quinoa, flax seeds, berries, coconut oil, olive oil and tea. All of these ingredients are real super foods too.
  6. Don’t skip the frozen section.Frozen vegetables and fruit are always in season; they are often on sale and are actually full of nutrients. They are usually picked, cleaned and frozen within a very short time-span, which means they contain more nutrients than the supermarket vegetables lying on the shelves for weeks.
  7. Love seeds. Seeds are cheaper than nuts and can replace them in most recipes. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, buckwheat and psyllium seeds. All high in protein, healthy fat and lots of minerals and vitamins.
  8. Prioritize the dirty dozen. Choosing organic and GMO-free fruit and vegetables can be really expensive and almost impossible on a budget. Check out the ‘dirty dozen’ list over which produce has the highest pesticide residues and which do not. Then you can prioritize your purchase. Buy the highest quality of what you eat the most.
  9. Supplements. Choose only the really important supplements like a high quality basic vitamin/mineral supplement and a high quality EPA/DHA fish oil supplement. It is better to take high quality supplements every other day than a bad quality everyday.

If you feel like sharing your own personal budget tips, we’d love to hear them!

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Mung Bean Stew & Whole Grain Rice
Serves 4-6

2 cups dried mung beans, soaked in water for 8-12 hours
1 tbsp coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
400 g frozen spinach, thawed
6 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
1 x 400 ml can full fat coconut milk

1,5 cups whole grain rice
3 cups water
1 tsp sea salt

Heat oil in a sauce pan, add onion, garlic and cumin. Sauté until fragrant, stir occasionally. Add spinach, soaked mung beans and water, cover and bring to boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and let cook for 30-40 minutes or until the beans are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in coconut milk. Ready to serve.

Put rice and water into a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. No peeking or stirring. Set covered pot aside off of the heat for 10 minutes.

 

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**UPDATE** Thank you so much for all the applications. We will now select the 10 clients and contact you very soon.

 

As most of you know Luise is studying to become a certified Nutritional Therapist. This Spring she and another student will do 10 cases with clients for their examination. We want you to get the opportunity to apply for those 10 spots. If you are interested and fulfil the criteria below please send an email to luise@greenkitchenstories.com along with some background information about yourself and which health issues you would like us to help you with. We will contact you at the end of januari if you are one of the 10. The consultations are for free and the information will be used anonymous in our examination material.

The criteria for applying are following:

• you are able to attend two consultations in Stockholm and one Skype consultation
• you are willing to make lifestyle or/and diet changes
• you are able to pay for some tests, for example a hair mineral analyse or a hormone test
• you are able to pay for supplements, like vitamins and minerals
• you have a specific health issue you want help to solve

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106 Comments

  1. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 07:16 | #

    Mung beans are so delicious, we usually enjoyed them sprouted in salad, spring rolls, smoothie, hummus or quick stir-fried at home. Your stew sounds like a simple good dish to keep us warm on this cold winter season and friendly on the budget too. Great list David, thanks a lot.
    Eating in season is one of my favorite tip too and buying in the bulk section saves money & on packaging. I have been buying my organic extra virgin coconut oil online in 1 gallon pail because I use it all the time for cooking, baking & beauty care along with other goodies like hemp seeds, organic almonds, etc. The best part, it is delivered right at my door. It’s from Essential Living Food and here’s the link if you are interested: http://essentiallivingfoods.com/
    Good luck to Luise for her Nutritional Therapist exam this spring!

  2. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 07:44 | #

    Good morning! Or should I say good night from California : )
    I just bought your book and am already looking forward to the next. The photos are eye candy; just beautiful, and I am already adding items to my market list. Thank you for this lovely site.

  3. Jodi
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 07:58 | #

    You guys – I love this! What a great idea to share your tips! I do the best I can, but sometimes it can break the budget. Its so nice to hear you acknowledge this too! Good luck with your studies, Luise! My sister is doing thr same thing and I had a fun time being one of her ‘cases’. Soup sounds great too! As always, wonderful post!

