Every once in a while, I like to sit down and calculate the cost of a meal we just ate. I like the "way to go" feeling if we ate for under $5 and I really get to know on a concrete level how much less expensive it is when we make our own.
Tonight I made tvp/oatmeal veggie burgers. A pretty basic recipe, but it's very quick to make (a few minutes to combine ingredients + a few minutes to pan-fry the patties).
This is the recipe:
1-1/2 cup tvp (I used beef flavor)
soaked for 15 minutes in 1-1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup water
6 T flour
2 T soy sauce
2 T ketchup
2 t salt
Shape into patties and pan fry.
This recipe makes 14 medium-sized veggie patties (about the size of a Morningstar Farms package of veggie burgers). Morningstar Farm burgers usually cost $3.00 for a pack of 4, or $0.75 each. I made this recipe for $0.15 per pattie! The homemade buns cost $0.06 each. A generous amount of condiments (lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup) brought the total cost per veggie burger to $0.31 each. We had water to drink, so the entire meal cost $2.48 since 8 burgers were consumed.
Knowing how cheap it is to make, I find myself totally, completely unable to actually go to a restaurant (if we had a kosher veggie burger available!), and pay $10 (with tip) for a veggie burger that's no better than my very ordinary recipe. (I want to work on the recipe; it needs a little more pizzaz.) Certainly not 30 times better!