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Cooking On A Financial & Time Budget

My Quick And Easy Go-To Meals, Sorry, They Are Vegan

I am not good at cooking but I enjoy it. It’s one of the first things out of my mouth when people ask “OMG, you want to retire early? What are you going to do with all that free time?” – I will take my sweet ass time cooking and savoring every meal.

Baking is another really fun hobby of mine, though when I went vegan it isn’t quite as much fun. I’ve developed a few staples which are delicious in the vegan version so I make those quite often.


For breakfast I like oatmeal. Not those tiny hard fuckers that you have to babysit for 30 minutes on the stove-top. I like the instant oats. I make it even easier by soaking it in coconut milk overnight so all I gotta do is warm it up in the morning. I take my sauce pan, put the oats in, coconut milk, a few cut up dates or dried apricots, flax-seed powder, cinnamon and sometimes a few coconut shavings. I heat it up the next morning on medium-low and put some crushed nuts in it – ahhh, heaven.


Granola is another easy one to make. Oaks, nuts, coconut shavings, cinnamon, agave syrup and coconut oil. Mix it up, in the oven at 300-350 for  ~20 minutes and shaking it up a little in-between if you’re making a big batch. I tried some cut up dates or dried fruit in there and it’s not too bad, a little too crunchy for my taste.


I love my coffee in the morning. I buy organic fair-trade, dark roast from a local coffee shop because I like it nutty not acidic (espresso roast is even better if you can find it). I have a hand grinder and my little wanna-be espresso maker. The act of grinding the coffee in the morning is sort of my wake-up routine – yea, weird, I know.


Hummus is a really easy go-to food for me. I can put anything in there and that fucker always tastes good to me. I rarely use tahini now, dunno, just don’t like the taste perhaps. Pinto beans out of a can (rinsed so you don’t get gassy at work), salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, healthy dose of EVOO and left-over pickle juice if you have it otherwise lemon/lime and a little vinegar.

You can put spinach in there or nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor, miso paste to make it this weird Asian spread or Italian seasoning.

The good thing about hummus us that I can put it on a sandwich or make wraps out of it or use it as a dip. People worry about the high fiber or the beany factor giving you gas or cramps – it’s usually that way when you first start eating beans and if you don’t rinse it.

Tempeh is another go-to for me. It’s fermented soybeans. Yea it looks gross, and yes it tastes about the same by itself but … well, it’s pretty gross overall, I get it. If you marinate it in soy sauce or pan sear it then it actually is pretty tasty – so I tell myself.

I got some sprouted wheat bread above, spinach hummus, pickles, vegan mayo and tempeh with soy sauce topped off with tomatoes. This is seriously a good sandwich and you’ll feel full (after 4 of them) and you won’t feel heavy which is the best part.

A stir-fry is always easy right? I get a few bags of frozen veggies or fresh ones if I have the time and space in the fridge to get them and I quickly saute them on low-medium heat with a little vegetable oil (has a higher burnt point than EVOO) and usually some nutritional yeast and Italian seasoning. I make rice on the side with rosemary, EVOO, salt and pepper. Then I just mix it all up. Drizzle a little Sriracha and bam!


Last but not least my favorite fucking food on the planet, pizza. I make the dough myself because it’s easy as shit but the dough from Trader Joe’s has never let me down. The key with that one is you got to take it out of the plastic gently without messing it up, then let it sit & rise, beat it down like your debt and then roll it out.

This pizza I made with TJ dough actually, I cut it in half because I like to roll it out super thin. Get fancy and bake it for a little bit before topping it with your ingredients. This one has a vegan home-made cheese, organic tomato sauce from a can, bell peppers, kale and tomatoes. I usually drizzle it with EVOO towards the end and drown it with garlic powder.

I don’t know how healthy it is to be vegan and eat organic. I just know that the organic fruits/veggies just make more sense to me. The farmer’s market seems to be a great source to get that stuff though in all honesty I haven’t been able to make it out there as often as I like.

Vegan – maybe being vegan is unnecessary for health reasons but less animal products is definitely better for your health. I’m vegan because I like animals, I’m not even very strict.

One thing I noticed when I cut back on bread and sugars was a huge jump in energy and I felt a lot less sluggish. My hunger got curbed quite a bit. I can binge like no other and the more carbs/sugars I eat the stronger my hunger or my urge to binge.

2 years ago I started introducing rice/bread back in because I couldn’t keep up my weight. I felt the best when I was at 167 lbs but on a 6′ frame I was a little anorexic looking. My cholesterol and my blood pressure, however, were incredible at that weight. Now my BP is creeping back up a little which I attribute to stress. Let’s see what a little retirement will do for my BP.

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