  4. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 07:59 | #

    Great advices! I think the “choose dried” is the one I’m following the most, my freezer is filled woth beans I’ve boiled myself. They are really great in stews and salads :)

  5. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 08:21 | #

    This is exactly what I need, especially the choosing food in season… but I love grapes and berries so much! (luckily for me they are great frozen too- already using your tips)

  6. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 09:03 | #

    Such great tips and the stew looks beautiful! I’m not a vegetarian but we only eat small amounts of meat and fish in our house. And we do buy mostly organic whole foods. I cannot come up with any additional tips, but I always take into consideration when buying “expensive” organic greens that they are almost always cheaper than the meat or fish counterpart ;-)

  7. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 09:06 | #

    Great idea for a series, I think it will be helpful to many. My tip would be to try to grow at least some of your veg and fruit wherever possible. Even in an appartment, you can grow some herbs and these are both easy to grow and expensive to buy. If you can’t invest money in eating healthier, maybe you can invest time? We have an organic allotment where we grow most of what we eat. I also started a small community garden in the neighbourhood where people can come to help and then share in the harvest. Some things, like raspberries for example, are especially huge moneysavers. For anyone interested, in this post I highlighted some vegetables that are especially profitable to grow yourself: http://www.growntocook.com/?p=1913

  8. Hayley
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 09:24 | #

    The Eating Healthy on a Budget series is a wonderful idea! (Especially for students like myself, who have a really tight budget but want to eat healthy.) Thank you, David and Luise!

  9. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 10:28 | #

    I soooooo love mung beans and always have them at home. I love them in warm salads. I will definitely try this recipe. Meanwhile just wanted to let you know that I became a fan of the cashewgurt (check it here: http://coentrosrabanetes.blogspot.pt/2014/01/iogurte-de-caju-cashewgurt.html) and will try it with other nuts!

  10. Guro
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 10:58 | #

    What a great post! I especially like your tip on appreciating not so fancy vegetables (kålrot, for example, which is extremely cheap in Norway, at least, and full of nutrients).
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 11:20 | #

    Such easy, sensible advice! I would also suggest growing your own herbs and lettuce leaves as you only really need a windowsill full to keep you going :)

  12. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 11:21 | #

    I really love this post! Thank you so much for the information ;)

  13. Kasia
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 11:50 | #

    Yummy… This recipe is like my kithadi ayurvedic healing soup!
    Lovely post and beautiful pictures !
    Thank you :-)

  14. Chris
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:05 | #

    Much much needed!Well done! Looking forward to what follows in this series!

  15. Laura-Louise
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:07 | #

    Thank you so much for that post. I love most of your recipes, but as a student, I simply cannot afford most of the fancier stuff – so a cooking on a budget section is perfect for me (and for all the other students willing to eat well).Big thanks!

  16. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:21 | #

    This is great! I just watched “Food Stamped” yesterday and woke up to this post. It feels like you just saw it too :) Did you? Otherwise I suggest you see it soon.

    Lovely recipe. I’m gonna cook it tonight. Have all the ingredients laying around in my kitchen. Thanks

  17. Candela
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:27 | #

    Great post! & the stew sounds yummy!

  18. Maria Calpén
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:28 | #

    Weekly mealplanning and lunchboxes are my best budget tips!

  19. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:31 | #

    I love this stew and can’t wait to try it. And this new series is so smart and practical. Your tips seem spot-on, it’s nice to know how you think about stocking your pantries and shopping. I also think meal planning and keeping a running list of staple pantry items getting low helps us have more focused shopping trips so that we don’t wander aimlessly getting things we don’t have a plan for and then end up wasting them. And I find that keeping a list of staple pantry items that I may not be out of just yet allows me to remember to look out for them and then I have the flexibility to grab them when on sale instead of out of desperation last minute when they’re not on sale.

    • Asmita Rami
      Posted 28 Feb ’14 at 17:22 | #

      If you really like all dry beans like mungdal, all kinds of dals buy from Indian grocery store closed to your home its very cheap and all organic produce. Also all kinds of spice, garam masala, basmati rice, etc. Buy for good.

  20. Elsa
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 12:34 | #

    Very good idea.
    What I do twice a year is to empty my cupboards. I always have a bit of this a bit of that, products that I bought for a special recipe but didn’t need to use everything. It helps me trow away less products.
    On another point where I live, nobody knows what kale is (I never find it anywhere even on markets and natural shops). What could I use instead that would have similar values?
    Thanks!

  21. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 13:13 | #

    Great idea for a new series. I make something very similar to this (minus the coconut milk and plus the addition carrots/celery and a few spices like turmeric and ginger) when I’m strapped for time and ingredients. Will have to try it this way :) Wonderfully, for a recipe like this I already have everything on hand! :)

    I freeze my ginger too – that way it stays fresh longer. As a bonus, it grates up much better frozen IMO:)

  22. Shauna
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 13:50 | #

    Wow, I am so happy you are doing this! What a great idea. I’m really looking forward to your future posts. This stew looks amazing!

