‘Alternative’ has received a bad rap in recent years, too often spoken in a snide remark against a new beard or as a vaguely insulting compliment to your most vegan friend. But in its purest form, alternative refers to giving a different option, and nutritionist-turned-author Lisa White is all about that. In a world where gluten-free pizza and almond milk counts as food trends, it can be easy to forget that there are people out there who legitimately can’t eat certain foods, regardless of their fashion status. So to celebrate the release of her new cookbook, The Alternative Kitchen, Lisa has done us a solid and given This is Radelaide some tips about eating healthily on a budget.
1. Legumes are your friend
“Learn how to cook with legumes! Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, adzuki beans, black beans and more are inexpensive, filling and nutritious. They are rich in plant-based protein, fibre and minerals can still give you the best "bite for your buck". When you consider that legumes range from about 30-60 cents / 100g for dried and 70-80 cents for cooked canned legumes compared to beef which ranges from $1.20 to $4 per 100g or chicken which ranges from $1.60-$2.80, learning how to cook with legumes can save you a lot of money. If you haven't prepared dried legumes before we've included an overview video and cooking guide on how to cook legumes in our book The Alternative Kitchen.”
2. Sodastream it
“When you consider that buying soft drinks can range from 70 cents to 2 dollars per litre (not to mention all that plastic waste), if you're on a budget, rather than buying soft drinks for that extra "zing" in the coming hot weather, consider investing in something like a Sodastream (which can cost around $100-200 to get set up) and making your own bubbly (ideally filtered) water and adding your own natural flavourings (like lemon juice or apple juice) as Anne uses in her bubbly drink alternative in our cookbook The Alternative Kitchen.”
3. Seasons change
“Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, these are usually the most cost efficient. One of Glenys' top tips from our cookbook The Alternative Kitchen is to buy up on fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries when they are in season, then wash them and freeze them into 100g portions when you get home so you'll have them on hand for when they aren't in season (and they go from $4 per punnet to $9!)”.
Lisa is the creator of the web-series Alternative Chef Kitchen, which focuses on cooking for people with food intolerances or specific diets. Each recipe in The Alternative Kitchen is presented in four different ways to comply with different dietary requirements. Both Lisa and her daughter are dairy intolerant, the discovery of which lead her down the alternative path. More info about Lisa and her new cookbook can be found here.
All images via The Alternative Kitchen