Shopping Guide For Plant-Based Meals On A Budget Amid The Pandemic

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Supermarkets have put a limit on how much meat can be bought during every shopping visit, which is forcing people to opt for plant-based diets. Considering that the unemployment rate is on the rise, meat is also turning out to be an expensive commodity. For this reason, several people have turned vegetarian and are sticking to a plant-based diet for lack of choice. Also, there are various health factors involved in consuming meat, such as added cholesterol and increased risk of cancer.  

With reduction in income and more food needed to feed people staying home, stocking the pantry with plant-based food choices makes more practical sense. Having a pantry full despite limited shopping choices could make lives a little easier and organised. Our food intake during this crucial time also plays a role in keeping both physical and mental health intact. 

Economically speaking, beans cost much less when compared to processed carbs. Breakfast cereals with processed sugar are more expensive than oatmeal and fiber. The latter has a longer shelf-life, too. Some people worry that plant-based diets do not provide enough protein, but this largely depends on the kind of foods you pick. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, while four ounces of beef provides about 14 grams of protein. 

Soups, stews, salads, burgers and dips are some of the various things that can be made with plant foods. The nutrition is aplenty: soluble, insoluble fiber, folate, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. So, on your next visit to the supermarket, here is what you need to buy to survive the rest of the pandemic: 

  • Buy vegetables with shelf lives of up to a week such as beans, tomatoes, olive, corn, carrots, peas, sprouts and spinach. 
  • Whole grain pastas have a long shelf-life too. Buckwheat noodles and Thai noodles are other such options. 
  • Get low-cost fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits.
  • Dry spices that you can use to add flavor despite running out of money to buy fancy spices. 
  • For pasta and lasagna sauces, canned tomato paste and sauce could work. 
  • Oats, quinoa and brown rice last for a few months per year, saving trips to the supermarket. 
  • Soup varieties in cans, packets or cartons.
  • An opened bottle of extra virgin olive oil lasts for a year at room temperature.
  • Finally, stock up on all items on sale each time you visit the market. 

Pantry Here some prime pantry essentials to stock up on amid the pandemic. Billy White / Flickr

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