  23. Alice
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 13:51 | #

    Love the recipe and can’t wait to try it. I like to go to the farmer’s market right before it closes. I can usually get some good deals on fruits and vegetables and then bring them home and either freeze them or cook up batches of things to go in the freezer. The secret is to use what’s in the freezer so keeping a list is important, then nothing gets buried in the bottom and forgotten!

  24. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 14:05 | #

    I’m always looking to save money during the week, and this stew is the perfect solution!

  25. Dani
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 14:06 | #

    One way to save money is to buy only as much as you actually need. Buying more because it is on sale and tossing it out later on because it has gone bad doesn’t save any money at all! Love your blog and your recipes!

  26. Nicole
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 14:09 | #

    Great ideas! I would like to add: make what you can rather than purchasing pre-made, buy from the bulk section (bringing your own jars) as well as warehouse clubs (hemp seeds, almonds) IF it is what you will use, keep the farmer’s markets in mind, barter, invest in a pressure cooker or slow cooker, compost. Also, whenever possible, walk or ride your bike to market. Riding your bike forces you to be more mindful about what you are purchasing since you have limited space to carry things and you may make healthier choices.

  27. Beth
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 14:38 | #

    Looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you.

  28. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 14:58 | #

    This is actually awkward for me, because i usually cook mung-bean or i always called it green beans to be a sweet porridge. But i think this mung-bean recipe of yours are worth to try. Thanks

  29. Wendy
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 14:58 | #

    Bravo! I spend a great deal of money at the grocery store, but I feel it is worth it. I appreciate the money saving tips while still maintaining a healthy diet. I am excited to see future budget friendly recipes.

  30. Margie
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 15:12 | #

    Thank you! Some weeks my grocery bill is out of control. Do you have any recommendations on the best way to freeze beans/lentils?

  31. Emily
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 15:23 | #

    I love this – the Eating Healthy on a Budget series and the stew! I just bought a bag of whole mung beans only to find that the recipe actually called for the split beans, so I’ve been looking for ways to use them up.

  32. niki
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 17:06 | #

    Hi,
    In every Indian household you will find mung, high in protein.
    I cook it every wednesday as my mom had divided 1 bean and lentil a day, so we got our protein everyday!
    Have you ever tried sprouted mung salad?

  33. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 19:36 | #

    I sometimes buy my veggies at this kind of farmers cooperative, where they sell the vegetables that don’t quite fit the required sizes or standards to be sold at a supermarket. They are local, just as good and half price!
    Another thing that really makes a difference is reducing those ready-made / processed / packaged goods to the absolute minimum. Making a sauce from scratch can be cheaper and definitely healthier+tastier than the store bought stuff.
    Sprouts cost a fortune and we can make them at home for almost nothing! (mung beans are a breeze to sprout, they grow like crazy)
    I could go on and on on this one.. Great post, as always!

  34. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 20:39 | #

    Moong bean stew looks delicious! Gorgeous clicks and Great tips for budget friendly shopping!

    Local farmers’ markets and ethnic stores are worth visiting too. You can often buy fresh and dry produce for less than what you’d pay at the super market.

  35. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 20:56 | #

    Wow, I will have to make this!

  36. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 22:18 | #

    I’m looking forward to read more posts from this series!!

  37. Chhavi
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 22:23 | #

    Mung Bean Stew looks delicious! I have never thought of making a stew using mung bean. Great idea! I usually use it in salads.

    Question : Why use frozen spinach instead of fresh?

    • Green Kitchen Storie
      Posted 20 Feb ’14 at 18:09 | #

      Frozen veggies are often cheaper, but feel free to use fresh spinach.
      Luise

  38. Michiel
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 22:25 | #

    Perhaps it’s on purpose, but cooking soaked mung beans this long turns them into pulp.Even after boiling for just twenty minutes the beans were already beyond tender and had completely lost their bite.

    • Green Kitchen Storie
      Posted 20 Feb ’14 at 18:11 | #

      If you use dried whole mung beans (not split), they will not turn into pulp, but look like the ones in the images above. Soaking is important to eliminate enzyme inhibitors and ease the digestion.
      Happy cooking
      Luise

  39. Greta
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 22:48 | #

    Hey, this is actually the first time I’m writing to you guys so I’m quite excited. I’ve been following your blog almost 1/2 a year now and still every time you guys post something new I’m stunned!! I absolutely love your blog and your cookbook!! I’m cooking something out of it almost every day and there wasn’t a time it hasn’t been delicious. But as you mentioned in your resent post I can’t really cook that healthy, fair trade and organic how I would prever it because it’s just getting too expensive. So I’m quite happy to hear that it’s not only me who has that problem and can’t wait for the following “Eating healthy on a budget” post. The mung bean stew sounds delicious. Thank you for that.

