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Learning from the vegetarian #thrifty #ideas

It is National Vegetarian week in the UK. I’m not a vegetarian, I like eating meat but we can learn from the vegetarian lifestyle that we don’t need to eat so much meat and still stay healthy. Some would say healthier! My main problem with being a vegetarian is getting enough protein because I can’t have gluten or dairy.

vegetarian ideas

Peas and beans

Beans on toast is an old favourite and still a thrifty meal. Beans are high in protein and so it is a nutritious meal. You can do variations on beans on toast and add other ingredients to make it more interesting. Egg on toast is another variation on that theme and that is a filling meal as well as a cheap meal. Both of these meals are great and you can also try tinned tomatoes on toast which won’t be quite so filling because there is less protein.

Peas are another source of protein. I cooked mince and add peas and other frozen vegetables to add fibre and protein. I usually cook the mixture in gravy. The gravy is usually quite a rich sauce and I serve it with mashed potatoes.


Lentils are in the same family as peas and beans and can be used for a wide variety of dishes. They can be used on their own for a protein rich soup or stew or as an addition to meat. These vegetarian sources of protein allow you to reduce the quantities of meat and save money. Careful use of pulses will allow you to feed a family on a small pack of meat and it can be really economical.

Milk and eggs

Milk and eggs are good sources of protein and cheaper than meat. Why not try making protein-rich pancakes or an omelette for dinner. You can make them more exotic by adding toppings. The omelette can have all the same sort of toppings that they put on pizza.

Eggs and chips

I can cook eggs, chips and peas for much less than a pound and it is a favourite meal. You could buy the chips from a fish and chip shop and cook the rest but I use oven chips and cook them in my air-fryer


I hated milk puddings when I was a child but they could be the reason I grew so tall! They are not only protein rich but rich in calcium for growing bones. Puddings were a way of filling up hungry bellies when the main course was a little light on protein. There are lots of other puddings and most make use of milk and eggs in some way to make a well balanced sweet course to end the meal. However, I get lots of protein and so I prefer to end a meal with fruit, either fresh fruit or tinned fruit. I have been having tins of mixed fruit from Aldi and using that to make a pudding of fruit, jelly and soya milk. So refreshing and one of my five-a-day!

That’s all my vegetarian food ideas. If you have been inspired by today’s post you might like to subscribe and receive an email every time I post. Just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates. You can also find links and more ideas on my Facebook page.

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