  40. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 22:53 | #

    This new series is a great idea ! I’m a student and food take a big part of my budget … but I don’t want to eat bad food so far. So I’m glad you’ve created this new series ! I look forward to make recipes from it ;D
    Thank’s for all you share with us !

    See you soon !

    Juliette

  41. ROSE
    Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 23:27 | #

    great!….i love your recipies/photography etc but have often thought that the recipies are out of reach of most people due to the high cost ingredients, so how refreshing to read of this new direction….thank you.

  42. Posted 13 Jan ’14 at 23:29 | #

    Looks really healthy and nice

  43. Tricia
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 01:32 | #

    This, like all of your recipes, looks amazing! I’m so glad I found your blog.

  44. Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 01:52 | #

    As a university student over here in the US, this post is exactly what I needed. I’m always trying to eat healthily and wholesomely but find it can be incredibly difficult on a student budget. Thank you for all of these helpful tips!

  45. Angela
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 03:15 | #

    Just made this with lentils and doubled the recipe for my week. Delicious! Had to add more spices because my cumin has lost its punch. Served with roasted squash and fresh salad. Thanks for the wallet-friendly tips!

  46. Renee Losier
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 03:20 | #

    Eating on a budget series is a great idea! I made this stew but I found it a little bland. Any idea on what could be added to spruce it up? Thanks.

  47. nina
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 09:32 | #

    This post is such a great idea!!! THANK YOU! i was thinking about that the other day… first because I really believe in that way of eating and so I have to deal every day with my student budget, which is not always easy, but I don’t want to sacrifice my alimentation! and then because the other day I was again with people saying that eating that way was too expensive, and I was trying to explain to these huge meat eater that we might be spending the same amount of money but not in the same ingredients (meat is very expensive too, and I don’t think that it’s cheaper than quinoa) My fisrt tip would be to take time to make a “market inquiry”, because prices change a lot between shops or productors. Then we have to make like the bees, take a litle of everything in the differents places (it is easy in a short area). And my second tip is too make the more things I can at home (bread, crakers, biscuits, crust for a tart…). It is far cheaper and tastes even more better!and when you don’t have time, you can replace those aliments or you can buy it already done (if it is sometimes you can afford it) Have a wonderful day and I’m looking forward for the next post!

  48. Eliza
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 14:48 | #

    Hurray! I am so pleased to hear you’re planning a series of these posts. I love your blog but I also operate on an extremely limited budget and so do have to bypass some recipes if they are too expensive. Amongst my favourites (and budget friendly already) are your cauliflower, apricot and lentil stew (from the book) and your butternut squash and coconut soup – both of which I can make for under £2.50 sterling. Not bad for covering a few days meals. Looking forward to some more ideas!

  49. Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 15:11 | #

    My best advice for decently priced, healthy food is to join a CSA and then prep and freeze the excess produce. And if you’re a college student, or really on a budget, split the subscription with another friend or house.

    Many CSAs have pick-your-own and this presents a wonderful opportunity to collect extra for the freezer. And at the end of the season, if the CSA tells you when they’re about to till under the plants, you can get there a few days before and glean the final remains (for those darker, colder months).

    The herbs they grow are another wonderful chance to dry and preserve for future use. You can even pick seeds for your own garden next year or to season your own food with them (cilantro seeds become a wonderful, pungent coriander).

  50. Natalie
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 15:20 | #

    Cooked beans stay quite well in the fridge as well, up to five days, I’ve read in some veg cookbook…forgot which one. Cook the beans with salt, turmeric, a bay leaf and maybe a clove of garlic, adds color, taste and maybe some “keep fresh longer” qualities to the beans.
    Health food stores can be really costly, Asian and international food markets can have bigger and cheaper bags of beans, quinoa ect. And of course, grow your own food, that’s the cheapest organic stuff around….thanx for great blog

  51. Aleksandra
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 15:38 | #

    Almost everything was mentioned that I try to incorporate but I still wanted to share my enthusiasm for this great idea. I still have to say when eating a mostly plant-based diet I save a lot of Money on not buying meat and fish, especially when ist in organic Quality. I get a regional organic box, so only things that grow locally and I find that helps with my Budget as well as your idea of incorporating simple super foods.Stews like here are great because they keep well and are very nourishing at the same time. My favourite way of saving money is making things on my own eg. plant milks, nut butters and even bread and ordering some things on the Internet like coconut oil. Usually its a little cheaper. So glad your sharing your ideas. Another thing that would interest me is how you eat when your travelling. That poses a great challenge for me I must confess.Thanks again!

  52. Gabriele
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 16:11 | #

    Dear Luise, dear David, the budget thing is really a very good idea!!!! My husband and I buy almost everything at an (expensive) organic supermarket (we are working on our own and can afford buying organic food). We are always wondering how students and young families with children can manage the healthy-eating thing. One advice is to purée leftovers. The other day I had some lentils, not enough for a meal, I pureed them with some cooked potatoes and offered it with a veggie-burger and salad. You can also purée sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, beans and so on … – A small piece of feta cheese, cut in small pieces, is nice in a spinach soufflé or on a quiche … With 2 carrots, half a fennel, a third of an onion, a half of a radish, a fourth of anything else you can prepare the nicest salads.
    In Austria, where we live, someone published some years ago a 1 Euro-Cookbook (1 Euro per person per meal). The book became a bestseller, of course. I guess it is very difficult to do this with organic food, but it is an idea … It will only work with a higher amount.
    Lots of succes with the budget-cooking-thing! Best wishes, Gabriele (gk-blog-reader for many months).

  53. Julia
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 22:02 | #

    I think I´m going to love your new series! Just put some mungbeans in water so I can make this recipe tomorrow, as it sounds delicious and I´m craving for stews these cold winter days. As I´m still a student and working only part-time I´ve also made the decision to spend more money on food than other stuff like clothing or going out etc. I just don´t want to save on the quality of food i´m eating, as I´m always remembering myself that “I am what I eat”!

  54. Sam
    Posted 14 Jan ’14 at 22:36 | #

    I am so excited for this column! I just started cooking and grocery shopping for a family and it is my first time having a strict budget, cooking for kids, & cooking large quantities!

    Looking forward to more budget-conscious recipes :D

  55. Posted 15 Jan ’14 at 04:37 | #

    Yes! Cheap beans are a staple in my cooking and I, too, have exhumed my mung beans recently as well. This looks like a delicious variation to try. Thanks! :)

  56. Posted 15 Jan ’14 at 10:31 | #

    I love moong daal and make so many different kinds of meals with it.We make an Indian classic “Daal Palak” which I make with split yellow moong and split red gram and spinach. It is quite similar to the above one..I had posted it a while back on my blog with . Just in case you are interested:
    http://urbanfoodlover.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/soups-on-tonight-lentils-and-spinach-soup/

  57. Posted 15 Jan ’14 at 13:58 | #

    I love the sound of this feature! I got a slow cooker for Christmas and am very keen to get into using dried beans & grains – in fact this recipe looks like it would translate perfectly for the slow cooker. Will let you know if I try it out :)

  58. Elin
    Posted 15 Jan ’14 at 19:38 | #

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! My best advice for saving money when it comes to food is: grow your own sprouts! http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/04/how-to-grow-bean-sprouts-in-a-jar.html

  59. Erin
    Posted 15 Jan ’14 at 21:57 | #

    Hi David and Luise! This series is a great idea. Thank you! In addition to the ideas already mentioned, we save on storage containers by re-using glass jars to store beans, pastes, snacks and drinks, etc.

  60. Magda
    Posted 15 Jan ’14 at 22:46 | #

    I’ve had mung beans sitting in my cupboard for weeks! Made the stew tonight, kale instead of spinach, added at the end, not the beginning to retain the nutrients! Delicious, nutritious and cheap. Plenty left for tomorrow!

  61. Posted 16 Jan ’14 at 02:13 | #

    How beatiful! This looks so filling and healthy too. I love those mung beans!

  62. Didi
    Posted 16 Jan ’14 at 14:05 | #

    Good job you guys! Apparently you hit the spot, given the huge amount of replies. I’ve always wondered about the clean fifteen and dirty dozen lists that are circulating on the internet: do they apply to all countries? I always feel like they are American lists…

  63. Mellie
    Posted 17 Jan ’14 at 03:25 | #

    I am soo excited for more recipes on a budget!
    I have to admit I shy away from anything with fancy or obscure ingredients because of the high prices, and most times this even includes fruits and avocados. Totally looking forward to your creativity!

  64. Bianca
    Posted 17 Jan ’14 at 04:58 | #

    This is fantastic! I always prioritise eating healthy food as my main expense each week; I think good food returns optimal health allowing more energy, enjoyment and productivity each day. I am a student on a budget. My budget restricts me to eating a simple, yet clean, vegetarian diet (which is a positive!). I cannot always adhere to elaborate recipes or afford superfood powders, so I am very excited that you are doing this series. I am sure many people will find it very valuable. I love your work and look forward to the next cookbook. Much appreciation xx

  65. Lorna
    Posted 17 Jan ’14 at 13:57 | #

    this is only a small tip but the supermarket i use sells chilli’s in packets of 4 or 5 its only too easy to use one or two and then forget about the rest later in the week. My solution is to freeze the rest and take out an indiviudal chilli when you need it – they take moments to defrost and the nutritional content is preserved .
    another tip is that i make jam as i think it tastes better and often is much cheaper that even basic bought jam, . I made plum and amontilado jam last weekend (sounds odd adding sherry to plum jam but it is sublime) and i couldn’t get organic plums so i used the supermarket basic ones and it made very good jam and despite not being organic a lot better than all the additives in commmerical jam !

  66. Lara
    Posted 18 Jan ’14 at 16:34 | #

    Love this feature! While I love looking at your pictures and recipes, most aren’t affordable for me (student budget). This recipe definitely is. Thank you!

  67. Posted 19 Jan ’14 at 04:27 | #

    Great ideas! I also started eating seasonally- which for me means canning as many farmer’s market tomatoes ($1-$1.50 a pound for organic beauties!) as possible each summer.

    Only buy what you cannot make yourself since you can buy the ingredients much cheaper than the end product. I make bread/rolls and freeze, make our rice milk and granola, bake my own gluten free goodies for the hubby, cook dried beans in the slow cooker instead of canned beans, and make salad dressing from good olive oil, salt and white wine vinegar or lemon juice.

    Buy ingredients and use them many ways. The rice milk is a great example- now I just buy a large bag of rice in bulk and use it for both cooking rice and making the milk. Means less goes to waste in small forgotten bags in the pantry and has more than one use.

    When you think you need to go grocery shopping, wait it out a day or two. I usually can make 1-2 pretty darn good pantry meals even after thinking “I’m out of everything”.

  68. Posted 20 Jan ’14 at 22:44 | #

    The recipe looks great and will be tried soon and the pictures are beautiful as always. I love the idea of your new series, I also prioritize buying food over other things, but it does hurt sometimes to spend so much on medjool dates, cashews, etc. and I had often wondered how all the authors of recipes employing theses expensive ingredients manage… But it’s true, there are plenty of recipes that can be prepared with non-expensive ingredients!

    PD Love your blog, recipes and cookbook! I’ve shared it with some colleagues and now at lunchtime there are sometimes different recipes of you coming out of the tuppers…

  69. Posted 22 Jan ’14 at 11:07 | #

    I love the eating healthy on a budget series, really helping me after the splurge we had at Christmas lol :)

  70. Staci
    Posted 22 Jan ’14 at 14:00 | #

    This looks delicious! What would you substitute for the spinach? My daughter and I are histamine intolerant and spinach is high in histamines. Maybe kale? Thank you!

  71. Posted 22 Jan ’14 at 22:23 | #

    I am so excited you guys are starting this new series! It is quite shocking how much my family of 3 (soon to be 4,) spends on food. It far surpasses any other expense we have. We even sold our only car, heading into sub zero snow season so we could have more room in our budget for real nutritious food. It means THAT much:)

  72. Julia
    Posted 23 Jan ’14 at 11:47 | #

    I love this new series. I am new to Copenhagen (moved here just a month ago!) and wondered if you might have any insider knowledge of good places to shop for more affordable bulk organic nuts, seeds, flours etc – places you might visit when you are in town? We are finding our grocery bills very high and are trying to find ways to stick to the things we like, but maintain a better budget.

  73. Henrik
    Posted 23 Jan ’14 at 19:51 | #

    Sorry, but this recipe is a disaster. I followed the recipe exactly but the dish got totally watery and runny like a very thin soup. And more: it tasted of absolutely nothing and the spinach..!(30-40 minutes cooking time for spinach!!!)? Where are all the beautiful spices in the recipe. I’m sorry, but there must be something wrong with the recipe???

    • Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 15:49 | #

      Dear Henrik,
      I’m sorry you didn’t like this stew.
      Check the mung beans you’re using, normally they will soak up all the water, it is important to use dried whole mung beans.
      I think cumin, onion and garlic adds a nice flavor to the dish. And as written in the post feel free to add more spices. We kept it simple to focus on budget-friendly food.
      To get the nutrtients from vegetables, like spinach, the best way is to use different cooking techniques, sometimes eat it raw, other times lightly steamed, stir-fried, baked and even slow cooked for a longer time. This way you will un-luck different nutrients every time. This can also help you body get the nutrients more easily than for example when eating raw food.

      Hope this finds you well.

      Best
      Luise

      • Michiel
        Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 15:54 | #

        I also feel that recipe is off: are you sure about soaking the mung beans before cooking them? Wouldn’t the result be tastier if the dried beans are cooked without soaking them first? They would remain firmer and get the chance to absorb the spiced liquids rather than plain water.

      • Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 16:27 | #

        I Have just read how important is to soak seeds, cereals and beans to get a better absocion of nutricients.

  74. Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 11:52 | #

    Thanks for another wonderful post!

    In some other post I have also understood that you recomend fish oil suplements.
    Is that for Omegas suply?
    Do you think, that in a vegetarian diet isnt enough to add spirulina or hemp seeds or oil?

    I´m not a strictly vegan… I would just like to understand.

    • Posted 20 Feb ’14 at 18:32 | #

      Hi Eva,
      That’s true, I recommend fish oil (EPA, DHA) to everyone. It is very difficult to get the amount of omega3 we need through plant ingredients like flax seeds and algae. The body can only transform a little amount of plant-based omega3 into EPA and DHA (which is the form we need). You’ll need to eat 6 tbsp flax seeds or 1 tsp fish oil every day to get the amount of EPA and DHA your body need. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about this.
      Best Luise

  75. Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 11:57 | #

    Love this stew! We like topping it with dry roasted cashews, cilantro, chili, and tamarind. This is definitely going on my favorites list!

  76. Ólöf
    Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 19:49 | #

    would love to apply for your consul but live in Iceland so it´s a bit far to come to Stocholm… wish you the best! your blog is so wonderful and I love reading your posts.. inspires a lot..

  77. Lola
    Posted 25 Jan ’14 at 15:13 | #

    Thank you so much for this recipe and this new series. I made the stew a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it. As a student trying to enter the “healthy world”, I’m struggling to find recipes which suit my budget. Bravo, your blog is lovely!

    Lola

  78. Inés
    Posted 25 Jan ’14 at 16:09 | #

    Hi :-)
    I think this is a really great idea! From my point of view there are so many recipes that include ingredients, which are in price ranges that are not for every-day-cooking, but only for special occasions or one-offs. So I am looking forward to your ideas to come!
    I tried your stew last night and loved it ♥ I used a Garam Masala spice blend instead of the pure cumin. Today I had the left-overs for lunch with some toasted bread, which was also great!

  79. Kathryn
    Posted 25 Jan ’14 at 16:34 | #

    I’m in agreement – thanks for starting this new series! I made this recipe last night. It felt satisfying and healthy to eat, as well as being very easy to make. And it was cheap! I did have some spices around the house, so to make this a little more lively and to my taste, I used 3 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander, and 2 tsp. of a curry madras spice blend in this dish. Thanks for the great recipes. I always look forward to each new blog post!

  80. Kathryn
    Posted 25 Jan ’14 at 16:38 | #

    Oh…and I used green split peas instead of mung beans, since I had some sitting in my pantry that have been needing a home!

  81. Elin
    Posted 27 Jan ’14 at 19:32 | #

    Perfekt studentmat! Billigt, kräver inte så mkt utrustning och blir många matlådor, och supergott såklart! :) Gärna fler såna recept!

  82. sarah
    Posted 27 Jan ’14 at 21:21 | #

    I made this soup the week you posted the recipe and loved it! I saw some of the other commenters say it didn’t absorb the water and the flavor was off but I didn’t find that at all.
    I froze individual portions in mason jars to bring to work. It has reheated beautifully.

    I too find myself trying to prepare healthy, organic, sustainable, local food and feel that the budget is the one area that ultimately suffers. I’ve been reading books and blogs by authors like yourself and appreciate the recipes with basis, pantry stamples in a whole food pantry.

    While I don’t have any tips other than the ones you shared, I will second that cooking in batches, utilizing all the scraps and bulk buying has made the biggest impact for my families savings. With both adults working full time and two small children, I find our budget gets hurt the worst based on poor planning and timing issues. Looking forward to future posts!

  83. Kate
    Posted 29 Jan ’14 at 13:07 | #

    Finally got around to making this tonight and it was great! Really appreciate this budget food section as a student cannot afford to cook many of the dishes despite them looking incredibly appetising and while a lot of blogs will do a post with a couple tips for eating healthy within a budget this seems pretty unique – its great to see a practical application of them in recipes and on a recurring basis – if this was any indication of what’s in store then i’m super excited! Thank you!

  84. Posted 29 Jan ’14 at 22:30 | #

    I love mung beans soup… It’s very delicious… I’ll try to come up with a recipe that I can share with you..Maybe in the future.. But yeah. I love mung beans a lot. Not good for arthritis though.

  85. Carin
    Posted 31 Jan ’14 at 04:45 | #

    I am so happy you are doing this series! What a great idea. I try to cook healthy foods on a budget so sometimes certain recipes are not practical. I will keep my eyes peeled for all the goodies you are sure to post.

  86. Nat
    Posted 4 Feb ’14 at 10:38 | #

    Just made this for dinner! It looks lovely, but I found at the end it was rather bland, and I doubled the garlic/onion/cumin. Next time I’ll quadruple it. It also needed a fair bit of salt in the end.

    Either way, it’s a gorgeous recipe and yummy! Thanks

  87. Alicia
    Posted 4 Feb ’14 at 19:16 | #

    Very tasty!. I added a few tsp of Garam Masala for extra flavor and it was great. More budget recipes, please!

  88. Posted 24 Feb ’14 at 18:57 | #

    Wow! This looks so good, and it’s very true that dried is cheaper. I guess most people just see it as a process that takes time (I know I do sometimes), but it really isn’t!

  89. Vicky
    Posted 3 Mar ’14 at 22:07 | #

    Yum. I wanted to stretch it out a little more to serve as lunch so popped in some beluga lentils too. It was lovely, very hearty. My husband didn’t mention the lack of meat :)

  90. Verity
    Posted 22 Mar ’14 at 16:50 | #

    Prioritise are for me where real budgeting comes in. I eat nearly all organic on a minuscule budget and I go without TV and Broadband to achieve it. How am I post online then. I use my phone as a hotspot and buy a top up on my phone as and when. I also grow my own veg, often food that I can’t buy in the supermarket or couldn’t normally afford. eBay is a surprising resource for affordable organic seeds.

    As a side note you list fish oil which is fine if you’re a pescatarian but not on the acceptable food for a vegetarian and equally egg is still being debated by the vegetarian society as they’re attempting to gain a legal definition and most consider eggs to still be an animal product albeit unfertilised.

    Back on topic I find the best way to eat in season is through the box scheme I use which is delivered weekly to my door and at the same time supports local farmers cutting down the carbon foot print. Very rarely do I buy non-organic but I’ve made some serious sacrifices to eat so much organic on my measly income.

    To me healthy food is everything, it’s my life and my health.

  91. Posted 13 Apr ’14 at 03:26 | #

    Hi sweetie!
    Just loved your website! I’m on a diet and the budget for it is a real problem! Thanks for the tips!

    I’ve just created a blog and would love if you could take a look at it!

    It’s http://healthychick.wix.com/healthychick

    Thank you!! :)

  92. Posted 7 May ’14 at 04:56 | #

    Hello – I’ve just made a huge batch of your mung bean stew (delicious) and have enough for at least 10 meals. I’m single and about to go away for the weekend. I didn’t think about advice I’ve heard before – not to freeze something that has been frozen before. Your recipe called for frozen spinach. Does that mean it would be unsafe for me to freeze my leftover mung bean stew?

    • Posted 7 May ’14 at 07:35 | #

      Hi Dominique, you can safely freeze the stew even though you have used frozen spinach. It is cooked food that has been frozen and then reheated that you don’t want to freeze again.
      /David

      • Posted 7 May ’14 at 07:37 | #

        What a relief. After having it for breakfast, I dreaded the idea of having it for the next 6 meals before I leave. I just didn’t want to waste it… :-)

  93. Esther
    Posted 11 May ’14 at 18:19 | #

    Am glad i found this recipe am from kenya and they are readily available from the farms..so its a meal every house makes its good to have a different way of making it thank you

  94. Lyndall Shope-Mafole
    Posted 26 May ’14 at 13:24 | #

    Really great ideas. Just want to say actually mung beans are said to be GOOD for arthritis. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and the reason I found this site is because I was looking for recipes for mung beans. Cheers from South Africa….and we are getting into winter!

  95. Natasha
    Posted 14 Aug ’14 at 04:47 | #

    I think this is the 10th time I make this dish and I still am not tired of it. It’s one of my favorite go-to recipes when I don’t know what to make because it’s so simple and it’s always very likely that I have all the ingredients and won’t need to go to the store. The best part is that it’s also very inexpensive and so healthy!
    Any chance you can post something else along these lines soon? Something that’s easy on a student’s wallet but also tasty and nutritious?
    Thanks for all the great recipes!

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